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Thursday, December 24 2015
Hosea 1: Gomer's Children
"For the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD"
The so-called "minor prophets" of the Holy Bible (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi) have been classified as such merely because their written accounts in the Sacred Scriptures are shorter than the "major prophets" (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and Jeremiah). No prophet of the LORD is "minor" however because they all spoke the Word of the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) - which is "major" at any length, whether a single word (see also What Does Word of God Mean To You?), or many volumes.
The English-language rendering of the name Hosea is from the Hebrew name pronounced ho-shay-awh, which means salvation. Hosea was a prophet of the LORD of, and to, the Kingdom of Israel after the united Kingdom of Israel of David and Solomon (see How Many Kings Reigned In The United Kingdom? and When Will The United Kingdom Be Restored?) was divided into two separate Kingdoms, the Kingdom of Israel (the northern ten tribes; see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah and Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes) and the Kingdom of Judah (the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi; see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah and Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings).
Hosea is unique in that he is evidently the only native prophet of the northern kingdom from whom we have a written record i.e. the book of Hosea. While it's not immediately obvious in English translations, experts in the original ancient languages recognize Hosea's "northern accent" by the structure and wording of his writing - the same Galilee "Aramaizing diction" that Jesus of Nazareth and most of the twelve apostles spoke centuries later (see The Syrian Tongue Of Jesus).
According to custom, the era of Hosea's ministry was stated in relation to the reigns of kings of Israel and Judah (the "Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel" was Jeroboam II - see Kings of Israel and Judah):
"1:1 The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel." (Hosea 1:1 KJV)
Hosea lived in a time of prosperous decadence. The Israelites had come under the delusion that their blessings were of their own creation. They became arrogant - a god of themselves. By the very definition of iniquity (see Iniquity In History And Prophecy), it all seemed so right to them, even though they were living in crass idolatry and immorality. As an object lesson for all to see, the LORD commanded Hosea to flagrantly marry an unrepentant whore, with the purpose that the people of Israel could look to their prophet and feel the revulsion that the LORD had for them.
"1:2 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea.
The prophetic analogy extended to how the spirit of corruption produces children of corruption.
"1:3 So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
Fact Finder: How long were the Israelites a united kingdom?
This Day In History, December 24
563: The Byzantine church building Hagia Sophia in Constantinople was dedicated for the second time after being destroyed by earthquakes. The building became a mosque in 1453 and remained so until 1931.
1144: The capital of the crusader County of Edessa fell to Imad ad-Din Zengi, the Atabeg of Mosul and Aleppo (see also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1524: Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama died at age 55. He was the first recorded European to reach India by sea.
1524: Poland agreed to truces in its conflicts with both Sweden and Turkey.
1638: The Ottomans under Murad IV recaptured Baghdad from Safavid Persia (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1777: Kiritimati, now also known as Christmas Island, was discovered by English explorer James Cook.
1781: German immigrant Baron Friederike von Riedesel erected what is believed to be the first Christmas tree in North America, at Sorel, Quebec (listen to our Sermon The Ho-Ho Hoax).
1814: A peace treaty between Great Britain and the former New England colonies was signed at Ghent, Belgium to end the War of 1812 (1812-1814). The combatants kept fighting and dying however because the news of the war's end did not arrive from Europe for another 2 weeks (longer in some more remote areas e.g. the Battle of New Orleans).
1865: The Klu Klux Klan was founded in Pulaski, Tennessee by a group of Confederate veterans.
1914: The first air raid on Britain took place when a German monoplane dropped a single bomb on Dover.
1942: The German research station at Peenemunde successfully tested a new surface-to-surface weapon system. Called the FZG76, it later became better known as the V1 Flying Bomb (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1946: The French Fourth Republic was established.
1951: Libya became an independent nation. It had been a colony of Italy from 1911, and before that was under Ottoman rule from 1551 (see also Libya In History And Prophecy).
1968: The crew of Apollo 8 entered into orbit around the Moon, thereby becoming the first humans to do so. They completed 10 lunar orbits and broadcast live TV pictures for the famous Christmas Eve Broadcast, one of the most watched broadcasts in history.
1974: Cyclone Tracy devastated Darwin, Australia.
1979: The first European Ariane rocket was launched.
1991: Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as leader of the Soviet Union.