Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Hosea II- Theological Scaffolding

Part II- Theological Construct
         Last Week we covered both some theological groundwork as well as some historical background to Hosea.
Hermeneutics- I want to talk briefly about hermeneutics as we look at the rest of Hosea today. Hermeneutics is the process we use to interpret the Scriptures. It is the way in which we do exegesis of the text. Exegesis is the process of determing the close meaning of the text. Sometimes these terms, exegesis and hermeneutics are used interchangeably. However, I think it more correct to think of hermeneutic as your over riding principle of interpretation and exegesis as the application. So, you could say that use a particular kind of hermeneutic in your exegesis as you prepare and preach the Bible.
         The most common hermeneutic to understand the Bible is the grammatico-historical method.
By this we mean to discover the grammar of the text. What do the words actually mean? How were those words used in their day? What is the best word to use in a translation?
Second, we seek to discover the historical context. I did some of that work last week as we looked at the times and circumstances of the Minor Prophets. We cannot accurately understand the text, the grammar, unless we understand the context, the history.
Other methods are the literal hermeneutic, where everything in the Bible is taken literally. Or historical criticism, where the Bible ends up being understood in relation to other ancient historical texts. These other texts may cast doubts on aspects of Scripture, even the very existence of the historical Jesus.
So, the grammatico-historical method is a good foundation on which to understand the Bible, but studying the Bible as if it were the supreme text from which we understand all other texts. This process uses other historical texts but holds them in subordination to the biblical text.
Another important hermeneutic to understand the Scriptures is a typological hermeneutic, or typology. Typology is a foreshadowing of future events that can only be fully understood when those events come to pass. We have a type, the original, and then the antitype when the thing comes to pass. Once the antitype appears, we can then look back at the prophecy or foreshadowing and gain meaning to that original text. These means that these old texts cannot stand alone without the antitypes.
Common Old Testament types are David is a type of High King, the antitype is the everlasting King, Jesus. Joseph is a type of Messiah, Jesus is the anti-type. Israel in the wilderness is a type, Jesus forty days in the wilderness is the anti-type. The 12 tribes is a type, the 12 apostles the anti-type. And so forth.
When we understand the types in light of the original type, we can see what the Spirit was pointing towards. The antitypes are always the fulfillment, or maturity of the types. The types meant something more than just David, Joseph or the 12 Tribes. The types meant that a great king will arise, a permanent Savior will arise, the 12 apostles will be the rulers of the Promised Land extended to the ends of the earth.
This sort of typological understanding was used extensively by the New Testament authors to explain God’s intent from the Old Testament. This is why we should be concerned about it and learn to read our Bibles in this way. Our march through the Minor Prophets will give us a lot of practice.
So, the method of Biblical interpretation that I am advocating is the grammatico-historical-typological hermeneutic.

Things Old and Things New
         Hosea 2:23 And I will sow her to me on the earth; and will love her that was not loved, and will say to that which was not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art the Lord my God.
         Romans 9:25,26 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
       In Hosea, right after saying that God would make them Not My People, he says that they will none the less be as the sands of the sea (echoing the promise to Abraham). They will come up and appoint themselves one head. And in the very place where it was said, not my people, they will be made sons of the living God. This living God is a pointed out particularly as opposed to those who served gods that were not alive.
         In Romans, Paul is talking about Israel being cut off from God’s blessing. He laments this but he explains that this cutting off means the approach of grace and mercy to the Gentiles, a greater glory.
         The argument culminates in Christ. They did not enter in because they did not have faith. That faith is now to be exhibited in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
         Rom. 9:30   What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.  31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.  32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;  33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
Matt 9:11-13- And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?  But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
In Hosea, the Lord is telling His people that He desires obedience. Jesus speaks this quote to the scribes and Pharisees who were upset that Jesus was eating with sinners. He had just called Matthew, the tax gatherer. He said that those who are sick need a physician, not those who are healthy.
He is saying two things to the scribes and Pharisees. 1. I desire that you be obedient to me and you are not. You are like the rebellions ones in the days of Hosea but refuse to see it. 2. These are sick and know it and so I heal them. You are sick and do not think you need a physician, so I will not heal you. Humble yourselves and then you can be healed. I have come for sinners but not for you, because you think yourself righteous.
We can infer from this the same warnings given by Hosea. Look out, self-righteous but wicked Israel, I will call you Lo-ammi, not my people.

Hosea 10:8 And the altars of On, the sins of Israel, shall be taken away: thorns and thistles shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.
         Luke 23:30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.
         In Hosea, this quote refers to the prophecy of the fall of Samaria, the center of the Northern Kingdom. The kingdom had been prosperous with great output of produce and industry. But they had forsaken Yahweh and had served the Baals and worshipped calves. Thus, God was brining judgment upon them from a foreign invader. That invader is the armies of Syria. This will be like hemlock in their fields. The idols at Aven will be destroyed. The people will be in extreme desperation. When that happens, the people cry out for final judgment. Let the hills fall upon us.
         In Luke, Jesus is being led to the cross and the women weep. He calls upon them not to weep for him but for themselves, for there is a coming destruction like that which occurred when Samaria fell. Then they will also cry out, Let the mountains fall on us and the hills cover us. This is a fairly obvious allusion to the coming destruction of Jerusalem for the exact same reasons that Samaria fell, covenantal unfaithfulness.

Hosea 11:1   When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
Matthew 2:14-15 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:  And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
In Hosea this refers to the Lord rescuing Israel out of Egypt under Moses. This is often a reminder to Israel of God’s faithfulness. If God can rescue from slavery in Egypt, then He is the ever faithful God.

In Matthew, it references Jesus being called from Egypt as the New Israel. Just as God was faithful to deliver His people from Egypt, He will rescue Jesus from Egypt and thus bring His people into the eternal Promised Land, the New Israel.

Hosea 13:14 I will deliver them out of the power of Hades, and will redeem them from death: where is thy penalty, O death? O Hades, where is thy sting? comfort is hidden from mine eyes.
         1 Cor. 15:54-57 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
         In Hosea, the meaning is that although the people will perish because of their sins, God can reach even beyond the grave. Where there is repentance, God is able to bring life where there is no life. He can save them from the sting of death.
         In Corinthians, Paul makes the specific application to Resurrection. Sin and Death have a hold of all men because all men sin and die. And yet, God is able to reach even beyond the grave and bring life where there is death.
         Because we have the victory in Jesus, God raises us up. We confess our sins and have faith in Christ. When we do this, God gives us new life. Furthermore, even though we continue to sin and die, God gives us comfort because there is repentance for sins and a looking with faith to the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ.
         Thus, the death that we deserved because of sin is swallowed up in the victory of Jesus.
         It is not all clear that Hosea is talking about the Jews of his day being Resurrected on the last day. He is talking about a Resurrection from the doom that has been determined against them. We see this with Ninevah when Jonah preaches to them. Though destruction is determined, God grants grace when there is repentance and there is new life, life from the dead.

         In Hosea, when he says comfort was hidden from my eyes, the meaning is that though God would forgive their sins upon their repentance, they continue in their insolence and rebellion. Therefore, God did not save them and they perished, they felt the penalty of death and the sting of Hades.

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