Hosea 13:11

The historic reference of this passage is obvious. The Hebrew nation was properly a theocracy. God himself was their Lawgiver, Ruler, Leader, and Judge. But the people desired a king, that they might resemble the nations around them; and God, in condescension to their infirmities and in answer to their entreaties, gave them a king. The kings proved by no means an unmixed blessing. Many of the kings, both of Judah and of the northern dominion, led the people astray. Hosea addressed himself especially to Israel; and the chronicles of that nation show us how many evils followed upon the reign and power of their monarchs. Disasters and ruin came upon the tribes of Israel, and the inspired prophet well urged upon the people the question, "Where are your kings, to save and deliver you?" The principle involved in the appeal is one of general application.







I gave thee a king in Mine anger, and took him away in My wrath.
The Israelites seem to have asked for a king from an unthankful caprice and waywardness. The ill conduct of Samuel's sons was the occasion, an "evil heart of unbelief" was the cause. To punish them, God gave them a king "after their own heart." There is, in true religion, a sameness, an absence of hue and brilliancy, in the eyes of the natural man. Samuel had too much of primitive simplicity about him to please the Israelites; they felt they were behind the world, and clamoured to be put on a level with the heathen. Saul had much to recommend him to minds thus greedy of the dust of the earth. He was brave, daring, resolute; gifted, too, with strength of body as well as of mind. Both his virtues and his faults were such as became an Eastern monarch, and were adapted to secure the fear and submission of his subjects. Samuel's conduct in the national emergency is far above human praise. Personally qualified Saul was for a time a prosperous king. But from the beginning the prophet's voice is raised both against the people and king in warnings and rebukes, which are omens of his destined destruction, according to the text. Here, then, a question may be raised — Why was Saul thus marked for vengeance from the beginning? The question leads to a deeper inspection of his character. The first duty of every man is the fear of God — a reverence for His Word, a love of Him, and a desire to obey Him. Now Saul lacked "his one thing." He was never under the abiding influence of religion, however he might be at times moved and softened. What nature made him, that he remained, without improvement; with virtues which had no value, because they required no effort, and implied the influence of no principle. There was a deadness to all considerations not connected with the present world. It is his habit to treat prophet and priest with a coldness, to say the least, which seems to argue some great internal defect. We have no reason to believe, from the after history, that the Divine gift at his anointing left any religious effect on his mind. The immediate occasion of his rejection was his failing under a specific trial of his obedience, as set before him at the very time he was anointed. There was no professed or intentional irreverence in Saul's conduct. He outwardly respected the Mosaic ritual. But he was indifferent, and cared for none of these things. From the time of Saul's disobedience in the matter of Amalek, Samuel came no more to see Saul, whose season of probation was over. He finishes his bad history by an open act of apostasy from the God of Israel. He consulted the sorceress at Endor. Unbelief and wilfulness are the wretched characteristics of Saul's history — an ear deaf to the plainest commands, a heart hardened against the most gracious influences.

(J. H. Newman, B. D.)

You were so set upon it, that you would have a king; if you will, take him, saith God, and take him with all that shall follow after. So that it was (as one speaks) rather from an angry God than from an entreated one. Saul and Jeroboam were both given in anger.

1. God may have a hand in things wherein men sin exceedingly.

2. Things that are evil may yet have present success.

3. God's gifts are not always in love. Take heed of immoderate desires for any worldly thing.

I. HOW WE MAY KNOW THAT WHAT GOD GIVES IS IN ANGER, NOT IN LOVE. It is a very hard thing to convince men, if they have their desires satisfied, that it is rather from anger than love. Men are so well pleased with the satisfying of their desires that they can be very hardly convinced but that God intends good to them in it

1. When you desire a gift, rather than God in it. When your desires are for the gift rather than the Giver, you can have no comfort that there is love in it.

2. When our desires are immoderate and violent.

3. When God grants men their desires before the due time. They have what they would have, but they have it not in God's time.

4. When God grants us what we would have, but without the blessing. He grants the thing, but takes away the blessing of the thing, He takes away the comfort and satisfaction of it. "They shall eat, but they shall not be satisfied."

5. When that which we desire is merely to satisfy our lusts. We do not desire such and such things that by them we may be fitted for the service of God.

6. When men are so eager that they care not whether the gift comes from a reconciled or a provoked God; it is all one to them (Numbers 11.).

7. When God regards not our preparation for a mercy. Carnal hearts take no great care themselves of it. Let me have it, say they, our fitness matters not. It is your sin and wickedness not to regard the preparation of your hearts for what you have, and it is God's judgment to give it to you before you are pre pared. A gracious heart, when it would have a mercy, is as careful to get the heart prepared for the mercy as to obtain it.

8. When we rest on the means we use, and seek not God by prayer.

9. When God gives us our desires, but not a sanctified use of them. When God gives you the shell, but not the kernel, surely it is not in love. All the good things that wicked men have, are but shells without kernels.

10. When a secret curse attends what we have.

11. When we regard not what becomes of others, so we have our wants satisfied.

12. When God, in satisfying our desires, makes way for some judgment.

13. When men are greedy of things to the disregard of results; when they would have their desires satisfied in a foolish way, never minding what inconveniences may follow, but merely looking to their present comfort.

14. When men seek to have their desires satisfied, merely because they love change.

15. When our desires of further mercies make us forget former mercies.

16. When men desire new things out of mistrust of God.

17. If we seek to attain our desires by unlawful means.

(Jeremiah Burroughs.)

