Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 70
LO-AMMI – NOT MY PEOPLE – PART 4
Now again, we’re going to go right back into where we left off. We were in Hosea in chapter 1 the last verse. Jerry’s got chapter 2 verse 1 up on the board, but I want to go back to chapter 1 verse 11 for just a little bit, because I didn’t quite finish my next reference that I wanted to use at the end of the last program.
“Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” Or the day of their joy and restoration, as, of course, the Valley of Megiddo can be a beautiful, beautiful setting.
All right, now the key word here that I want to follow up on is, they shall come up and be gathered together and they will be one head, or one nation. All right, come back with me a few pages in your Old Testament to Ezekiel 36 and 37. Let’s look at chapter 36 first, and then we’ll slip right into chapter 37. Again, remember that this is all written about 575 BC. We’re seeing the fulfilling of it right before our eyes. Ezekiel 36 and drop down to verse 24. God says:
“For I will take you from among the heathen, (That is like we mentioned in the other program, every nation on the planet has had communities of Jews.) and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land.”
Now, what I can’t comprehend is how even the most biblically illiterate can forget the fact that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. And goodness sakes, where was Bethlehem? In present day Israel. All the Old Testament events that take place, where in the world were they? In Africa? In Europe? In the Orient? No. It all took place in what’s present day Israel. How can people be so ignorant of that? I can’t comprehend it.
The last 3,000 years Israel has been associated especially with that little neck of land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. And then they have the slightest idea they have no business being there? If anybody has been there from time immemorial, it’s the Jew. All right and here it is. Even though God took them out and scattered them into every nation under heaven, the same God is going to bring them back. And He has! Miraculously!
I have to share with people over and over. Do you realize what a miracle it is that the Jews have even survived as a defined people? My, with just a one tenth of one percent of the world’s population, you’d think they would have been assimilated and simply disappeared. But they didn’t! Here they are. They still practice the old Jewish customs of Passover and Purim, as we looked at in the Book of Esther, and Hanukkah. Well land, that isn’t a phenomenon of the last ten or fifteen years. It goes back centuries.
All right, skip over another page to Ezekiel 37 and remember why I came back here. The verse in Hosea said that God will bring them up out of the land and make them under one head. No longer a split nation, they’re going to be one. All right, Ezekiel 37 and let’s drop in at verse 11.
This is after the “dry bones.” You all know that one. How the dry bones begin to shake and rattle, and they finally come together, and flesh comes upon them. Well, it’s a picture of the Jew coming out of their captivities, or out of their dispersion rather, from every nation under heaven. All right, now verse 11, and you’d be surprised how few church people understand this. They think it’s anything but what it really is.
“Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones (in this symbolism) are the whole house of Israel: (Not just ten tribes, not just two, but all twelve) behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.” Because they’ve been out of their homeland for so long. They’ve been without their capital city Jerusalem. And that’s another point. For hundreds of years what has been the cry of the Jew? Next year – what? Jerusalem! Next year, Jerusalem!
You remember back in the Six-Day War when the Israeli soldiers finally captured the Temple Mount. I’ve got a picture at home someplace where those young Israeli troops were crying like babies because they were at the Wailing Wall. Something that I imagine their parents and grandparents had told them about, and there they were at the Wailing Wall. Victorious! But, oh, look at verse 12.
“Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the LORD God; Behold, O my people, (Now remember in Hosea – God said, you are not My people. But now they’ve come full circle and again God can say–) I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.” Now, the best illustration of that is when the Soviet Union fell apart. What were the Jews able to do? Go back to their homeland. By the thousands! Yes, by the millions. I think back in 1990, 91, and 92, almost two million Jews came from Russia down into Israel. How did it happen? God opened the door! So, he says:
“…I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, (That is, your dwelling places among the Gentiles.) and bring you into the land of Israel.” It’s a God-thing, Beloved! It wasn’t their own initiative. God did it. Verse 13:
“And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves.” Now, come down to verse 16.
“Moreover, (God tells Ezekiel to write.) thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, (That is representative) and for the children of Israel, his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, (which would stand) and for all the house of Israel his companions:” That is the Ten Tribes in the Northern Kingdom.
So, now here we have one stick representing the Southern Kingdom, Judah and Benjamin. The other stick is going to represent the Ten Tribes to the North. Now look what He tells them.
