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A Heart For God: God's Plan for Israel in the End Times - Part 1

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

God's Plan for Israel in the End Times - Part 1

"Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Bring her into the wilderness, And speak kindly to her. Then I will give her her vineyards from there, And the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt." (Hosea 2:14-15)

I want to talk about God's plan for Israel in the end times. And especially using Hosea chapter 2.

And let me just speak of the book of the prophet Hosea for a moment to begin with.

The book of the prophet Hosea is an interesting book as Hosea's ministry is an odd one. It's the only way I can describe it. Do you know about Hosea? God asks him to marry a prostitute. (And you thought God asked you to do something hard in your life!)

The timing of this request of the Lord of Hosea is during the days of the northern kingdom of Israel and as they are estranged from God. (Hosea's ministry years are approximately 750-725 B.C. He is a contemporary of Isaiah.) It is at that time that God asks Hosea to marry a prostitute. And for the purposes of illustrating Israel's unfaithfulness to Him (the Lord) in that day. This is the reason why God asks Hosea to do such a thing.

And just so you get the full picture of the relationship of Hosea to his prostitute wife, I want to give you a quote from an author who writes about it this way...
Hosea's wife Gomer practiced unfaithfulness as a lifestyle [and during their marriage. And u]ltimately [Gomer] left [her husband] and their three children, to live with a series of other men. Yet Hosea continued to care for her. (Read that again for impact) Yet Hosea continued to care for her. (Teachers Commentary by Richards)
It's a picture of the care of the Lord (Hosea is) for those who turn their backs on Him. (Do you see it?) And as it is God who "causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matthew 5:45bc)

There are people away from Christ in my town and family (and your town and family) this very moment. (Is it you, too?) And yet they are still having their needs met. They have jobs. They have food on the table. They have money in the bank. They have healthy kids and grand kids. And other things are going well for them. And why is this the case with these who are away from Christ? It's not because the "gods" they're running after have any way of providing for them. Rather, it's because Jesus Himself is continuing to care and for those who've turned their backs on Him.

It's "the kindness of God [that] leads [people] to repentance," Paul writes. (Romans 2:4b)

Do you know somebody away from the Lord today? Pray for the chance to remind him or her about God's faithfulness and that it is He who is providing for them even though they'll have nothing to do with Him.

And so Hosea has this relationship with a prostitute as God has commanded him to. And Gomer (his wife), who's ultimately given to adultery during her marriage with her husband ~ she represents faithless Israel in the days of the northern kingdom long ago. Let me say it again: Gomer represents faithless Israel.

And Israel is "faithless" in our day, too.

I'll develop this more in "God's Plan for Israel in the End Times - Part 2" coming soon.

(For Part 2, click here.)

(Above picture under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license: HERE.)

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