Gosh! There are so many blogs on the internet…who really reads all these blogs? I checked out a couple on WordPress…they were okay…I could really use a truly FUNNY blog…just haven’t read one yet.
Since this is a spiritual blog for me, I really want to talk about a pet peeve of mine which has to do with certain phraseology I’ve encountered even from smart, learned men and women about God and about the Old Testament.
I have what’s called a “Spirit-Filled” Bible, which my former pastor and his family gave me for my birthday one year. It’s an awesome Bible and is one of several Bibles that I use but this one I use most of the time because it does have great commentary.
However, sometimes, the commentary is not so great, but I’d give it an “eight” for commentary quality. One commentary in particular really missed the mark, in my opinion.
I had been debating about combining Torah studies (so called because the word Torah means “instruction”) with New Testament studies in some kind of organized way. Most of the messianic congregations that use the traditional Torah portions for their weekly/daily scripture studies, follow the suggested portions for the New Testament as well.
However, I’m not very satisfied with the organization of this and found out how annoying this can be if you are expecting something that actually correlates with the O.T. passage.
Such is the case with Hosea. I started reading Hosea because every once in a while I like to read a short prophetic book because I know those minor prophets are usually easy reads and are compact in their message. It’s not like Isaiah who can get complicated and you want to know the historical background. It gets very involved for me at a time when my retail schedule doesn’t allow me much meditation time.
Hosea is really cool, because what you learn from the outset is that his LIFE is prophetic. It starts out like this.
2 When the LORD began to speak by Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea: “Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry
And children of harlotry,
For the land has committed great harlotry
By departing from the LORD.”
So right away you know that something unusual is about to happen. Hosea is going to act out a prophetic message from the Lord. Something I always wonder. Who all “sees” this message? I guess word got around back then, albeit, without Facebook and texting and Twitter and the internet in general or TV or Radio….etc. etc.
In Chapter 2, Yahweh says (vs11) “I will cause also her mirth to cease,
Her feast days,
Her New moons,
All her appointed feasts.”
Some in body of Messiah today would say that this indicates the “passing” of the old testament law and how Messiah showed us a “new way” when He was crucified on the cross. To such I would say,”not so needlenose!” I would say,”yes, we have a better way for salvation”, but, no, He did not do away with prophetic feasts and the weekly day of rest. Those are there to teach us and to prepare us for the last days.
Yahweh does “rearrange” Israel’s furniture though. When they came to sit down on their “couch”, it wasn’t where they thought it should be. (That has happened to some of you, I hope). My husband loved to rearrange furniture and I thought he had a talent for that. He’d do it all in one night and the next day, if i went to where the couch was, I might sit on the table!
Now God’s taking away of mirth, feasts, new moons, etc., was much more devastating than rearranging furniture, but the point is, He took it away because He wanted to uncover her LEWDNESS!
(Hosea 2:10)And now will I discover her lewdness
in the sight of her lovers,
and none shall deliver her out of mine hand.
Oh my! And He will do that to any servant or people of the Lord that are impersonating as His children by acting “nice” on the outside, but “perverted” on the inside. You see it with big name ministers all the time. Not to pick on Jim Bakker, but one week, he’s on TV and the next, he’s in jail. The cushions on a TV set are softer than the bunk in a jail cell I’m sure.
Now Jim has repented and written a book and been forthcoming. The point is, judgment was severe in his case, and his soul was saved! Hallelujah! That’s the extent that God will go to for us! Praise His name!
In chapter 7, we read that what God wanted to do was heal Israel, but they never considered their hearts. (vs. 1 & 2). They are ALL adulterers! Pretty sad (vs 4).
Anyway, there are words and words upon words that God uses to describe the situation with His people. It’s very bad, because Shalmaneser V of Assyria destroyed Samaria, the capital of Israel, in 722 BC. The Assyrians deported citizens of Israel and brought captives from other areas to resettle Samaria. Hosea died in 724 B.C. which meant he died before the deportation happened.
The publishers of the Spirit-filled Bible use Jesus’ comments in Matthew 9:13 and compare it with Hosea 6:6, where Hosea says, “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings”.
The word “zabach”, or sacrifice, is referencing “bloody sacrifice”. And the word “burnt offerings” references the idea of “drawing near”. God has told the Israelites in Psalms and Hosea that just offering the sacrifices and ignoring obedience does not please God. Drawing near to God and not receiving His knowledge, is also not pleasing to Him either. When we draw near to God, we should learn of Him by allowing Him to impart Himself to us.
But the commentators say, on this verse: “Jesus…quotes Hosea to show that God desires not words or heartless rituals but genuine care and concern for people.”
When I first read this, my mind automatically went to what I had been taught. “All the rituals that Jewish people do are heartless rituals”. Do we not see a problem with this? Technically, this may not be the emphasis here, but it appears to be. Rituals themselves are not “heartless”, but can be “heartless” when done without the heart.
Maybe you aren’t this way, but it has been ingrained in me from so many good teachers of scripture that have been taught that the church has replaced Israel. I’ve also heard it from many not so prophetic ministers that missed the prophetic finger pointing to the fact that God’s feasts and Sabbath days are still relevant in supernatural gatherings of God’s people.
We’ve forgotten the words of God from Mt. Sinai to Moses: Remember the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain.” That’s the same God that said, “This is My Beloved Son, Listen to Him!”
The scripture that the commentators referred to was where Jesus and His disciples were eating on the Sabbath or rather picking grain. Jesus knew the Torah better than anyone. What we have to learn as “messianic” believers is to listen to Jesus’ interpretation of of the Torah and as charismatics, is to understand that Jesus was the living Torah and perfectly obeyed God’s commands! He wasn’t using situational ethics!
We have much to be thankful that the Jewish people have kept the Sabbath and kept the feasts as best they could. We have much to be thankful that we have the scriptures meticulously transcribed by men who preserved the message that was delivered to us. “In these last days, God has spoken to us by His son.”
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and pray that Jerusalem will be a praise in the earth! For the law will go forth from Zion and word of the Lord from Jerusalem!