The Book of the Twelve

The Book of the Twelve

The sermon is based on scripture from Hosea 2 & 11 (CEB)

Hosea 2 (CEB)

Proclamation of wrongdoing

[a] Say to your brother, My People, and to your sister, Compassion:

Level a charge against your mother; plead with her!
    She is not my wife,
        and I am not her husband.
    Let her remove prostitution from her presence,
        and adultery from between her breasts,
    or else I will strip her naked
        and expose her as on the day she was born.
    I will make her like a desert,
        and turn her into a dry land,
        and make her die of thirst.
I will also have no compassion on her children
        because they are children of prostitution.
Their mother has played the prostitute;
        she who conceived them has behaved shamefully.
    She said, “I will seek out my lovers;
        they give me my bread and my water,
        my wool and my linen cloth, my oil and my drink.”

Divine correction

Therefore, I will line her path with thorns;
        and I will build a wall against her,
        so that she can’t find her paths.
She will go after her lovers,
        but she won’t catch up with them;
    she will seek them,
        but she won’t find them.
    Then she will say,
        “I will return to my first husband,
        for I had it better then than now.”
She didn’t know that I gave her
        the corn, the new wine, and the fresh oil,
    and that I gave her much silver,
        and gold that they used for Baal.
So now I will take back
        my corn in its time,
        and my wine in its season;
    and I will take away my wool and my linen cloth,
        which were to cover her nakedness.
10 Now I will uncover her nakedness
        in plain view of her lovers,
        and no one will rescue her from me.
11 I will end all her religious celebrations,
        her festivals, her new moons, her Sabbath days,
        and all her sacred seasons.
12 I will destroy her vines and her fig trees,
    of which she said,
    “These are my pay,
        which my lovers have given to me.”
    I will change them into a forest,
        and the wild animals will eat them.
13 I will punish her for the days dedicated to the Baals,
        when she offered sweet-smelling sacrifices to them
        and dressed herself up with rings and jewelry,
        and went after her lovers,
        and forgot me, says the Lord.

Promises: restoration and covenant love

14 Therefore, I will charm her,
        and bring her into the desert,
        and speak tenderly to her heart.
15 From there I will give her vineyards,
        and make the Achor Valley a door of hope.
    There she will respond to me as in the days of her youth,
        like the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.

16 On that day, says the Lord, you will call me, “My husband,” and no longer will you call me, “My Lord.” 17 I will take away the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they will not be mentioned by name anymore. 18 On that day, I will make a covenant for them with the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the creeping creatures of the fertile ground. I will do away with the bow, the sword, and war from the land; I will make you lie down in safety.

19 I will take you for my wife forever;
    I will take you for my wife in righteousness and in justice,
        in devoted love, and in mercy.
20 I will take you for my wife in faithfulness;
        and you will know the Lord.

21 On that day I will answer, says the Lord.
        I will answer the heavens
        and they will answer the earth.
22 The earth will answer the corn, the new wine, and the fresh oil,
        and they will answer Jezreel;
23 I will sow him for myself in the land;
        and I will have compassion on No Compassion,
        and I will say to Not My People, “You are my people”;
        and he will say, “You are my God.”

Hosea 11 (CEB)
Divine love

11 When Israel was a child, I loved him,
        and out of Egypt I called my son.
The more I called them,
        the further they went from me;
    they kept sacrificing to the Baals,
        and they burned incense to idols.
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.
I led them
        with bands of human kindness,
        with cords of love.
    I treated them like those
        who lift infants to their cheeks;
        I bent down to them and fed them.

Divine frustration

They will return to the land of Egypt,
        and Assyria will be their king,
        because they have refused to return to me.
The sword will strike wildly in their cities;
        it will consume the bars of their gates
        and will take everything because of their schemes.
My people are bent on turning away from me;
        and though they cry out to the Most High,[a]
        he will not raise them up.

Divine compassion

How can I give you up, Ephraim?
        How can I hand you over, Israel?
    How can I make you like Admah?
        How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
    My heart winces within me;
        my compassion grows warm and tender.

Israel’s and Judah’s responses

I won’t act on the heat of my anger;
        I won’t return to destroy Ephraim;
    for I am God and not a human being,
        the holy one in your midst;
    I won’t come in harsh judgment.
10 They will walk after the Lord,
        who roars like a lion.
        When he roars,
        his children will come trembling from the west.
11 They will come trembling like a bird,
        and like a dove from the land of Assyria;
        and I will return them to their homes, says the Lord.
12 [b] Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,
        the house of Israel with faithless acts;
        but Judah still walks with God,
        and is faithful to the holy one.

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