This shows that Israel will go a long time without a king or prince, and without sacrifices, sacred pillars, priests, or even idols! But afterward the people will return and devote themselves to the Lord their God and to David’s descendant, their king. In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the Lord and of his goodness. Hosea 3:4-5 (NLT)
Hosea was a prophet and his book is part of the Hebrew books of prophecy. It is impossible to read them and not think about their message in the context of history, time, and events. This morning, these two verses caught my eye for their prophetic nature.
Israel will go a long time without a king or prince… Indeed, Hoshea was the last king of Israel and he finished his reign in 712 B.C. Even if we count Zedekiah who was the last king of the southern nation of Judah, we only make it to 586 B.C. So, we’re now at roughly 2500 years Israel has been without a king.
without sacrifices, sacred pillars, priests, or even idols!… When Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans just 40 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, all of the Hebrews’ extensive genealogical records were destroyed along with the temple. Because God’s law specifically requires that the priestly and sacrificial systems be carried out by sons of Aaron and Levi, the sacking of Rome made it impossible for these systems to continue. It’s been nearly 2000 years.
But afterward the people will return…. Israel’s statehood in 1948 has resulted in millions returning to their native land.
and devote themselves to the Lord their God and to David’s descendant, their king…. What’s interesting about this is that the destruction of the genealogical records in 70 A.D. make it nearly impossible to determine who is a direct descendant of King David. Yet Jesus’ family tree exists. The line through both his mother and his earthly father is recorded in the gospels and traced back to David.
In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the Lord and of his goodness. Today, I feel like I’m living out this prophecy as I ponder in wonder. I’m amazed at God’s story, His plan, and His prophets. I’m grateful to be living in such amazing times and witnessing so much from a man walking on the moon to the ability of holding more information than all the ancient libraries combined in the palm of my hand. At the same time, I’m reminded that it is all part of a larger plan and story that God is telling through human history. It was foretold through the ancient prophets, has been working itself out and is yet coming to be.