The book of Hosea is about intimacy and relationship with the LORD. The first instruction the prophet gets is to go and take a wife of prostitution. The first son of prostitution, Jezreel (in Hebrew means “God sows/scatters”) is the remnant of Israel, the captives scattered in Babylon. God says that He will inflict the punishment for blood on the house of Jehu (in Hebrew means “The LORD is He/Yah is He”), that is on Jesus our Savior and He says, “I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. On that day I will break the bow [of the military power] of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.” – Hosea 1:5. When the punishment for sins is put on the house of Jehu (represents Jesus Christ), the kingdoms of this world will still exist until Jesus comes again and utterly slays the beast and everyone who is not written in the Book of Life. Prophet Daniel spoke of this as the last kingdom, “…it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it will stand forever” – Daniel 2:44, also Daniel 7: “I kept looking until thrones were set up…The court was seated, and the books were opened…I kept looking until the beast was slain…And behold, on the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming…And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom” – Daniel 7:9-14. What is the meaning of this? God was the Husband to Israel, but Israel prostituted herself to idols, therefore, people were scattered, though they were still His sons, and God put the punishment on His only Son so that we would be transformed from the sons of prostitution to the true sons and receive our rightful inheritance, “…has not God chosen the poor of this world to be…heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” – James 2:5. God purposed to give us His Kingdom, for we are no longer children of prostitution, “Then the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints (believers) of the Most High; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom…” – Daniel 7:27.
The bow (kingdoms of this world) will be broken in the Valley of Jezreel. It is we who must fight and conquer the kingdoms, this is what the sons of Joseph said when they asked for greater lot: “The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who live in the valley have iron chariots, both those who are in Beth-shean and its towns and those in the Valley of Jezreel.” – Joshua 17:16. And this was the answer: “You are a numerous people and have great power; you shall not have only one lot, but the hill country shall be yours. For though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, even though they have iron chariots and though they are strong.” – Joshua 17:17-18. In God’s eyes we have great power to break the bow with Him and even defeat the iron chariots, the symbol of military power. But there was also a great defeat in the Valley of Jezreel, where Saul and his son died (1 Samuel 31). We are kings and priests unto God in Jesus Christ. The king Saul, though anointed, died in the valley. This is a warning to us and instruction to us. If we don’t want to die in the valley of scattering (without entering into and receiving our allotted inheritance), we must learn from Saul’s mistakes. This was the reason why he died, “…you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not execute His fierce wrath on Amalek…” – 1 Samuel 28:18. Amalek (in Hebrew means “dweller in a valley (that is, the world, who is against us for we are not of this world)”, also means “people that lick/wring”) were the first people who attacked the holy Israel right after God delivered them from the Pharaoh (Exodus 17). We will now see that the sin of Saul was refusal to rest. Amalek were the first people that wearied Israel, it was no longer easy for them to defeat Amalek, though God was with them: “Now when Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and when he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy and he grew tired. So they took a stone and put it under him…” – Exodus 17:11-12. Amalek attacked right after people of God murmured against Him and tested Him when there was no water to drink (Exodus 17, Massah and Meribah). Water here represents rest, just like Jesus was weary and came to the well in John 4 and asked the woman to give him water to drink, showing us the way to get replenished by Him: partaking of His living waters, the Holy Spirit. So it was unwillingness to rest that caused the people of Israel to fight with Amalek and become weary. Saul disobeyed in that he hasn’t utterly destroyed Amalek, neither killed “…both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” – 1 Samuel 15:3, but they spared that which was desirable and this was their excuse, “they spared the best of the sheep and oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God…” – 1 Samuel 15:15. But the prophet replies, “Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obedience to the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…He also has rejected you as king” – 1 Samuel 15:22. The sin of Saul was UNWILLINGNESS TO REST, for it is written, “Do not weary yourself to gain wealth; Cease from your own understanding of it” – Proverbs 23:4 and this is what Jesus Himself said, “…have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and yet are innocent? But I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. And if you had only known what this statement means, ‘I desire compassion, and not [animal] sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.” – Matthew 12:5-7. This He replies to them who accused His disciples of breaking the Sabbath, that is rest. Let us learn from the mistakes of Saul so that we are not the ones whose bow is broken in the Valley of Jezreel. It seemed that Saul was never willing to rest, even when he fought his enemies and the LORD was with him, he gave foolish order to observe a fast until the enemies would be destroyed and he wearied and exceedingly troubled the people: (Jonathan said) “My father has troubled the land [with his foolish curse]. See how my energy is restored because I tasted a little of this honey. How much better [it would have been] if only the people had eaten freely today from the spoil of their enemies…” – 1 Samuel 14:29-30. That day when the people defeated their enemies, they were so tired and hungry that sinned against the LORD by eating meat with blood. Saul also hasn’t kept his word, people interceded for Jonathan and he was delivered from death. After this it is written, “When Saul assumed control of the kingdom of Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side…” – 1 Samuel 14:47, it was not what you can call rest, isn’t it? People were supposed to drive the enemy out but also rest, for the promise was: “The Lord gave them rest [from conflict] on every side, in accordance with everything that He had sworn to their fathers, and not one of all their enemies stood before them [in battle]” – Joshua 21:44. So in the next chapter, 1 Samuel 15, God seeks to save Saul and the people from weariness and commands the king to destroy Amalek completely, which Saul hasn’t accomplished, therefore, people haven’t received the rest of God. God instructed king Saul from the very beginning he was anointed to wait 7 days, “You shall go down ahead of me to Gilgal; and behold, I will be coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. You shall wait seven days until I come to you and show you what you must do.” – 1 Samuel 10:8. Number 7 in Hebrew means completeness and rest. Also the seventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Zayin, which has numeric value 7 (in Hebrew letters have a number associated with them) looks like the letter Vav, which is the sixth letter and which represents a man, but with a crown on his head – it is no longer a man who has not entered the rest of God but ruler and victor. So, Samuel gave instruction of the LORD for king Saul to wait 7 days. When the Philistines gathered to fight Israel, Saul was waiting for Samuel but he had not come immediately when the 7th day began. This is what the prophet said, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord…the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not endure…” – 1 Samuel 13:13-14. We as kings of God must enter into the rest of God so that our kingdom will be established. Let us learn not to rely on our own strength because Saul wearied people when he chased the enemy and proclaimed a fast which troubled them but when he heard Samuel saying that the LORD has become his enemy, Saul said, “I will not eat”. Yet he had not kept his word, “…he was thoroughly exhausted because he had not eaten all day and all night…let me set a piece of bread before you, and eat, so that you may have strength…his servants together with the woman urged him, and he [finally] listened to them.” – 1 Samuel 28:20-23. Though he had eaten, he was given over to the enemy, just as the LORD said, but that day when people were troubled and fasted not according to God’s will they defeated the enemy for Immanuel was with them, but they could also be full of strength, had they entered into the rest of God, therefore they drank blood and life of animals when they were eating in a hurry instead of the living water of Jesus.
Back to Hosea. See what God says about prophet’s daughter, Lo-Ruhamah (in Hebrew means “not shown mercy”): “…I will have mercy on the house of Judah and will rescue them by the Lord their God, and will not rescue them by bow, sword, war, horses, or horsemen.” – Hosea 1:7. Judah means praise. When you are praising God you are walking in STRENGTH, victory and GLORY. You are not weary or tired when you praise Him and you don’t need a weapon of military power: “…they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands. When three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow, and they shouted” – Judges 7:19-20. Gideon and his 300 men didn’t have any weapon but torch and trumpet. Your trumpet is praise and your torch is His Light in your earthen vessel that should not stay covered. Victory is yours, for His Name is “The LORD is my Banner”, just like it was revealed to Moses in Exodus 17 when they defeated Amalek. What about conquest of Jericho by Joshua? 7 days and they did NOTHING but praise (Joshua 6).
Hosea’s next son is named Lo-Ammi (in Hebrew means “not My people”), yet God says, “…You are the sons of the living God.” – Hosea 1:10. Consider this carefully: the very first instruction to Hosea was to take an adulterous wife, this is the front issue with God, our relationship with Him. By the way, Hosea who represented the living Word was the son of Beeri and Beeri in Hebrew means “well of God”. Apostle explains in Romans 9 who are those sons and daughters of God, “Your descendants will be named through Isaac” quoting what God said to Abraham about the son born of the maid Hagar who was not his wife. Now let us look at Isaac and his only wife Rebekah. Abraham sent his servant Eliezer to seek a wife for his son Isaac and this is what the servant asked of God when he arrived at the place: “…let it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please, let down your jar so that I may [have a] drink,’ and she replies, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels water to drink’—may she be the one whom You have selected [as a wife] for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness (faithfulness) to my master.” – Genesis 24:14. Rebekah fulfills these things and the servant of Abraham puts a ring in her nose and two bracelets on her hands (Genesis 24:47), just as what her name means in Hebrew she became “secured” or “tied up”, and to us this may mean that we are betrothed to the LORD now with the bracelets on our hands which may signify power and authority of His Spirit by which He has sealed us because when we do something we do this with our hands. The sign Eliezer asked of God is prophetic to us, the Bride of Christ: we are to give Him drink of the living waters just as He said to the Samaritan woman by the well when being in His body on earth. By this He is saying that we must rest in Him, being replenished by His Spirit, for when we enter His rest we will never be tired or weary and we will also have more than enough to give away. Through Isaac your seed shall be named – this means that the sons of the living God will be sons of rest, sons of the Bride who is “secured”. By the way, what has Jesus said to the Samaritan woman by the well when she asked the living waters of Him??? Has he given right away? He certainly gave but this is what He said, “Go, call your husband and come back.” – John 4:16. God is first concerned with our intimate relationship with Him out of which we can receive rest. There is more that we can receive – we will be conquerors and will be triumphant (without weapon or military power), for this is the prophecy and blessing over Rebekah: “May you, our sister, become [the mother of] thousands of ten thousands, and may your descendants possess (conquer) the [city] gate of those who hate them” – Genesis 24:60. God promised to Abraham after he proved his faithfulness by willing to sacrifice his only son Isaac: “I will greatly multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies [as conquerors].“ – Genesis 22:17.
When God speaks about something first (wife of Hosea), this means very much to Him, therefore, let us sustain our relationship with Him as His Bride. He ends with saying that we are His rightful sons and daughters, not devoid of power and Glory, our inheritance.