Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 70
ADULTEROUS ISRAEL TO BE RESTORED – PART 2
Hosea 2:14 – 4:14
This is our 16th anniversary of tapings. We started in October of 1990, so it’s been sixteen full years of tremendous blessings. Who would have ever dreamed? I just shared with my brother on the way up this morning; we can remember almost the place on the Muskogee Turnpike when Iris and I said, well, surely this won’t last more than six months. That’s what we really thought it would be, about six months and it would die a natural death, and then our television experience would be over. But here it is – sixteen years and the Lord just keeps on blessing.
Again, for all of you out in television, we want to welcome you to a simple Bible study. We try to keep it simple and yet hit some of the things that you normally don’t see and hear in Sunday school. Now, back to our study in Hosea; we’ll start in verse 1.
“Then said the LORD unto me,…” Now remember, when the word LORD is capitalized like this, it’s really Jehovah. I read a good article again the other day by a gentleman that I respect highly. He had all the reasons why the word LORD is Jehovah and Jehovah is Jesus Christ. He’s God the Son. All right, back to the text.
“Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend,…” Now you remember back in chapter 1, He said to go and get a woman. So, what we have here are two different attitudes. Instead of just simply claiming a girl for his wife, now he’s going to go back and win the wife that had left him to go back to her lovers. All right, so He says:
“…Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.” Now, I want you to go back to Jeremiah 44. You’ll see what I’m talking about. I might come back here again even later, before we get through Hosea. But Jeremiah 44 and let’s use verse 19, because I’m going to use some of the other verses later on. Now, this again is the response of idolatrous Israel.
“And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, (Now, that’s the female goddess, usually Astarte.) and poured out drink-offerings unto her, did we make her (What?) cakes…” Now, the better translation for flagons of wine would have been grape cakes. In other words, they actually took a grape-flavored cake and offered it on their altars to this female goddess. So, here’s where we get the comparison of Scripture, “did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink-offerings unto her,…”
All right, back to Hosea once again, chapter 3. These Israelites – now you’ve got to remember that when we speak of Israel, it’s the Ten Tribes to the North, but the prophet also includes Judah and Benjamin, so the whole Twelve Tribes come under these prophecies. All right, back to chapter 3 verse 1, again.
“…according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.” Grape cakes that were made of wine to be offered to these goddesses – verse 2.
“So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley: 3. And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; (Now remember, he’s talking to that who had once been his and had been lost, and he’s bringing her back.) thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I be also for thee.’”
Now of course, I think what’s implied here is that Israel was so steeped in idolatry all the way up until the Babylonian captivity. That cured her. I don’t think there’s any evidence that the Jews practiced idolatry after the Babylonian captivity. Now, they had a lot of other wicked acts and so forth, but not idolatry. For some reason or other, it cured them of idolatry!
All right, this is what he’s referring to. That she would come back for a time, and she’s going to completely be removed from idolatry, because that’s her return after she’s been out in that Babylonian captivity of 70 years. Now she comes back and is at least cured of the adulterous, spiritual adultery. Now God says, “And I will be also for thee.” All right, now here we come to verse 4, and this is prophecy in a veiled form.
“For the children of Israel (the Nation) shall abide many days (Now watch this carefully or you’re going to miss it.) the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:” The casual reader is going to miss all that. What are we talking about? They’re going to be bereft of all their Temple worship. They’re going to be out of the land. They’re going to have no formal ritual to keep them in touch with the God of Abraham.
All right, when did that all come about? In 70 AD, because what happened in 70 AD? The Romans came in and again they destroyed the Temple, but so much differently than when Nebuchadnezzar did it. When Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple, 70 years later the Jews came back and rebuilt the second Temple. And they went on again with their Temple worship, with their Priesthood, and their sacrifices; all the way up until the time of Christ’s first advent.
But, when Titus came in and destroyed the Temple and destroyed Jerusalem, and the Jews were scattered out into every nation under heaven, it’s been that way now for 1,900 and some years. They’re without a Temple. They’re without a priesthood. They’re without a prince. They’re without a sacrifice. They are destitute of any kind of a religious practice that will keep them in touch with the God of Abraham. All right, that’s what that one verse is telling you. All right, now what’s the first word of verse 5?
“Afterward…” Okay, now I’ve got my timeline on the board, coming out of the call of Abraham at 2000 BC, from Christ back to Abraham is about 2,000 years. All right, about 500 years after Abraham, we’ve got Moses, who brings the children of Israel out of Egypt down to Mount Sinai where they receive the Law.
