May 11


Hosea 9:10-10:15

We are in the Exile Stream reading from the Easy-to-Read Version this week. | @7StreamsMethod | @serenatravis | #7Streams

Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Lord, let this sorry tale of the northern Kingdom only remind us that you do not play games with the disobedient. Let it remind and urge us to follow you, follow you today, and to follow you fully. Amen.

9 – Israel’s love for God has rotted. It started out as affection that was pure but it has become like garbage gone bad “late in the day”.  Israel has loved rotten things … now they have gone totally rotten themselves.  God needs to discard them.           Their future needs to be cut off because a rotten present (that Israel is committed to) signifies a rotten future.

         Nothing signals that there’s a future like a baby arriving. Well God is going to end this and Israel is going to have no more babies.  What does survive, God will “take” those babies.  It’s too disturbing to describe what the Assyrian soldiers did to Israel’s helpless babies during the seige. And you don’t want to know.  Email my husband, if you really need to know as this era was his major in college. Believe me, it’s bad.  Well, Israel had killed its own faith and done so deliberately and it won’t be long now until Assyria kills every Israelite baby they can find. Too rough? Is God being too mean? Willful sin takes things in a far worse direction than the deliberate sinner ever dreamed he would be taken in his worst nightmare.  They would become a homeless nation.  And historically, these tribes of the north were scattered into the “compost heap” of history.

10 – Israel has erred greatly in that they used their wealth and fertile land and blessing to, do what?!, to make idols!  Their aimlessness is turned lunacy.  We’ve heard the phrase, “wherever, you go, there you are.” With Israel, wherever they go in their minds and hearts and sinfulness, “they aren’t there either. When someone isn’t thinking clearly, we declare, “they’re not all there.”  This is Israel completely.   They have a king, but they don’t – not really, they make promises that they don’t keep (so what were they promising?), their judges merely poison everything, they worship a calf – it gets stolen, they make pacts with other countries – with those that hate them and then invade, their altars of worship will turn into piles of weeds … so what are they worshiping? The nation is crazy.
Israel has been sinning and sinning so horribly, so constantly, and for so long.  All these centuries they could have been planting good things that grew into great things.  But Israel planted evil and lies and false hope (in their sinful commitments).   Btw, the man “Shalman” mentioned in Hosea 10:14 was an Assyrian King, His full name was Shall-man-EASE-err.  Whoever completes the conquest of Israel, Israel is going to be fully destroyed.  It’s basically over for them.

May 4


Hosea 8:1-9:9

We are in the Exile Stream reading from The Living Bible. | @7StreamsMethod | @serenatravis | #7Streams

Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Lord Jesus, make our lives significant like yours and the prophets were meaningful and still are as what was spoken still speaks today.  None of us want to come to the end of our lives only to hear that we have inherited a whirlwind. Help us live lives that count for the kingdom and for good for your Kingdom. Amen.

8 – We are back in the north and Hosea is speaking to a nation that is going to fall in 722 B.C. It’s about 130-135 years earlier than what was read yesterday in Jeremiah.  Hosea reminds them that they have set up their entire government apart from God’s leading. These are the people who erected a golden calf exactly like in Exodus 32 (500 years prior) just to make sure the people were deliberately disobedient and not going to Jerusalem to worship properly. This establishing of this idol is described as it happened in I Kings 12-13.  And Hosea is hitting the issue right between the eyes almost two centuries later.  They have been worshiping this calf so long that they may not even be hearing Hosea as he rebukes them.  The reference, “… sown to the wind and reap a whirlwind” is a motif in literature.  Well  Hosea said it first!  Israel has “boxed herself in”. She thinks Assyria is a friend.  But they’ll be the ones who “turn them into mince meat!”.  The reference of “returning to Egypt”, Hos. 8:13 is a metaphor for returning to slavery.  The nation is on the verge of being burnt to the ground and any survivors hauled away.
9 – For running from God and sacrificing to others, their idolatry will even affect the land and their crops.  At this point, every offering they bring to God is a stench to him; it’s polluted. The bondage and poverty they have “earned” is upon them.  Hosea has been speaking to them, trying to avert ‘judgment day’ but he is labeled a crazy man.  Israel is NOT listening. The “depraved as in Gibeah…” verse is in reference to the horrid rape situation in Judges 19 and the hideous aftermath of it all.  Hosea reminds them that Israel is just as bad as this now.  For this, their children will be hauled away, their sons are doomed, pregnant women will be treated in ways that are too disturbing to describe.  Why is all this going to happen? because Israel will not listen or obey.  I would say “God help them” but they don’t want his help.

April 27


Hosea 6-7

We are sailing through choppy water in the Exile Stream. We are using the International Standard Version this week. | @7StreamsMethod | @serenatravis | #7Streams

Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Dear Lord God: we live in times like this.  We ask for your wisdom as our culture is going headlong into wrong doing and ignoring you.  We want to hear from you Lord so we may understand the times, understand your mind and respond accordingly.  Amen.

The opening of this passage has a hint of Christ in there that certainly people perceived a variety of ways since it was spoken 700+ plus years before Christ arrived.  Hosea does give a pleading invitation to the people of Israel. I guess it warrants a comment at this point: it must be making Hosea crazy somewhere along the line to be among these people; so wretched, and yet God is so patient in waiting – giving chances for them to return to Him and they simply keep “daring God” if we can use the phrase.  It’s as if they were as twisted as possible….like the rascal kid in school that is practically begging to be punished.  Israel has willfully lost her mind and soul at this point in her history. Yes, they were bringing their sacrifices to the Lord, but plenty of the earnings were via prostitution! Disgusting scenario. Gilead and Shechem are mentioned by name.  These two cities made Las Vegas look tame and proper by comparison.

7 – Israel is embroiled in wrong doing and is guilty and dark as ever.  Adultery is as normal as a trip to the market. The “oven” motif is interesting. It is a mis-managed oven – that is for certain.  Four of Israel’s kings are assassinated after very short reigns.  Life is that cheap in Israel because love is that cheap and God a thing to mock for these people. Interesting illustration of a half baked cake.  One translation articulates Israel to be a pancake that is raw goo on one side and burnt on the other; something that no one will eat/want/enjoy anymore.  The gray hair comment is meaning that Israel is getting old and time is running out.  They are a senseless nation, due for a whipping and correction, they are runaways headed for ruin, they talk senselessly and murder awaits them.  It’s not a pretty sight!

This is Israel in the 700’s B.C.   Hosea is talking to them, encouraging them, warning them and they are ebullient in their zany sinning.