Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 70
LO-AMMI – NOT MY PEOPLE – PART 1
Okay, it’s good to see everybody in this afternoon. We’ve got folks all the way from California to Timbuktu here today. I won’t have time to point everybody out, but we’re just so thankful that you’ve all found your way in this afternoon. We always appreciate the fact that you fill up the studio for us.
For those of you out in television, we just like to invite you to sit down with your Bible and a notepad and study with us, compare Scripture with Scripture. We’re finding according to our mail that that’s what a lot of folks are doing and learning to enjoy their Bible! Don’t go by what Les Feldick says. Go by what the Book says.
Get a good study Bible if you don’t already have one that will give you some helps and footnotes or references and so forth. If you learn how to study, you can spend a whole evening, and it just goes like a snap of the finger. We’re finding that at lot of, especially older men, I’ve said this before that we’re so thrilled that so much of our audience is the older men that never had an interest before. They are just being thrilled with what they have missed for so long.
Well, we’re going to respond to some of the requests of our audience. Over and over the question was asked, “Why did you skip the Minor Prophets?” Well, at the time we were going through the Old Testament hitting the highlights, so far as dispensationalism was concerned. I was kind of in a hurry, I guess, to get into the New Testament. So, I just skipped over the twelve Minor Prophets. So, we’re going to start a look at them. Now don’t get all worried that I’ll be in the Old Testament for months on end. We’re not going to overdo it, hopefully. But they’re not “minor” because they’re unimportant. They’re minor only because of their length. They’re only a chapter or two. Hosea, I think, is something like 12. But all twelve of these little Minor Prophets are loaded with prophetic utterances.
Now, it’s kind of interesting to note as introduction how they are arranged. They are not necessarily in chronological order. Jonah was written the furthest back, and it’s about the third or fourth up in the list, I guess. But Jonah was written first of these twelve Minor Prophets, about 800 BC.
Now, I know everybody isn’t as hung up on history as I am, but I still maintain if you’re really going to enjoy this Book, you have to get a historical perspective on the whole thing. That’s why I’m going to be having the timeline on the board in a little bit. That will hopefully help you see it a little easier. But anyway, of these twelve Minor Prophets, nine of them were written before Israel was taken captive into Syria and Babylon. That means that three of them were left to be written after the Jews returned from their captivity. Fortunately, they put them in the right chronological order. Those little three books are: Haggai and Zechariah and Malachi. Now, they are all written after they’ve come back from Babylon, and they end at 400 BC.
If you know anything about the Old Testament chronology between Malachi and Matthew, or the appearance of the angel to announce the birth of Christ, how long is it? Four hundred years. We call them the four hundred years of silence, because not a prophet appeared in Israel. There was not a single miraculous sign from God.
Now, I’m always making the point that the supernatural was almost ordinary in the life of Israel. Starting with the appearance of God to the man Abram and coming on up through the birth and everything of the twelve sons, God was constantly intervening. Then, of course, the most glorious and miraculous event of all the Old Testament was the opening of the Red Sea, and then the appearance of the “cloud” and the “pillar of fire.”
Now, when you stop and think about that, how would you like to have been living at a time when you could stand on the banks of this Red Sea, which in all practical purposes is an ocean, and see it suddenly open up, and it’s dry ground?! They were human! They were just as normal as we are. Now, wouldn’t you think that that would make such an impact on those people that they would never forget it? But they did.
Now, you see, the Apostle Paul’s a little different. He never got over his early life. All the way through his ministry, it plagued him how he had persecuted those early Jewish believers. He never got over it. I think that’s one reason God chose him to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, because he had so much horrible past to live down that he never slowed down. For twenty-five years the man under abject, adverse circumstances kept plodding on.
But Israel? They could have the supernatural and the miraculous take place and seemingly in forty-eight hours they could forget all about it. That’s what is so hard to comprehend in these Old Testament events. We’ll be looking at it more in detail when I get my timeline back up here.
