Day 129 – Thru the Bible
Today we complete Hosea and continue Psalms.
Hosea 11 – Implicit and explicit comparisons to earlier Old Testament events inform both what Hosea says in chapter 11 and the way that Matthew understands Hosea 11:1 and claims fulfillment for it in Matthew 2:15.
The sin of Israel that will lead to exile from the land has been compared to the sin of Adam that led to exile from the garden. The exodus is the pattern of salvation that Hosea uses to describe what God will do in the future.
So the good news that Hosea proclaims here is that in the future God will bring His people back from exile by means of a new act of redemption like the exodus from Egypt. When Matthew quotes Hosea 11:1, he is asserting that the pattern of the exodus and the prophesied return from exile are fulfilled in Jesus.
Hosea 11:8–9 is one of the most moving statements in the Bible portraying the Lord’s love for His people. With deeply emotive language, God declares that He simply cannot forsake His people. What can He do but love them! They are His. His “compassion grows warm and tender.”
Such unfailing love is the only explanation for why, centuries after Hosea’s prophecy, God would send His own Son to vindicate His justice while securing sinful people as His own beloved (John 3:16).
How do you remind yourself how much God loves you?
Hosea 12 – As comparisons informed Hosea’s statements in chapter 11, so in chapter 12 Hosea seems to be working with patterns in Israel’s history that he regards as types of the exile and return from exile.
Hosea appears to be comparing Jacob’s experience to the experience of the nation descended from him at the exodus, and then to the experience of Hosea’s own generation that faces exile and hopes for the return Hosea prophesies.
The comparisons seem to work like this: Jacob was a sinner in the land (v. 3), met God in his flight from the land (v. 4), served another to gain a wife (v. 12) outside the land, and then was restored to the land knowing God (vv. 4b–5). This also corresponds to the way the nation later went down to Egypt (through the events and legacy of Jacob’s son, Joseph), multiplied there, then met God at Sinai, and was shepherded through the wilderness by Moses (vv. 9–10, 13).
This pattern is being repeated in Hosea’s day as, like Jacob, Ephraim (the largest tribe of Israel, used by Hosea to represent the nation) sins in the land (vv. 2–3, 7–8), will be driven into exile and sustained there by the Lord, and then, as at the exodus from Egypt, will meet God and return to the land to dwell there with Him (vv. 5, 11–14).
These patterns are fulfilled in Jesus. Not only did He have a sojourn in Egypt (see Matthew 2:13–15), He also became the Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) in fulfillment of the exodus pattern to redeem His people (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23), provided a place of rest for them by making them the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), and gives them a new law for a new and continuing relationship with God (1 Corinthians 9:20; 2 John 5–6). It is Jesus Himself who provides God’s people with spiritual food and drink for their sojourn through the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:1–13; 11:17–34), on the way to the new and better heavens and earth, the kingdom of God (Romans 14:17), where righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13).
How does this help you see how the whole Bible points us to Jesus?
Hosea 13 – The northern kingdom of Israel is personified with the name Ephraim (the most prominent tribe of Israel, according to Jacob’s unexpected blessing in Genesis 48:10–20). Others once trembled before the power of Ephraim, but “he” (the tribe represented by this son of Joseph) turned to idolatry, resulting in what God promised Adam would happen if he ate the forbidden fruit in Genesis 2:17: he died (13:1).
When the Lord again identifies Himself as Israel’s God from the land of Egypt, asserting that beside Himself “there is no savior”, the idea is reinforced that God will save His people in the future as He did in the past. As with 5:14–6:3, where the exile and new exodus and return from exile are figuratively depicted in terms of the Lord tearing Israel as a lion, so in 13:7–13 the Lord will be like a lion, punishing Israel’s sin. Then He will overcome the death He has visited upon the nation, and the new exodus is described with terms reminiscent of the exodus from Egypt: ransom, death, plagues (v. 14; cf. 1 Cor. 15:54–55).
The New Testament presents the salvation Jesus accomplished as fulfilling the promised new exodus and return from exile. As in the exodus and the return from exile, New Testament believers have come home—not to a plot of land but to Jesus (Matthew 11:28–30; John 14:23; 1 Peter 2:25).
In what ways has Jesus brought you out of “exile”?
Hosea 14 – Hosea knows that Moses prophesied in Deuteronomy 4 that once Israel had experienced the Lord’s wrath against their covenant-breaking sin, once they had been exiled from the land, from exile they would seek the Lord and return to Him with all their hearts and would find Him. And then in the latter days they would obey the voice of the Lord.
Hosea instructs Israel on how they should return to the Lord in that day, after they have experienced His wrath. Hosea then depicts the Lord’s explanation of how He will save Israel, change their hearts so that their apostasy is healed, and cause them to be like a tree planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in season. Hosea calls once more for rejection of idolatry before calling the wise to understand what he has prophesied.
The basic message of Hosea is what Moses prophesied in Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 4:25–31, and Deuteronomy 28–32: the northern kingdom of Israel has broken the covenant and will be exiled, and this is likened to a man being struck dead by the Lord. Yet after the judgment of the exile is poured out, God will save His people in the future as He saved them in the past, and this is likened to that man who was struck dead being resurrected. An apt image—not only of God’s people then, but of God’s people today. For in the death and resurrection of Jesus, these things are fulfilled (Romans 6:5).
How thankful are you for your deliverance?
Psalm 124 – This psalm continues the theme of the previous Psalm. In even more explicit terms, the psalmist declares the exclusivity of the God of Israel, the covenant God of His people. He alone can deliver them from those who oppress them.
If the Lord had not been on the side of His people—i.e., if the covenant God of Israel, the Lord who revealed Himself in Exodus 3:14 as the eternal “I am” who is forever committed to His people for their good and their salvation—if this eternal and exclusively true God had not been on His people’s side, they would have been destroyed. But He is the true God, He is their God, and He did watch over them for their good. The psalmist likely reflects back on the exodus from Egypt, where God saved His people from the waters of the Red Sea, and he sees in this a basis for continued trust in this same saving and merciful God. As their past help has been from the Lord, so their present and future hope is in this true God—their God, who is the covenant God of Israel, who made heaven and earth.
What amazing strength and hope there is in these words: the true and living God, the God who made heaven and earth, is none other than our God, the God of covenant faithfulness and mercy to His own people. This covenant faithfulness and mercy was clinched in the coming of Jesus. There, in Jesus, the demands of the covenant were kept on our behalf so that we can receive God’s promised blessings even though we have failed and do not deserve them.
How has this Good News changed your life?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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