Green Valley Sermons

Who Are My People?


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hosea 1

1 The word of the Lord which came to Hosea the son of Beeri, during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.


2 When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord." 3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4 And the Lord said to him, "Name him Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 "And it will come about on that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel." 6 Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to him, "Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I should ever forgive them. 7 "But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the Lord their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses, or horsemen." 8 When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and gave birth to a son. 9 And the Lord said, "Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God."


10 Yet the number of the sons of Israel

Will be like the sand of the sea,

Which cannot be measured or numbered;

And it will come about that, in the place

Where it is said to them,

"You are not My people,"

It will be said to them,

"You are the sons of the living God."

11 And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together,

And they will appoint for themselves one leader,

And they will go up from the land,

For great will be the day of Jezreel. NASB


Hosea - “deliverer” “Savior” “Salvation”


Hosea preached to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, sometimes referred to as Ephraim which was the largest tribe of the Northern Kingdom. He preached at the same time as Amos. At this time Isaiah and Micah were preaching to the Southern Kingdom of Judah.


Jeroboam was king in the Northern Kingdom at this time.


Hosea speaks of Jezreel – The valley where Ahab and Jezebel stole Naboth's vineyard. It is the valley where Jehu slew all of Ahab and Jezebel's descendants.


Jehu did battle against the worshippers of Baal. However he did not go so far as to remove the idols of Samaria. They still worshipped the golden calves that were set up there.


Jezreel means “God sows”. God will have His way. He will always be in control. His judgement will be just. Here the name of Jezreel is used to speak of the northern Kingdom of Israel. It was a reminder that even when they were faithful to follow the Lord, they did not go the full way in their repentance. Their allegiance to God was mixed with other things.


Hosea's children's names are judgements on the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Lo-ruhamah means “No mercy”. God will bring judgement on Israel without mercy. They refused to follow the Lord.


Lo-Ammi means “Not My People”. God is declaring through this act of Hosea's in naming his children that He is rejecting Israel as they had rejected Him. They would be destroyed, taken into captivity by Assyria. The Assyrian's brought in foreigners to intermarry with those who were left in the area that became what was known as Samaria. The Jews, who were descendants of the Southern kingdom made up of Judah and Benjamin, came to despise the Samaritans. The Samaritans were not the true descendants of Abraham. The Jews considered these half-breeds as lower than dogs. In the days when Jesus was walking this earth, the Jews literally went out of their way to avoid going through Samaria.


Look at the last two verses of Hosea chapter 1 again.


Hos 1:10-11


10 Yet the number of the sons of Israel

Will be like the sand of the sea,

Which cannot be measured or numbered;

And it will come about that, in the place

Where it is said to them,

"You are not My people,"

It will be said to them,

"You are the sons of the living God."

11 And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together,

And they will appoint for themselves one leader,

And they will go up from the land,

For great will be the day of Jezreel. NASB


God makes a promise here. So when was this promise fulfilled? OR when will it be fulfilled?


There is a line that Gloria Gaither spoke as part of one of the Gaither's songs. She said, “God has always had a people”. There have always been people who have been committed to following and loving the Lord. Even in the darkest of times, the times of rebellion, there have been people who called

us back to serving the Lord. In Jehu's time it was Elijah who sent his servant to anoint Jehu as king.


Jehu took upon himself the task of wiping out the descendants of Ahab and Jezebel and killing the worshippers of Baal. He became king and there was a great slaughter and the people of Israel were brought back to serving God. . . for a time.


A time would come, according to the prophecy of Hosea that people would once again be called “the people of God”. Mercy would reign once again. There would be one leader for the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel.


I believe this prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus Christ came and called His followers to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. The people of God, those who follow Him, are those who have accepted Jesus, the Christ, as Lord and Savior. WE are the new Israel, the new Jezreel, the New Jerusalem.


Jesus went into Samaria and won a woman who brought her town to Jesus.


The kingdom of God exists today in the lives of anyone committed to following God who has revealed Himself through Jesus of Nazareth, His only begotten Son who sits at the right hand of God interceding for us today.


The name Israel means “one who wrestles with God”. This was the name given to Jacob after his night of struggle with God.


It describes those who follow God today.


The name Jesus means “Jehovah Saves”. He is our Emmanuel – God with us! He provides salvation for us. He comes to live in us, to reign as king on the throne of our lives.


The Christian life is about struggling to live out that relationship with Him, committing ourselves to following Him and as often as necessary repenting when we fall short of this plan of His to be Lord in our lives.


The Kingdom of God is a kingdom unlike any earthly kingdom, it is the Kingdom of Heaven, where the will of God is done in each of His followers. We serve Him as faithfully as we know how. When we fall short and confess it, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus the Son who intercedes on our behalf, praying for us. The Spirit of God dwells within us to teach us and remind us of the truth of God's Word.


These are not three separate beings, Father, Son, and Spirit – they are One God in Three Persons. Don't worry if you do not fully understand this concept of the Trinity. It is a teaching of God's Word that we come to accept as we grow in our trust and understanding that this is the truth even if we cannot fully comprehend it. When we speak of the Holy Spirit, we speak of God; when we speak of Jesus, we speak of God; when we speak of the Heavenly Father, we speak of God.


God lives within us – Father, Son, and Spirit. God loves us – Father, Son, and Spirit.


God rules in His kingdom – Father, Son, and Spirit. He has always had a people who love Him and trust Him and walk in obedience to Him. They struggle sometimes in understanding and commitment, but always come back to that allegiance to Him. We are Israel. We are children of the Most High God.


We are serving under the leadership of our king, Jesus, the Christ.


WE are the fulfillment of the kingdom messages of the prophets.


One day, the kingdom will be fulfilled in a new way, as His followers, His subjects, are brought up out of the grave, or changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, to reign with Him in heaven for all of eternity. There will be a new heaven and a new earth, but it will be the same kingdom.


We will join the angels and all of creation as we sing Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who is and was and always will be. He is reigning in our hearts and lives and we will dwell in His presence for all eternity praising Him, serving Him, bringing honor and glory to His name.


God did not reject Israel in Hosea's day. Israel rejected God. God does not reject anyone. He gives us the freedom to choose to live for Him or to live for something else.


His judgement of us is simply His acceptance of our decision to leave Him out of our lives. Any one who ends up missing heaven will have all of eternity to be constantly reminded of the justice of God. Any who die without turning their lives over to Him and trusting Him will know they are getting what they have chosen. They will bow and name God as Lord and King and Righteous Judge.


When, or if, the Holy Spirit speaks to you about something in your life that He wants to change, it is up to you to bow in humble submission before Him and submit to His Lordship. To fail to do so leads you down a path where your faith in God will die.


Repentance is not a one time thing but is to be a way of life. It is the people who are putting their trust in God as Savior and Lord who are the People of God. Sometimes we struggle in living out that relationship, but at the end of the day, we submit to Him as rightful Lord and Master of our lives.


Who does God call “My People”? Those who are living by faith in the One True God, as revealed through Jesus, and who lives within us as the Holy Spirit.