Now, for sake of a little further introduction, we’ve got the four Major Prophets that we’ve already pretty much covered. First there are Isaiah and Jeremiah. Now, those were two of the Major Prophets that preached in Israel. They were both pretty much in Judah before Nebuchadnezzar came in and took the Jews captive. Then we have the other two Major Prophets which are Daniel and Ezekiel. They were written during the captivity while they were out there under Babylonian and Persian rule. So, their two little books are not so much admonition and warning like the rest of prophecy, but they were more or less laying out the prophetical timeline, not only for Israel but for the rest of the world.
That’s why when I teach prophecy I go right back to the Book of Daniel. Daniel is a fundamental foundational book of prophecy concerning not only Israel but the whole Gentile world.
All right, now when we get into Hosea, who, like I said earlier, is not the chronological first of the Minor Prophets, but I guess it’s because he’s the longest. Another point I guess I should make is that in the Old Testament scrolls that the Rabbis’ used, these twelve Minor Prophets were considered one book. It was one book with twelve parts. One commentary I read said it was almost like it was a symbolism that Israel is one nation but it’s made up of what? Twelve tribes. So, maybe there is a connection here. All right, let’s get into the Book of Hosea. We’re going to drop in at verse 1 where it says:
“The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea,…” Now, you’ve got to stop right away, don’t you? I feel sorry for these poor guys out in the truck. They’ve got to go back and forth with me. I hope you realize that. And sometimes I get a little put out that they stay too long on the Scriptures or too long on me, but we’re all human, and we’ve got to expect those things. But anyway, when it says that “Theword of the LORD that came unto Hosea,” what does that make this? Well, it’s the Word of God! A human instrument wrote it, but never forget that it’s God’s Word. Okay, now let’s read and stay with it.
“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.” All right, now what does that tell you? That all you have to do is go back through history and find out at what time these kings reigned, and you’ll know when Hosea lived. Well, that was about 775 years before Christ. About 75 years before Isaiah appeared.
Now again, I’ve got my timeline? Yes! Just like a magician. Presto. Here it is! (The chalkboard was flipped over to the timeline while Les was reading and the Scripture was on the screen.) All right, Abraham, 2000 BC. Five hundred years later, approximately, we have Moses bringing the Children of Israel out of Egypt. They gathered around Mount Sinai, and they received the Law. All right, then in a matter of about 500 years, these are all in round numbers remember, we have the appearance of the kings of Israel. Saul. But the one we want to remember the most is David, about 1,000 years before Christ. And then Solomon–
Now, what was unique about Solomon? I mean, it’s so unique that I just can’t make up my mind about the guy. What was it? Oh, he started out as a servant of God, didn’t he? He was a servant of God. How did he end up? Steeped in the idolatry of his 900 women. Now, I cannot reconcile all that so far as his eternity is concerned. I’m not even going to try. But, I mean, it’s hard to swallow that such a godly man over a period of less than 40 years could go so far down the tube, as we say. But he did.
All right, when Solomon died, what has already happened to the whole Nation of Israel, Judah and the Ten Tribes, which we call Israel? What has already happened? They’ve already gone into idolatry. As the leadership goes, so goes the rank and file. All right, so now what we find is that when Solomon dies and the next pair of kings comes in, one in Judah and one up in Samaria, they are already doing evil. They’re being wicked because of their embracing idolatry.
All right, the prophets write from this point in time, about 900 BC, all the way up until we get to those 400 years of silence. So, they’re going to write from about 900 and then Jonah at 800 and then come some of the Minor Prophets and Isaiah and Jeremiah. They’re going to write up until the time of the captivities, which really culminated when Nebuchadnezzar came and destroyed the Temple and took the Nation of Israel, for the most part, into exile in 606 BC. Now, we’ve got 600 for round number’s sake.
Then from 600 BC until about 454 BC, we’ve got the children of Israel out there in what’s present day Iraq and Iran and what have you. They come back, and then, like I’ve already explained, we have the three prophets that write concerning the future, the coming of their Messiah. Then, we’ve got the 400 years of silence and then the ministry of Christ, the crucifixion, and His ascension. Then, as I pointed out when we were teaching the little Jewish epistles remember, all of the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, the early Acts, jump over Paul’s epistles, they’re all looking forward to what? The Second Coming. Not a word about the Church. Not a word about a Rapture. That’s why people can’t understand the Rapture. It’s not in any part of Scripture except Paul’s epistles. You cannot find even a hint of it.
