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28 Hosea(5・The last inning

The answer of love

Hosea 14:1-9
Matthew 28:20
T With all the deep love and

 It is the last inning of prophet Hosea. I watched him only as a prophet to tell a severe message to the Northern Kingdom, but I felt that he heard God's deep love to the Northern Kingdom while reading this book again and again, this time; this love is difficult to understand to us.

 Hosea was said, "Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry."; and he brought shrine prostitute Gomel of Baal and married and poured all his love to her who was still attracted by Baal. Here, love to the Northern Kingdom of God and love to his Gomel occurred at the same time, and his message was developed. Perhaps he would expiate her with money. When she betrayed him and came back to a Baal shrine again, he bought her back for 15 shekels of silver and a homer and a half barley (a price of one slave). This may be said to be a model of Jesus who expiated our crime on a cross. When I watched Hosea, I had a strong interest by his love for Gomel than his message to the Northern Kingdom. He was going to stare at God for that love. Here, I want to repeat his message which heard in Chapter 11 last week; there was it with "My heart is turned over within Me, all my compassion are kindled. I will not execute My fierce anger; I will not destroy Ephraim again. For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath." (11:8-9). We have heard, in the inside of God, that anger to Israel and pity to Israel fought each other and pity won.

 This morning, it is his last message from Chapter 14, but now, I feel his thought that was freed from the refracted thought that was there. "Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God," (1); this is really dignified messages. As the advice to them, this is the best brevity and besides, his all thought was put. I want to try to investigate where a message full of such a conviction came from.

U Confession of faith

 I felt his love full of conviction to Gomel in Chapter 6; however, after this, it did not touch any. This is my guess, but she may have died soon since then. There is it in 13:14, "I will ransom them from death. I will redeem them from death. O Death, where are your thorn? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion will be hidden from My sight.". Paul quoted this as a paean of people believing Jesus and Jesus (T Corinthians 15:55), but it may be heard as memorial words to her.

 This is also my imagination to the last, even if she died, the things that he lived with her in long time and loved her and taught God to her heartily would root deeply in her. A message told in this book is sometimes very severe, but it is considered that his overflowed gentleness is put. With such patient love and gentleness, he would teach her. Of course the message of this book was a thing to people of the Northern Kingdom, but at the same time, it would be taught intelligibly to her. While Hosea was teaching her, he would realize this message was told by true love of God really. After Hosea sent God her like that, his brake would be disappear, (Gomel who betrayed him would be heavy brake for his work as a prophet), and he would be able to pass a message of God leisurely on, I think. It is Chapter 14 of last Hosea; when he got a listener of his message such as Gomel, he would be convinced "this is true thought of God". We want to hear it as the last message of Hosea.

 Here, he tells the core briefly thus, "Return, O Israel, to the Lord," and he says also "Take words with you,", if it is said in the other word, it is said "Confess your faith.". And the advice, "Say to Him,", is simple and clear. "Take way all iniquity, and receive us graciously, that we may present the fruit of our lips. Assyria will not save us, we will not ride on horses; not will we say again, 'Our god,' to the work of our hands; for in Thee the orphan finds mercy." (2-3) Really, the faith that was necessary for them was this confession, I think. Because he watched the handling of God to Gomel and was convinced of God's love to the Northern Kingdom, he was dignified and could convey a message of God in this way. "I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from them. ……" (7-4)

V The answer of love

 Verse 8 is concluding remarks of this book. In the beginning, there is it, "O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols?". As for denying a relation with an idol, there are various translations; it is said about Israel or it is said for that Israel is comparing Baal with God forever, but 新改訳 will be right, I think. It will be good to consider it to be an Israeli victory speech for Baal, because Baal of Cannan that separated God from Israel came to have no power anymore. However, strangely, Hosea is on a point in time of Northern Kingdom extinction in this time. Because his prophecy activity finish with Northern Kingdom extinction approximately at the same time, the message of Chapter 14 would be thought as the thing of that time. However, there, relations with God and Israel are superior in any kind of past time, and it is told as the best thing. Israel did not turn into, but because, God withdrew His anger. This morning, there is a place that we want to hear as a last central message of Hosea. It is this, "It is I who answer and look after you"; God quieted His intense anger. It seems that another reason why Hosea was able to tell a message full of conviction in Chapter 14 is covered here.

 "I answer"; it will be to meet the prayer. Even in the time Israel was in the middle of betrayal, God waited that they prayed, and depended on Him. "Pray to Me. So, I will bless you as Mine.". This was real recovery of their faith. Now, Jews are shedding tears and praying in front of Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, I feel as if I watch recovery of their faith here. However, the thing that Hosea raised as an important thing than our prayer, it was "an answer of God". Another declaration, "I look after you."; the answer seems to be insisted on there. "I look after you.", it is a meaning, "I am watching you."; and this is warm eyes of love of "Father" watching how Israel walk. In this present age, many serious problems are occurring in children. It is pointed out responsibility of adults who did not bring up love in them. At the same time, it is also that cause that we did not bring up eyes of love to watch children in ourselves.

 However, Hosea loved wife Gomel in the same way God has done so, and watched her and continued praying for her recovery. It was an answer to him, and it was a blessing. Such his figure reminds us of Jesus, He often became alone and taught us prayer and heard our prayer. And He was hung on a cross, and revived; and promised, "lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20), and He sent Holy Spirit to us. I want you to know that He Himself is the answer of God.