2022 Study Summary 46: I Will Love Them Freely
Hosea 1–6; 10–14; Joël
“I Will Love Them Freely”
Hosea 1. Hosea and his family are a sign unto Israel—In the day of gathering, the people of Israel will become the sons of the living God.
Hosea 2. Worshipping false gods brings severe judgments upon Israel—In the last days, Israel will be reconciled to God and become His people.
Hosea 3. Israel will seek the Lord, return to the Lord, and receive of His goodness in the latter days.
Hosea 4. Israel loses all truth, mercy, and knowledge of God and goes whoring after false gods.
Hosea 5. The kingdoms of Judah and Israel will both fall because of their iniquities.
Hosea 6. Hosea calls Israel to return and serve the Lord—The mercy and knowledge of God are more important than ritualistic sacrifices.
Hosea 10. Israel has plowed wickedness and reaped iniquity—Hosea calls upon Israel to seek the Lord.
Hosea 11. Israel, as a child, was called out of Egypt in similitude of our Lord, as a child, coming out of Egypt—But Ephraim turns away from the Lord.
Hosea 12. The Lord uses prophets, visions, and similitudes to guide His people, but they become rich and will not wait on the Lord—Ephraim provokes Him most bitterly.
Hosea 13. Ephraim’s sins provoke the Lord—There is no Savior beside the Lord—He ransoms from the grave and redeems from death.
Hosea 14. In the last days, Ephraim will repent and return unto the Lord.
Joël 1. Call a solemn assembly and gather to the house of the Lord, for the day of the Lord is at hand.
Joël 2. War and desolation will precede the Second Coming—The sun and the moon will be darkened—The Lord will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh—There will be dreams and visions.
Joël 3. All nations will be at war—Multitudes will stand in the valley of decision as the Second Coming draws near—The Lord will dwell in Zion.
What is Hosea’s re-occurring message?
The message of all prophets of God is to improve, change, and turn toward God. “To turn” (LaShuv) is the word repentance in Hebrew. A variety of metaphors were used by various prophets to illustrate their message. Hosea chooses the tender subject of marriage and moral fidelity to emphasize the nurturing and forgiving nature of our Father in Heaven. “Hosea, is a prophet in the last years of the kingdom of Israel (up to 722 B.C.E.) and author of the Book of Hosea. (Hosea is) the first of the 12 minor prophetic books of the Bible. Most of Hosea’s prophecies were oracles of doom—the people of Israel had forsaken the Covenant, lost faith in God, and become corrupt and immoral. Because of these transgressions, God would punish the people. But Hosea describes the relationship of God and the people of Israel as essentially one of love, like that between a man and a woman, and prophesies that the divine punishment will be similar to that befitting an unfaithful wife, i.e., God will cast Israel out of its home and into exile. However, Hosea was the first prophet to introduce the theme of repentance, proclaiming that through repentance, Israel can return to its former glory. The love of God for Israel is eternal; thus, God will eventually restore His people to their land.” “In the Aggadah (Jewish written traditions), great emphasis is placed on God’s command to Hosea to marry a harlot and beget children of harlotry. God evidently wanted Hosea to experience the bitterness of being married to an unfaithful woman. This theme of Israel as the unfaithful wife appears frequently in the Prophets.” “Jeremiah used the favorite image of the earlier prophet Hosea that the relationship between God and Israel is like that of husband and wife and that Israel, in deserting the true faith, had been like an unfaithful wife. He urged the people to acknowledge no other God than the God of Israel, and to submit to Him totally.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
How was Hosea’s metaphor used to name the first village in modern-day Israel?
