Bible Commentaries
Hosea 13

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-16

  1. Intro:
    1. Story - Lady in Pout-au-Prince airport.
      1. Anthropologist degree from Berkley. Lives in Cambridge Mass.
        Now an artist & writer. Nominal Catholic. And was appalled at my bringing my “American Jesus & American Gospel” to try to change the Haitian culture?” They are just little spirits under one big God. Christianity is so narrow-minded.
      2. God is a Jealous God!(He wants no other Gods before him)
      3. I told her you can’t even hold to your 1st commandment “no other gods before me”.
      4. After an hour a young girl who sat down beside me asked if she could interrupt, said one statement. And the Haitian lady stood up & said, “that makes sense, you should use that next time” & she left!
    1. ATTITUDE! (1-3)
      1. Ephraim was a great tribe(Gen 48:10-20 – Jacob blesses Eph. & Man. But does the hand switch, rt hand on Eph the younger).
      2. But now Ephraim would become like the clouds, dew, chaff, & smoke …i.e. as nothing!
        1. “Like” comes up 17 times in these 2 chapters.
    2. INGRATITUDE! (4-11)
      1. Q: How is our culture today as far as gratitude?
      2. Starbucks this morning – Playing “Frosty the Snowman” 7 days before “Thanksgiving”! – Can’t we wait till at least the day after Thanksgiving, with the decorations & the music.
        1. ​​​​​​​I thought, why don’t they play thanksgiving songs?...Wait, there isn’t any secular songs of thanks! (is there?)
      3. God would be to the people “like”: a hungry lion; a stalking leopard; & a fuming bear!
      4. He saved them from Egypt. He could have very easily saved them from Assyria.
        1. But they trusted their wealth, their kings & their foreign policy!
      5. They were “material filled” & thus filled w/pride!
        1. In Prov.30 Agur prayed that he wouldn’t be so full so as to deny the Lord; nor so poor that he would be tempted to steal.
        2. Deut.32:15 “But Jeshurun(Israel, “the upright one”) grew fat(prosperous) and kicked(like an animal kicks, here referring to at God! Mule/toby); You grew fat, you grew thick, You are obese! Then he forsook God who made him, And scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation.”
        3. Prosperity is often a more dangerous trial than adversity.
      6. Therefore they forgot me – unmindfulness of God.
    3. (10,11) God didn’t want them to have a king, He wanted to be king over them. – But wasn’t he sovereign to stop this?
      1. Westminster Confession ch.3 starts out, “God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:”
        1. If he is not sovereign over all things, then he is not God at all.
      2. It continues after the colon: “yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.”
        1. By God ordaining all things, He does it in such a way that doesn’t annihilate human decisions or the forces of nature. Yet at the same time the sovereign of God stands over every human event. (R.C.Sproul)
        2. Does God ordain tragedies or calamities(like 911)…Yes!
        3. Even if this ordination is by mere “permission”, for God to “let things happen”, He is choosing to allow them.
        4. Why He ordained it(we don’t know) & this is where we must be careful. (i.e. God’s judgment on America?)
      3. In our limited parenting skills we sometimes have let the child touch the “hot” object after the warning. – Or instead of moving the objects gave the swat when they touched it after the warning.
        1. God’s parenting skills are not limited. In fact they are perfect w/every individual, every creature, with nature, & with the unseen realm…all together, at the same time, all the time!
        2. He uses good & evil to accomplish His bidding.
        3. The worse evil man ever did, was ordained by God Himself, “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;”
    4. RUIN! (12-16)
    5. (13) The procrastinating nation was compared to a baby that wouldn’t come out!
      1. (NIV) “Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him, but he is a child without wisdom; when the time arrives, he does not come to the opening of the womb.”
      2. Six-year-old son, Alex, was looking at a picture of himself when he was one week old. Upon seeing his umbilical cord still attached in the picture, he asked, "What is that black thing on my belly button?" His eight-year-old sister, Maria, quickly replied, "That's your extension cord!"
      3. It’s fascinating to see people wearing American T-shirts even when they didn't know what the words mean. One missionary saw a man wearing a pink shirt with an arrow pointing to his tummy with the words: "Baby on board."
        1. ​​​​​​​Here was a baby on board that wouldn’t get off board!
    6. (14) 1 Cor.15:55 "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" (follows the LXX quote)
    7. (15) Fruitful – (Ephraim = doubly fruitful)
      1. Twice fruitful would be fruitful no more.
    8. (16) What a contrast to Jesus statement in Jn.4:4 regarding Samaria, “He needed to go through Samaria.” (i.e. To meet who? the woman at the well)
      1. Result? “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all that I ever did." So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days.”
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Hosea 13". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.