Then another 500 years between Moses (and the appearance of the Priesthood and the Tabernacle) until we come to King David. Now, when King David appears, the Kingdom begins to expand and prosper. They start defeating all their enemies, and Israel reaches the glory that they had never had before. And even though Solomon increased it a little bit, that was the time of Israel’s glory. They still refer back to it.
Now, this is the way I teach. I can’t help it. Come back up with me to Acts. Then I’ll go back to my timeline. Acts chapter 1, the Lord has just completed His forty days after His resurrection. He’s been with the Eleven in that resurrected body. Now they are meeting on the Mount of Olives, and in a short order He’ll be ascending back to Glory. But now, in Acts chapter 1 verse 6–this is why I happened to think of it when I spoke of Israel’s glory.
“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, (In other words, the Eleven are asking the Lord Jesus a question up there on the Mount of Olives just before He ascends.) Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the (What?) the kingdom to Israel?” See, that’s Israel’s hope even today. If they have any knowledge of Scripture at all, they know the Messiah will still come and bring in this glorious kingdom promised to Israel.
Now, of course, the Eleven did not have the view of it as we can construct from Scripture. They merely knew that it would be a kingdom likened unto David’s and Solomon’s when Israel was the most glorious kingdom on earth. Now, have you got that?
Okay, now when you come back here to Hosea chapter 3, when we talk about “afterward” in verse 5, I want to come back to my timeline for a little bit. After King David and Solomon–like I said, Hosea and Isaiah are prophesying at about 700 BC. By 600 BC Nebuchadnezzar comes in and destroys the city and the Temple. He takes the Jews into exile for 70 years.
All right, after that they come back and once again restore Temple worship at about 400 BC. The Ezra Temple is rebuilt, and they continue on. I guess I’m jumping ahead of my timeline here, but after the Minor Prophets are finished, which will be from Hosea to Malachi; there are 400 years where Israel has not a word from God. Not through a prophet. Through nothing – until the angel appears first to Elizabeth on the birth of John the Baptist and then to Mary regarding the appearance of Christ.
All right, we call that His first advent, and the whole thrust of His ministry was what? To prove to Israel that He was that promised Messiah and King! My, I’m stressing it constantly. That was the purpose of all His miracles, to prove that He was this promised Messiah. All right, now let’s back up where, again, in Hosea chapter 3 verse 4, I’m going to read it again. “For the children of Israel…” The whole nation, not just the Two Tribes to the south, we’ve got all Twelve Tribes involved.
“For the children of Israel shall abide many days (Which we now know is over 1900 years.) without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, (Now see, that was all associated, I trust you know the language here, with the priesthood.) and without a teraphim. 5. Afterward shall the children of Israel return,…”
All right, now let’s go pick up some prophecy. Go back to Deuteronomy chapter 30. In all my teachings around the country for the last month in different cities, the first thing people were asking was, well, you know what’s happening in the Middle East? Where are we with regard to the end time? So, over and over, I would just say, “Well, let’s go back and see what Jesus meant when He said you can discern the signs of the weather–when the sky is red and so forth.” But what was the last part of that statement? “But you cannot decipher the signs of the times.”
All right, so what are our signs of the times? Prophecy. All right, here is the clearest one. I think it’s the one that is referred to back there in Hosea that we just read. Deuteronomy chapter 30 verse 1:
“And it shall come to pass, (Now remember, this is Moses 1,500 years before Christ. That’s 3,500 years back from our day.) when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind (Now, here’s the key, when they are where?) among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,” This would be when the Jews would find themselves scattered into every nation under heaven, none excepted. Even the Arab world had Jews in their midst. It wasn’t until about the turn of the century that they started getting forced out and back to their homeland.
But, at the time that verse 1 is speaking of, they were in every nation under heaven, none excepted. So, this is fulfilled to the last jot and tittle. But now look at the next verse. When Jews find themselves in every nation under heaven, then it wouldn’t be long until:
“And shalt return….” You see that? That’s exactly what Hosea says. After they’ve gone that long time without a Temple, without a priesthood, and without a sacrifice; afterward they’re going to come back. That’s the beauty of prophecy. And that’s the number one reason that we can rest that this is the Word of God, because Israel is back where prophecy intended them to be! No other book on earth can do that.
I was dealing with a Muslim young lady again the other day, and that was my number one point. I said, “Don’t you realize that our Bible foretold the Jews would be scattered all around the planet and then the day would come when they would be back in their homeland?” Against all the odds. But there they are! The Koran can’t do that. The book of Mormon can’t do that. Any other book of religion that you know of on the face of the earth can’t do that. This is the only one! But here it is. This was all in God’s providential design that that’s the way it would happen. And now here they are. They’re back in the land.
