As When We Were Young Hosea 11.1-11
God : parent :: Israel : son • “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son” (11.1) • “Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son, and I told you, “Let my son go, so he may worship me.” But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son’” (Ex 4.22-23).
God : parent :: Israel : son • “It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms… I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love” (11.3a, 4a); • “By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people” (Ex 13.21-22). This was also the case all throughout those 40 years of wandering in the desert.
God : parent :: Israel : son • “I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them” (11.4b). • Food (Ex 16) • Manna • Quail • Water (Ex 17.1-7) • Changing a saltwater source into freshwater • Freshwater from a rock
Punishment of a Rebellious Son • ‘If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them, then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his hometown. They shall say to the elders of his city, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel will hear of itand fear’ (Deut 21.18-21).
Exile Foretold • “Swords will flash in their cities, will destroy the bars of their gates and put an end to their plans. [Because] My people are determined to turn from me” (11.6-7a; cf. 12.1). • ‘If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me, I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over. And I will bring the sword upon you to avenge the breaking of the covenant. When you withdraw into your cities, I will send a plague among you, and you will be given into enemy hands.… I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins (Lev 26.23-25, 33).
Exile Experienced • The Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them until the LORD removed them from his presence, as he had warned through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria, and they are still there. The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns (2 Kgs 17.22-24).
A Remnant Survives Exile • Moses • “‘Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God. But I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am the LORD’” (Lev 26.44-45).
A Remnant Survives Exile • Isaiah • “‘In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous. The Lord, the LORD Almighty, will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land (Isa 10.20-23).
A Remnant Survives Exile • Hosea • “‘They will follow the LORD; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves from Assyria. I will settle them in their homes,’ declares the LORD” (11.10-11).
Projecting into the New Testament
Prodigal Son • ‘And the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his slaves, “Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.” And they began to celebrate (Lk 15.21-24).