Hosea is to be understood as a motivator of choosing the right, which opens the gateway of hope. “Petah Tikvah is a city seven miles east of Tel Aviv, was founded in the 1870s by a group of religious Jewish pioneers from Jerusalem, who decided to become farmers and establish a village. They called it Petah Tikvah (“Gateway of Hope”) after the divine promise uttered by the prophet Hosea (2:17): “And I will give her . . . the valley of Achor for a gateway of hope. “It was the first Jewish village in the country, and later became known as “the mother of the moshavot,” or cooperative smallholders’ villages.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
How can I better understand the manner of repentance?
Space and outer space rockets can be off course up to 97% of the time. Yet they still reach their chosen destinations – whether the moon or earth – with pin-point precision and timing because of constant flight corrections. Those corrections and slight turns, or flight changes are a good thing. That is what repentance is, a good thing! Jews have special holy days to remind them of repentance. “Hosea’s recurring reminder for repentance is repeated in Jewish Sabbath services that lead to the Day of Atonement. That day is a fasting day, and the entire book of Jonah is read. Its symbolism of atonement is in the three nights and three days of Jonah’s experience and the Savior’s use of Jonah’s experience as a sign of His atonement for our sins.” “Shabbat Shuvah is the Sabbath which occurs between Rosh Ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The name is derived from the first word of the Haftarah (Jewish written traditions), “Return (using the word shuvah) O Israel unto the Lord” (Hosea 14:2) is read on that Sabbath. The main feature of the day is the sermons of repentance delivered by the rabbis to prepare the congregants for the Day of Atonement.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) Hosea’s words are still full of hope even though he uses strong (and opposite) metaphors of wickedness. He speaks of the life of King David in a prophesy of the latter days, also mentioned by the Prophet Jeremia, (Jeremiah 30:9) and in (Ezekiel 34:24). As mentioned several times, the Hebrew use of the word ‘return, or turn’ is the same word as repent, Shuv or, to repent, LaShuv. “Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.” (Hosea 3:5)
How do opposite points of view help me focus on the correct way?
There is a verse in the Book of Joel that connects his day when the Lord was known – with the end of days when he would not be known, (opposites). The Lord has many names, one of them being “Wine” and another one, “New Wine” (again, opposites). “Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine, for it is cut off from your mouth.” (Joel 1:5) In the meridian of times, the Apostle Luke amplifies this metaphor of the Lord being “New Wine,” and being rejected by many. “No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.” (Luke 5:39)
How does the Lord teach about being the Old Wine as well as the New Wine?
It is generally believed that aging makes wine better; hence, old wine is considered better than the new. At a festivity, the oldest, best wine is offered first and then the more recent wine is used later. When wine ran out at a marriage feast in Cana, Jesus was asked by his mother for assistance. Perhaps he referred to one of his names (New Wine) by indicating that his time (fulfillment of New Wine) had not yet come. “And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.” (John 2:3-4) He was teaching that the atonement had not yet occurred as He graciously turned water into wine (very new), that was better than the old. The prophetic metaphor of New Wine was fulfilled when Jesus, at the Last Supper (a day before the beginning of Passover that year), instituted a new meaning for the old ordinance of “wine and bread.” Jews still commemorate the old ritual as they pour, bless and sip wine, followed by breaking, blessing and eating a piece of bread at the beginning of every Sabbath (Kiddush). The prayers attendant to that custom anticipate a future redemption that would be greater than being redeemed from Egypt at the first Passover. The only time Jews will break, bless, and eat a piece of bread first, followed by pouring, blessing and sipping wine last is when children at the traditional Passover meal (Seder) find the “hidden piece of bread” (Afikommen). It was that piece of bread that Jesus was referring to as he blessed bread and wine, giving a new meaning to an old ordinance…hence, the New Wine. “And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:24-25)
How can “less” become “more”?
Opposites are used to help us focus on the true meanings. Often, the lessons are brief, concise, seemingly viewed by some as slight hints. As minimal as some of the ancient prophet’s writings were, they contain and still show their witness, deep recognition, and symbolism of the Savior’s mission. The short length of biblical books can be considered as an “contrasting” measure of the prophet’s visions and great understandings.