All right, let’s look at a few other verses that we use quite often. Jump up to Ezekiel, chapter 36 and my goodness it’s plain English. Even in the translation. It’s as plain as it can get. Ezekiel 36 verse 24, and I’ve got to wait until you find it. Otherwise my listeners will write and say, “Les you go to fast. I can’t find the Scriptures, I can’t write my notes.” Ezekiel 36 verse 24, where God again, the LORD God up in verse 23, The LORD God says:
“For I will take you (That’s Israel. That’s why I’m always emphasizing – to whom is this written? Well, it’s written to Israel, not to the Gentile world. So He says to Israel.) from among the heathen, and(Watch, the same language that Moses used in Deuteronomy.) gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.”
My goodness, there were Jews in Persia. There were Jews in Iran. There were Jews in Iraq. Not any more because they’ve all been pushed out. But before all this happened, there they were. My, I read again the other day that they found a Jewish Synagogue clear up in Northern Siberia where they had no idea a community of Jews had ever existed. In fact, a few of them were still there. They were scattered to the ends of the earth. Now, read on in verse 24.
“…and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” Now, isn’t that plain? Why can’t our government people see that? Why can’t the United Nations see that? Instead of trying to oppose, they should be working with God. But, you see, that would never happen. Things just wouldn’t work right, but nevertheless, here it is. God has spoken it, and we’re seeing it happen right before our very eyes.
Now, I think I’ve got time enough. I’m going to slip over into chapter 37. It’s been a long time since we’ve done this. I think way back when we first taught Genesis or someplace back there. We’ll just start at verse one. This is all prophetic; that we are seeing happen right before our eyes.
“The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,” Now remember, this is symbolism, just like we’ve been talking in Hosea. Ezekiel’s the same way. This is not a literal valley full of bones. It’s a symbolic valley. Verse 2
“And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many (bones) in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.” What does that mean? They’d been there a long time.
You know, if you drive across West Texas, and you look out over the prairie, you’ll see an old skull of a steer or something laying there. It is chalk white, and you know it’s been out in that old West Texas sun for years and years. The longer it lies there the whiter it gets. Well, that’s the bones in this valley. They’ve been there a long time. Now, in actuality, it has been over 1,900 years. The bones are representative of Israel out in the Gentile world without any of her homeland advantages.
“And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? (They’re chalk dry. They’re white as snow, because they’ve been out there for so long.) And I answered, O LORD GOD, thou knowest. 4. Again he said unto me, Prophesy (or speak) upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones;…” Now remember, they are representative of the Nation of Israel.
“…Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6. And I will lay sinews upon you, (That is upon these dry bones.) and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know (when they’ve been brought back to life) that I am the LORD. 7. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, (Now remember, this is all in symbolism.) and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them,…”
In other words, it’s a slow process, but the Nation is going to be reappearing, because that’s what we’re talking about now — the Nation of Israel coming back to life.
“And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. (No spiritual life.) 9. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, (In other words, from every corner of the planet.) O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.” Now, that’s all symbolism.
Bones that have been out there, symbolic of the Nation of Israel out amongst all the nations of the world, and God’s going to bring them nationally back to life by returning to the homeland. And we’ve seen it now for the last hundred years. Not that you’ve lived a hundred years, some of us almost. But nevertheless, we’ve been seeing it happen. Here they’re coming back home, and nothing can stop them.
My, I had an interesting phone call the other day. I said, “Man, I could talk to you for twenty-four hours.” He had been designated–he was fairly high Navel officer. After World War II he was given command to take his Navy cruiser and two troop ships. He was to go to a port in Greece, I think Thessalonica, and he was to load those two troop ships with escaping Jews and escort them back to Israel. And he was telling me this on the phone. My, I’ve only got a minute left. So anyway, he got it all done. Got those ships loaded with hundreds and hundreds of Jews on each one and escorted them down the Aegean and across the Mediterranean. And as he was approaching Israel from the West, the British Navy attempted to intercept him, which of course they’d been doing.
So, he fired a couple of shots across their bow and radioed them that if they wanted a fight try and stop him, because he’s going on. So, he sailed on into the Port of Haifa with his two shiploads of Jews. He said, “That was the biggest thrill I ever had in my life, to see those Jews embarking into their homeland.”
But see, it was against all odds that the Jews got back to their homeland. But they did! And you and I know every day’s news is a guarantee that God kept His Word. They’re back home. Oh, there are still two-thirds of them out in the rest of the world, mostly in America and Canada and so forth, but the prophecy has been fulfilled; that after being scattered into every nation under heaven, they’re back in their homeland. So, don’t ever buy the propaganda that they don’t belong there. They should never give up one foot of land. It’s theirs!