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Hosea 8

Talks for Growing Christians

Further Prophecies Against the Northern Kingdom

Hosea 8

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Lesson Number 9

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God rejects all forms of idolatry.
  2. God judges all forms of idolatry.

Practical Application

  1. Are you investing in wind?

Questions

  1. What happened to the United Kingdom of Israel in 931 B.C.?
  2. In relation to this event, where and when did the prophet Hosea minister?
  3. Which king was in power during Hosea’s ministry?
  4. How does Hosea 8:4 give us a clue about the type of kings in the north?
  5. How did God show His grace to the Northern Kingdom of Israel?
  6. How long did Hosea prophecy?
  7. When there was no response to God’s grace, what happened?

Answers

  1. The United Kingdom split into the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
  2. Hosea’s ministry was focused on the Northern Kingdom of Israel more than 150 years after this division.
  3. King Jeroboam II. He was one of the twenty kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. All of them were evil kings.
  4. “They set up kings, but not by Me.” The kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel were not from the tribe of Judah, and they were not in the line of David. God never intended a split in the United Kingdom, and He certainly did not approve of it, or of this new line of kings.
  5. God, in His grace, still considered the Northern Kingdom of Israel as His people. God included them in His house (Hosea 8:1), and He sent His prophets to them.
  6. At least forty years.
  7. God would have to discipline Israel to bring them back to Himself. Israel would be overrun by the Assyrian armies (Hosea 8:1). Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, fell to the Assyrians in 722 B.C., right in line with Hosea’s prophecy.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Israel transgressed God’s covenant and rebelled against His law because of idolatry. Samaria’s golden calf would not only be rejected by God, but it would be broken into pieces. Anything taking priority over God in a life is idolatry. Read Hosea 8:4. What are you doing with your silver and gold? Are you using it for God’s glory or are you making golden calves? The material things that we treasure so much in this life are man-made, like idols, and are not of God. God rejects all forms of idolatry.
  2. Idolatry is not only the worship of false gods. It is also the false worship of the true God. God said that there was to be only one altar in Israel, at the temple in Jerusalem. But in the Northern Kingdom of Israel many altars had been set up. The people went through the motions and proceeded in any way they chose by using wrong altars and even disregarding God’s law concerning the offering of sacrifices. As a result, they would return to Egypt, the condition of slavery from which they had once been delivered. The bottom line for all idolatry is forgetting your Maker (Hosea 8:14). America is filled with various forms of idolatry. Wherever God is not acknowledged as Creator and Maker, there is idolatry to one degree or another. Whether it be building structures that dishonor God and glorify man, or whether it be building theories or concepts that leave God out, God will judge all forms of idolatry. Are you acknowledging God as Maker?

Challenge

  1. “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.” Hosea 8:7. “In the figure of sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind, there are two laws in view – the law of the harvest and the law of multiplication. According to the law of the harvest you reap what you sow. If you sow wheat, you reap wheat; if you sow weeds, you reap weeds; if you sow wind, you reap wind. The law of the harvest operates in the spiritual and moral realms as well as the physical. The people of Israel had invested their time and resources and energies into that which would bring no eternal benefits.” Quoted from Dr. David R. Reid, Devotions for Growing Christians. The folly and futility of their self-centered idolatrous way of life is succinctly captured in the figure of sowing wind. Are you sowing wind? How are you investing your time and resources and energies? Are you sowing in terms of your eternal well-being?

Key Verses

  • “Israel set up kings, but not by Me…they made idols for themselves.” Hosea 8:4
  • “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.” Hosea 8:7
  • “I have written for Ephraim the great things of My law, but they were considered a strange thing.” Hosea 8:12
  • “Israel has forgotten his Maker.” Hosea 8:14

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