“And join them one to another into one stick; (Put them end to end. That’s all He’s telling them. This is symbolism. This is an illustration. Put these two sticks end to end.) and they shall become one in thine hand.” By a miracle of God. Now verse 18:
“And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not show us what thou meanest by these? 19. Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, Which is in the hand of Ephraim, (Again a reference to the Northern Kingdom) and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.”
In other words, fulfilling Hosea’s prophecy that the two Kingdoms would one day come up and be one and under one king, which, of course, will be a reference to the Messiah. All right, now come down to verse 21, because repetition is the mother of learning. And I don’t mind repeating.
“And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen,…” Now, watch that! Who will? God will! Did He? You’d better believe it! Because nations where there used to be large communities of Jews haven’t got a one. Not a one. Why? Because, through the heavy hand of God dealing with Israel’s tormentors, the Jews found their way to Israel. God did it!
You know, Iris and I are always reminded of the first time we went to Israel. Now, this is a long time ago. Israel was just coming up out of the ashes of the Six-Day War. Burned out tanks and trucks were everywhere. We were coming out of the dining room in one of the hotels in Jerusalem. A nice, well-dressed businessman type approached us. He said, “You’re Americans, aren’t you?” “Yeah.” He said, “What do you think of our little country?” I said, “Well, it’s just fabulous what God has done!” He says, “God didn’t have a thing to do with it.” I said, “What?” He said, “God didn’t have a thing to do with it.” He said, “We did it.” Well, I wasn’t going to argue there in a hotel lobby, but I sure would have liked to. No. They didn’t do it. God did it. Of course, He uses human instruments. We know that.
But, oh, the miracle of Scripture, here way back 600 BC God prompts Ezekiel to write that God will bring them out of every nation under heaven back to their homeland. And it’s been done, Beloved. That’s the proof of Scripture. That’s why we don’t have to back down. There isn’t another book on earth, you’ve heard me say it on this program, over and over – there is not another single book on earth that can make those kinds of statements, but this one does, and it proves itself. All right, one verse further, and then we’ll go back to Hosea, verse 21 again.
“…Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: (The Arabs’ land? No. It’s not what the Book says.) and bring them into their own land: 22. And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: 23. Neither shall they defile themselves anymore with their idols,…” But God says:
“…so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.” Now, let’s flip back to Hosea a minute and make a little headway. We’ll get into chapter 2 now verse 1. Now we’re going to see a little bit of the other side of the coin, if I get far enough. I may not make it. I don’t know. But anyway, we’re still going to see God dealing with their idolatry. Remember, that’s the whole symbolic picture of his marrying this woman who is referred to as a prostitute, but it was simply that she had been partaking of the adulterous worship of idols. Hosea brings her back down to Judah.
“Say ye unto your brethren, (That is to the Nation as a whole.) Ammi; (Which in the Hebrew meant my people.) and to your sisters, Ruhamah. (You’ve had pity.) 2. Plead with your mother, (that is the Nation) plead: for she is not my wife,…” Now remember, Jehovah is speaking.
“…neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms (Her idolatry) out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts; 3. Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.” What’s the picture of what God’s going to do with the Nation? They’re going to be made destitute. They’re going to be an embarrassment. All right, verse 4:
“And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms.” Or again idolatry. They continue to turn their back on the goodness of Jehovah and worship these stupid idols. A verse comes to mind. We’ve used it a long time ago. I haven’t used it now for quite a while. Go back a few pages to Jeremiah chapter 44. I mean, this just says it all.
This says it all. You know, like I said in the last program, I can’t help but draw a parallel between America today and Israel in these times of unbelief. We’ve been so blessed. Yet as a nation we are turning away from God more everyday. Maybe not into abject idolatry of wood and stone, but it’s a rejection of the things of God, that’s all. I don’t have to enumerate what they are. Look what our major denominations are doing with the Word of God. Unbelievable!
I had one lady write from Carolina, yesterday. She said, “Les, I’ve had it!” I’ve been telling her for years to get out of it. She said, “I’ve had it.” I’m not going to say what denomination. She said, “I’m out. I’m out. I’ve given up on them.” Well, praise the Lord a few are getting the idea. But see, here was the setting in Israel. Jeremiah 44 and drop down to verse 15. You’ll recognize it. We’ve used it before. I’ll probably use it again.
“Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods,…” What kind of men? A bunch of wimps! That right? A bunch of wimps. They knew better. But they just said, well, okay Honey, go ahead and worship your idol. Your idol has been pretty good to us, I guess. I can’t read it any other way. They permitted it. And by their permitting it, they encouraged it.
“…and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, (In other words, you’ve got all these foreigners already involved.) answered Jeremiah, saying, 16. As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, (or Jehovah) we will not hearken (or listen) unto thee.” Now, do you get their attitude? Can’t you just see them? These women with scorn in their eyes say – We’re going to listen to you? Are you kidding?
“But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven,…” Now, who’s the queen of heaven? Don’t tell me an angel. The queen of heaven was the female goddess of whatever culture they may have been – Astarte, Venus, and Diana of the Ephesians. Those were all female goddesses that were referred to as the queen of heaven.
“…and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: (Now, look at the next ridiculous statement. It’s no different today.) for then (While we were pouring out drink offerings to the queen of heaven, remember.) we had plenty of victuals, (or food) and were well, and saw no evil.”
“But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. (We’re destitute. We’re in trouble.) 19. And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink-offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink-offerings unto her, without our men?”
“Then Jeremiah said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people that had given him that answer, saying, 21.The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them, and came it not into his mind (did not the LORD bring it to mind)? 22. So that the LORD could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings,…” Ah, it’s pitiful. It’s pitiful, but the human race has always been such, I guess.
Back to Hosea chapter 2, let’s make a little headway today, anyway. Let’s hit verse 4 again and then into 5. God is speaking now through the prophet.
“And I will not have mercy upon her children; (That is of idolatrous Israel.) for they be the children of whoredoms. (Now again, that’s not physical sexuality, it is idolatry.) 5. For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.” Now, in the light of Jeremiah 44 I hope you are seeing it. Who were Israel’s lovers? The idols! You see that? Catch the symbolism. It’s their idols; their queen of heaven that they think is providing all their needs. Verse 6:
“Therefore, (God comes back) behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths. 7. And she shall follow after her lovers, (She will keep on worshiping her gods of heaven, queens of heaven, and the idols and so forth.) but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband;(Who was Israel’s first husband? Jehovah. Jehovah, the God of Abraham, see?) for then it was better with me than now.”
For (Jehovah says) she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for (Whom?) Baal.” The false god. My, isn’t it a wonder that God put up with them as much as He did?
“Therefore I will return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness.” In other words, all of the commodities that were necessary for communal life, God says, I’ll just take it away.) 10. And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers,…” Now again, where are they practicing these things? Before the idols. They’re bowing down before them.
When we were up in Northern Israel, they had just discovered the ancient worshipping place of Dan. You remember Dan was the first tribe of Israel that went into idolatry. When we were there several years ago, the Israeli antiquities had just discovered and uncovered the ancient worship place of the tribe of Dan. And that’s all it was, just a pagan place of worship. It’s so hard to comprehend that these Jewish people who had been brought about miraculously, and as we said earlier this afternoon, through the Red Sea, brought down to Sinai, brought into the Promised Land, with all the evidence of the God of Abraham around them constantly, yet they could go into such stark unbelief. I can’t comprehend it. I don’t think you can either.
All right, now I think I’m going to have a couple of minutes left. So, we come down to the place where God’s wrath is going to come to the full.
“I will also cause all her mirth (or her happiness) to cease, her feast days, (See, they’re still Temple worshipping.) her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. (They were still religious. Isn’t that incomprehensible?) 12. And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers (or my idols) have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.” Now, God says.
“And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, (In other words, the worship of Baal) wherein she burned incense to them (her idols), and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers (her idols), and forgot me, saith the LORD. 14. Therefore, behold, I will allure her, (In other words, I will woo her, God says, I will entice her.) and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.” And now, here comes the heart of God’s mercy.
“And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor (Which is a reference to the valley, of course, that first was judgment upon Akin. But on the other hand, it’s going to be a beautiful valley of production in the Kingdom.) for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. 16. And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; (That is, my husband – her spiritual.) and shalt call me no more Baali. 17. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. 18. And in that day I will make a covenant for them…”