You’ve got to stretch the imagination to even find anything that pertains to the Body of Christ. All right, so Sharon, when she was putting it up, she said, “Les, I’ve got to get the Rapture in here someplace!” I said, “Well, okay, put it in here then, so far as we are concerned, shortly before the final seven years kick in.” We don’t know how much time will elapse between the Rapture and the appearance of the anti-Christ. I just know that it’s got to be before. Because, as I’ve been explaining to people lately, listen, how in the world can the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Body to whom we are connected, how can He join us in the horrors of that final seven years? Well, He can’t, and He won’t.
So, in order to finish what He’s prophesied concerning Israel, what’s He going to have to do? He’s got to get us out of the way. That’s why I adamantly stand on my pre-Tribulation Rapture, because you can’t see the Body of Christ in those final seven years, because that’s prophecy. That’s God dealing with Israel and not with us.
So, don’t ever back down when people scoff at the fact and say, “You mean you think you’re going to all of a sudden be snatched out of here?” Absolutely!! When they doubt that that’s possible, I always remind them, what did the Lord Himself say? “With God nothing is impossible!” As I shared with someone on the phone the other day, look up at the stars on a clear night. If God can control those billions upon billions upon billions upon billions of stars individually, then I have no problem that He’s going to get every one of us off the planet when the time comes. With Him nothing is impossible! So always remember that.
All right, other than that, had Paul not come on the scene, had prophecy kept going, then Israel, of course, would have been ready for the final seven years, the Second Coming, and Christ returning and setting up His Kingdom. But, we’re dealing back here now in these Minor Prophets with this period of time between the death of Solomon and the end of the Old Testament or 400 BC. All right, now remember, Hosea is writing about 775 years before Christ. He’s about 75 years ahead of Isaiah. So, the book is going to be filled with warning! Warning!
Now, if you remember when we taught Isaiah – how long ago was that already? A year or two. My, time goes so fast. As I taught Isaiah I made the point that there were three distinct times in Israel’s future that would involve a horrible chastisement from God but then the blessing. Then time would go and there would come another horrible chastisement. Then we jumped all the way up to the Tribulation – the chastisement, the wrath, and the vengeance of God – but it would be followed with the Second Coming and the glory of the Kingdom.
We’ll see that that was all the prophecy back there in Isaiah and Jeremiah, as well as these nine Minor Prophets that were written to Israel before the captivities begin. They’re all dealing with the chastisement that’s coming followed by the blessing. Another chastisement followed by the blessing. A third chastisement followed then by the eternal Kingdom.
Okay, Hosea is written in a lot of symbolism. I’m going to right off the bat set your minds straight. Even though a lot of this language almost comes from the immoral side of the coin, remember, we’re not talking about human sexuality. When he speaks of whoredom, when he speaks of this gross immorality, it’s not physical sexuality he’s talking about. It’s their going in to strange gods. That’s the adultery that we’re dealing with here in the Old Testament. How that Israel forsook the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and went “whole hog” as we farmers put it, for all the gods of paganism. It’s just incomprehensible. And this was God’s controversy.
Now, before I go any further, let’s go back and see what Israel had engrained in them long before these days came upon them. Go back with me to Exodus chapter 20 and those of you that know your Bible, what do we have in Exodus 20? The Ten Commandments. Now, you know I’m so Pauline and I’m always stressing we’re not under Law, we’re under Grace, that I suppose some people think I don’t even know what the Ten Commandments are! Well, yes I do! Oh, yes I do. And what’s the first one? Well, this is the first one that they had to trample underfoot to go into idolatry. What is it? Exodus 20 verse 2:
“I am the LORD thy God, who hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt, and out of the house of bondage. 3. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Now, is that complicated language? No. That’s so plain a five-year-old can understand it. Thou shalt have no other gods. Period. All right, then He enlarges on it in verse 4.
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven (or manmade) image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, (Now, here is where I feel that a lot of Israel’s problems came down the pike generations later.) visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto (that are going to come from) the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” Now, we always like, naturally, to lift God up as a God of love and mercy and grace, but He’s also what? He’s a God of wrath.