The flying fish, says the fable, had originally no wings, but being of an ambitious and discontented temper she repined at being always confined to the water, and wished to soar into the air. "If I could fly like the birds," said she, "I should not only see more of the beauties of nature, but I should be able to escape from those fish which are continually pursuing me, and which render my life miserable." She therefore petitioned Jupiter for a pair of wings, and immediately she perceived her fins to expand. They suddenly grew to the length of her whole body, and became at the same time so strong as to do the office of a pinion. She was at first much pleased with her new powers, and looked with an air of disdain on all her former companions; but she soon perceived herself exposed to new dangers. While flying in the air she was incessantly pursued by the tropic bird and the albatross, and when for safety she dropped into the water, she was so fatigued with her flight that she was less able than ever to escape from her old enemies the fish. Finding herself more unhappy than before, she now begged of Jupiter to recall his present; but Jupiter said to her, "When I gave you your wings I well knew that they would prove a curse; but your proud and restless disposition deserved this disappointment. Now, therefore, what you begged as a favour keep as a punishment."

(Evenings at Home.)

Egypt, Samaria
Anger, Angry, Kings, Wrath
1. Ephraim's glory vanishes.
4. God's anger.
9. God's mercy.
15. The judgment of Samaria.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Hosea 13:10-11

     5370   kingship, human

Destruction and Help
'O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in Me is thine help.'--HOSEA xiii. 9 (A.V.). 'It is thy destruction, O Israel, that thou art against Me, against thy Help' (R.V.). These words are obscure by reason of their brevity. Literally they might be rendered, 'Thy destruction for, in, or against Me; in, or against thy Help.' Obviously, some words must be supplied to bring out any sense. Our Authorised Version has chosen the supplement 'is,' which fails to observe the second occurrence with 'thy
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Letter xxxvi (Circa A. D. 1131) to the Same Hildebert, who had not yet Acknowledged the Lord Innocent as Pope.
To the Same Hildebert, Who Had Not Yet Acknowledged the Lord Innocent as Pope. He exhorts him to recognise Innocent, now an exile in France, owing to the schism of Peter Leonis, as the rightful Pontiff. To the great prelate, most exalted in renown, Hildebert, by the grace of God Archbishop of Tours, Bernard, called Abbot of Clairvaux, sends greeting, and prays that he may walk in the Spirit, and spiritually discern all things. 1. To address you in the words of the prophet, Consolation is hid from
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

The Joyous Return
"When God's right arm is bared for war, And thunders clothe his cloudy car." e'en then he stays his uplifted hand, reins in the steeds of vengeance, and holds communion with grace; "for his mercy endureth for ever," and "judgment is his strange work." To use another figure: the whole book of Hosea is like a great trial wherein witnesses have appeared against the accused, and the arguments and excuses of the guilty have been answered and baffled. All has been heard for them, and much, very much against
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

"For if Ye Live after the Flesh, Ye Shall Die; but if Ye through the Spirit do Mortify the Deeds of the Body, Ye Shall Live.
Rom. viii. s 13, 14.--"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." The life and being of many things consists in union,--separate them, and they remain not the same, or they lose their virtue. It is much more thus in Christianity, the power and life of it consists in the union of these things that God hath conjoined, so that if any man pretend to
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

How a Private Man must Begin the Morning with Piety.
As soon as ever thou awakest in the morning, keep the door of thy heart fast shut, that no earthly thought may enter, before that God come in first; and let him, before all others, have the first place there. So all evil thoughts either will not dare to come in, or shall the easier be kept out; and the heart will more savour of piety and godliness all the day after; but if thy heart be not, at thy first waking, filled with some meditations of God and his word, and dressed, like the lamp in the tabernacle
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

What the Scriptures Principally Teach: the Ruin and Recovery of Man. Faith and Love Towards Christ.
2 Tim. i. 13.--"Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." Here is the sum of religion. Here you have a compend of the doctrine of the Scriptures. All divine truths may be reduced to these two heads,--faith and love; what we ought to believe, and what we ought to do. This is all the Scriptures teach, and this is all we have to learn. What have we to know, but what God hath revealed of himself to us? And what have we to do, but what
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Thoughts Upon Striving to Enter at the Strait Gate.
AS certainly as we are here now, it is not long but we shall all be in another World, either in a World of Happiness, or else in a World of Misery, or if you will, either in Heaven or in Hell. For these are the two only places which all Mankind from the beginning of the World to the end of it, must live in for evermore, some in the one, some in the other, according to their carriage and behaviour here; and therefore it is worth the while to take a view and prospect now and then of both these places,
William Beveridge—Private Thoughts Upon a Christian Life

The Knowledge of God
'The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.' I Sam 2:2. Glorious things are spoken of God; he transcends our thoughts, and the praises of angels. God's glory lies chiefly in his attributes, which are the several beams by which the divine nature shines forth. Among other of his orient excellencies, this is not the least, The Lord is a God of knowledge; or as the Hebrew word is, A God of knowledges.' Through the bright mirror of his own essence, he has a full idea and cognisance
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The Quotation in Matt. Ii. 6.
Several interpreters, Paulus especially, have asserted that the interpretation of Micah which is here given, was that of the Sanhedrim only, and not of the Evangelist, who merely recorded what happened and was said. But this assertion is at once refuted when we consider the object which Matthew has in view in his entire representation of the early life of Jesus. His object in recording the early life of Jesus is not like that of Luke, viz., to communicate historical information to his readers.
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

The book of Hosea divides naturally into two parts: i.-iii. and iv.-xiv., the former relatively clear and connected, the latter unusually disjointed and obscure. The difference is so unmistakable that i.-iii. have usually been assigned to the period before the death of Jeroboam II, and iv.-xiv. to the anarchic period which succeeded. Certainly Hosea's prophetic career began before the end of Jeroboam's reign, as he predicts the fall of the reigning dynasty, i. 4, which practically ended with Jeroboam's
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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