1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 2 The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and burning incense to idols. 3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. 4 I led them with cords of compassion, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one, who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them.
Many of you will notice that the first verse is quoted in Matthew as fulfilled by Messiah. We have already explained this on our other blog in the, Fulfilled in the New Testament posts.
The Plain reading of this verse is a memory that God had called Israel out of the land of Egypt to be His people. Like a bridegroom finding a suitable woman He called her. He took her from her slavery and set her free. God recalls gently leading his young bride, gently teaching her to trust, and respect her lover. He taught her to walk. He did not over burden her. He bent down to feed her. All indicating that God knew she was young and unready for the full responsibility of matrimony. But Israel did not know her God and lover. Instead of being grateful, instead of being faithful, by the time we get Hosea (about 600 years after the Exodus from Egypt) she has taken false lovers.
She prostituted herself both spiritually and literally, as these false gods what ever else they may have been they almost always were also fertility gods. Part of their worship would have been temple prostitution. Not to mention human child sacrifice to Molech, a.k.a. Kronos or Saturn.
5 They shall return to the land of Egypt, and Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to me. 6 The sword shall rage against their cities, consume the bars of their gates, and devour them in their fortresses. 7 My people are bent on turning away from me; so they are appointed to the yoke, and none shall remove it.
For this unfaithfulness they are to see their cities and fortresses destroyed. They will be taken captive to Assyria or will flee to Egypt. God in times past had made their burden light, but now it would be heavy, and there would never be a time when life will be easy again.
8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim! How can I hand you over, O Israel! How can I make you like Admah! How can I treat you like Zeboiim! My heart recoils within me, my compassion grows warm and tender. 9 I will not execute my fierce anger, I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come to destroy.
God explains how hard it will be to discipline His people. His love for them has not ceased. His heart is broken at the thought of having to be so cruel. They are going to be made like Admah and Zeboiim, neighboring cities of Sodom and Gomorrah [Gen. 10:19]. Like Sodom and Gomorrah they have completely disappeared for the archeological record. They were so utterly destroyed that no one is quite sure where these cities were located. But then God explains that He cannot bring Himself to utterly destroy them. Like a man deeply in love with an unfaithful wife, God is prepared to forgive. There is an interesting point that He will not destroy them because the Holy One is in their midst. They will not be lost to the sands of time. Their cities are still known. Their roads are still used. The people have disappeared into the surrounding countries, but they are still there.
10 They shall go after the LORD, he will roar like a lion; yea, he will roar, and his sons shall come trembling from the west; 11 they shall come trembling like birds from Egypt, and like doves from the land of Assyria; and I will return them to their homes, says the LORD. 12 Ephraim has encompassed me with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit; but Judah is still known by God, and is faithful to the Holy One.
He will save them, but they will tremble at the sound of His voice. It will be to them as a lions roar. But from Egypt and Assyria they will come back. So here the Bible indicates that the Ten Lost Tribes are still inside the former territories of Egypt and Assyria, they have never left but rather have acculturated into these now Muslim countries. Egypt is still Egypt, but the Assyrian Empire’s territory covered the modern countries of Lebanon, Syrian, Iran and Iraq. It will take a lions roar to separate them back out and send them back to their cities and towns.
All of this happened because The Ten Northern Tribes surrounded themselves with lies and deceit. Like the modern believers, where God is also often misrepresented. They were mixing Him with the pagan deities just as we have done. We know they worship Molech, and we know that his special day in the year was Dec 25th. They presented Ashtaroth as God’s wife or mother, just as many worship Mary. Nothing has changed, there is never anything new under the sun.[Eccl. 1:9]
These Ten lost Tribes have been lost for more that 2500 years. Yet our spiritual leaders have convinced God’s people that they can commit the same adulteress crimes, without any fear of reprisals from God. Yet over and over Messiah warned that he would throw the unfaithful servants into outer darkness, where there is pain and gnashing of teeth, and the worm doesn’t die. [Matt. 8:12; 13; 24:51; 25:30, Mark 9:42-50; Luke 12:41-48]
For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Rom. 11:21
But there was still the Southern Tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Simeon. They still remained somewhat faithful.
. . . but Judah is still known by God, and is faithful to the Holy One.
We must make sure that we are faithful servants. That we are doing what we were told to be doing when He returns. We were not told to adopt pagan ideas and traditions. We were told to make disciples. This is done by teaching the young and those new to the faith, truth not errors.