He’s a God of judgment. Israel experienced it over and over, and they just seemingly couldn’t learn. All right, now then, jump up with me a minute to Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse 4. This is literally the cry of Israel. Now, I know as soon as you see it you’re going to recognize it. This was literally the benchmark of Judaism. Got it?
“Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD:” Now, I’ve got to stop a minute. Do you see why the Jewish people have a hang-up with our teaching of the Triune God? They just can’t quite equate that with this Scripture. They say, “If God is one God, how do you New Testament believers say there are three?”
Well, we’ve got to come right back and say, well, granted, but the Three are One. That’s the whole concept of the Trinity, that yes, they’re three persons, but they operate as one. So, I can still agree with this verse. Absolutely! All right, so look at it again. “Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD:” Now, look at the commandment.
“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Now come back with me to Hosea. This is what I’m trying to get you and my listening audience to do, to think like these Jews were thinking. I’m going to consider all ten tribes…all twelve tribes of Israel as Jews. I know some people would like to say, well, no, that was just the Southern Kingdom. No. Scripture, when you really get down to it, considers everybody of the Twelve Tribes of Jacob as Jews.
Now Israel, of course, in the Old Testament prophecies is the Ten Tribes to the North and Judah is the Two Tribes to the South. You put the Twelve together and they become Israelites. They become the House of Israel. They become Jews. So, never let that throw you a curve.
All right, now come back to this concept that Israel had it drummed into them that there was only one God. It was the God who’d performed the miracle of the Red Sea. But as I was putting all this together in my own mind, I happened to think, and I want you to think with me, how long was it from the crossing of the Red Sea with that fabulous power of God exercised right in front of their eyes until they were asking Aaron for an idol? How long? A matter of days. Weeks at the most! Here they’re already forgetting everything that the God of Abraham had accomplished for them. They’re telling Aaron, build us a god. And then the most amazing thing was Aaron’s response.
My land, you would have thought that Aaron would have just hit the proverbial ceiling and said, “People, what’s the matter with you? How can you even think such a thing?” But, does he? No. He says, bring me your gold. Then it almost becomes a comedy after that stupid idol is made and Moses comes and approaches him with it. What was Aaron’s response? Well, I threw the gold into the fire and out came this calf.
Isn’t it absurd? But, you see, that’s the human race. We’re no different today. My, when I look at the world’s reaction to our Middle East phenomenon right now. How they sympathize with the murderers rather than Israel. Have you noticed that? Absurd to the extreme. I was just sharing with the studio audience before we began. I just read in one of my news magazines the other day that one of the higher government officials in one of the Scandinavian countries; it was either Norway or Sweden. I don’t remember which one it was. But this is how ridiculous people are getting. He said, “Well, we’re just trying to be nice to the Muslim people so that when they finally take over someday, they’ll be nice to us.” What a ridiculous, absurd view. But see, the human race has always been ignorant of the things of God. All right, Israel was no different. God left them with their free will, of course. All right, come back to our text in the minute or two we have left. Here in chapter 1 again verse 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.” So, we’ve got the whole Twelve Tribes involved. The Ten under one King, the Two under another one.
“The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms…” I know most people immediately think that God told him to go to some house of prostitution and find one of the girls and marry her. No, that’s not what it’s talking about. What He’s really telling Hosea, who is living in Judah is – Go up to the Ten Tribes of Israel, because whoredom was their spiritual state already. They were steeped in idolatry! Hosea probably couldn’t have found a believing Jewish girl up in Israel. They were all steeped in idolatry. So, that’s the admonition. Not to go to a house of ill repute, but go up to Israel and find a woman or a girl that you can take to wife.
All right, so let’s set that to rest that all through the Book of Hosea the adultery that we’re talking about is spiritual adultery. Never forget that. And how God hates it! Can you blame Him? Here He is – the One God of Creation. He’s the God of miracles. He’s the God of power. He’s the God of love, the God of mercy, and the God who provides, coming back especially now to the Nation of Israel. Then they run to pagan idols of wood and gold and silver and stone that have nothing of what the true God has! It’s just unbelievable.