**Due to a technical difficulty the audio quality of this recording is not great – please accept our apologies! **
This study is our 2nd in our verse-by-verse review of the prophet Hosea – given by pastor Barry Forder on 1st August 2021 at Calvary Chapel Portsmouth.
Chapter 3 of Hosea is one of the shortest chapters in the Bible, at just 5 verses; yet it’s content is profound. C. I. Scofield comments:
Chapter 3 is one of the classic Old Testament passages describing Israel’s past present and future. Her idolatrous past is illustrated by Gomer’s unfaithfulness to Hosea (v1-2) despite which Hosea is commanded to love her and buy her back ‘according to the love of the Lord toward Israel’ – a love which led Him to pay the purchase price of the blood of the cross to redeem Israel, the basis of her restoration. The present condition of Israel is illustrated and plainly prophesied in v 3-4. Her future is declared in v5, showing her repentance toward God who in his faithfulness will restore her.
Dr. Charles Feinberg, and outstanding Jewish believer and scholar, says of this chapter, “It rightfully takes its place among the greatest prophetic pronouncements in the whole revelation of God.”
Certainly, this chapter is worthy of our attention!
It contains a summary of God’s plan of salvation, as seen specifically though the relationship of Hosea and his adulterous wife Gomer, and as seen in a broader sense between the relationship of God with the Nation of Israel.
In verse 1 Hosea is told by the LORD to go and purchase Gomer back, even though she had been unfaithful to him. Evidently, Gomer had ended up in debt and had become a slave. Her new master was selling her and Hosea goes to buy her back – even though he was her husband! God tells Hosea to love her with the love He had loved Israel. God’s love is unconditional, and all love should be based on the love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. We cannot love other until we know the love of God ourselves. The world’s view of love is ‘what can I get?’. God’s love says ‘what can I give!’.
Exodus 21:32 tells us that the price of a salve is 30 shekels of silver. In verse 2 we find that Hosea pays 15 shekels of silver and one and a half homers of barley. Ezekiel 45:11 tells us that a homer contained ten baths (also known as an ephah). Keil & Delitzch comment “2 Kings 7:1; 2 Kings 16:18, that at that time an ephah of barley was worth a shekel, in which case the whole price would just amount to the sum for which, according to Exodus 21:32, it was possible to purchase a slave, and was paid half in money and half in barley”. In other words, the total value paid by Hosea was 30 shekels as required by the Law – the price of the Law was met, in full!
John tells us that Jesus is the ‘payment in full’ for our sin, to redeem us from the requirements of the Law! (1 John 4:10).
The other significant thing to note here is that Hosea was only able to give 15 silver shekels, the rest had to be made up with barley. This tells us that Hosea didn’t have 30 silver shekels to begin with, meaning that he gave all he had (15 shekels) and then made up the difference with barley. That is exactly what Jesus did for each one of us! He gave all He had. He emptied Himself of everything, became of no reputation, took on the nature of a servant (even eventually being betrayed for 30 pieces of silver – the price of a slave). Philippians 2:5-8 / 2 Corinthians 5:21
In verse 3 we get a glimpse of the heart of Hosea – reflecting the heart of God. Hosea purchased Gomer, clothed her, took her home, provided for her, assured her she would no longer be under a cruel master and that he would be for her. In the book of Romans Paul asks the rhetorical question, “if God be for us, who shall be against us?!” Romans 8:31
God has taken each one of us, paid the price to set us free, covered our shame, taken us home and promised to provide for us – exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think! – and that He will be for us!
Verse 4 is one of the most incredible prophecies in the Bible! It speaks of:
- The coming kingdom and throne of Israel
- The coming Messiah,
- The Jews sacrificial system and therefore Temple worship
- An end to idolatry and false gods
- The reestablishment of the priesthood
The Throne of Israel:
- From 587 B.C. Israel have been without a king
- Zedekiah was the last king of Judah
- He (and therefore the crown) were taken to Babylon
- While the Jews were in Babylon, Daniel was appointed chief of the Magi (the Magi were a Persian sect renown for appointing kings!)
- Daniel entrusted them with a secret mission
- At a specific time, they were to carry the crown back to Israel and appoint the rightful king
- Over 500 years passed, then the saw a sign!
- It was a star that led them to Israel to declare the coming of Israel’s king!
- However, Jesus did not take the throne during His first coming; that was not His intention. First He came to offer His life as the Lamb of God, slain for the sins of man.
- But the second time He comes, He will come as the King of Kings and sit on the throne of David, fulfilling countless prophecies (see 2 Samuel 7 / Dan 2:44 / Luke 1:31-33)
The Coming Messiah
Hosea prophesied that Israel would not only abide many days without a king, but also whilst awaiting their Messiah. Jesus declared:
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Because of their disobedience, Israel are still waiting to see their Messiah – but they will not have to wait much longer!
The Jews sacrificial system and therefore Temple worship
Although the Jews were able to sacrifice again after they returned from Babylon,
From A.D.70 they have not had a Temple and have not been able to sacrifice
A Temple will be rebuilt soon on the Temple Mt in Jerusalem and the Jews will – for a short time – be allowed to begin sacrificing again after 2000 years!
An end to idolatry and false gods
Because they have been scattered around the world, Israel have been ‘robbed’ of their idols – i.e. lost the opportunity to worship them.
Sadly, many Jews have today turned to Atheism. It has been said: An atheistic Jew is one who knows what the God he doesn’t believe in requires of him! – Anon
The reestablishment of the priesthood
Although Israel have been without and officiating priesthood for the best part of 2000 yeas, the priesthood will be re-established – initially to allow sacrifices to reconvene during the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation, then to serve the LORD throughout the Millennium.
The final verse (5) of this incredible chapter tells us that when Jesus returns, Israel will finally be regathered to their Land, God will be their God and they His people, and all these things will be complete. Jesus will rule over the house of Israel – and over the whole earth!
May you be blessed and encouraged by this study.