December 21, 2022
Thank you for your continued support in prayer as we lift up our prodigals to God and pray for revival among us. Most often our prayers are birthed from our extremity, and this is precisely where God delights to meet us.
The Book of Hosea is rather strange because God asks something of this prophet that is both difficult and illustrative. His message was the same as his contemporaries Amos, Isaiah, and Micah: that the people needed to be loyal to their God, or else exile would come. At the same time, Hosea confirmed the ultimate restoration of God’s people.
God asked Hosea to marry the woman Gomer who would be unfaithful and who would have children with unpleasant names (Hosea 1). The purpose was to illustrate the unfaithfulness of God’s people and the resulting consequences of their behavior.
After the marriage and the children, Gomer left Hosea for a time and he sought after her with the purpose of bringing her back. This was exactly the heart of God towards Israel. He said, “I will make you my wife forever, showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion. I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as the LORD” (Hosea 2:19-20). How absolutely gracious of our God!
It is from this understanding that Hosea pens the words about Jesus, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt” (Hosea 11:1).
First, in the context of the prophecy, Hosea goes back to the roots of Israel when the nation was in Egypt and the relationship between God and Israel was like father and son.
When Moses was told to speak to Pharaoh, this was the message from God,
Then you will tell him, "This is what the LORD says: 'Israel is my firstborn son. I commanded you, "Let my son go, so he can worship me."'"
These people were not called just sons, but God’s firstborn son. This is a reference to the special place they had in His heart. They would forever be in the place of blessing and privilege.
As we think of ourselves in this beautiful relationship with our heavenly Father, it helps produce gratitude in our hearts that we are the children of God. We are the firstborn, purchased by the Passover Lamb, our Lord Jesus Christ.
For Israel, Egypt was a place of cruelty and bondage. For them to know that they were the children of God would have given them a very different perspective on their lives.
Israel was loved and called. God would not leave His people in bondage. He called them out. And by calling them, it meant He invested everything into their deliverance. He saved them by power and blood. This is what we appreciate about our own deliverance from sin.
The reference of Hosea 11:1 also pointed his audience forward to a future day, to an ultimate deliverance, which would come through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The New Testament reference that answers this prophecy is found in Matthew 2:13-15.
After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. "Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt."
God safely brought His one and only Son down into the foreign land of Egypt to protect Him there until Herod had died. He could have planned another way, but through this experience the prophecy of Hosea was fulfilled, and Jesus was called out of the land of Egypt.
As we anticipate the first coming of Christ, reflect on the hardship and difficulties this journey must have presented in His early years. Life wasn't easy for Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.
As you live through your Egypt experiences, remember that God loves you and calls you into closeness with Himself.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel