Hosea 11:1 – “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.“
This Old Testament prophecy found in Hosea is clearly applied to the Lord Jesus Christ in the book of Matthew…
Matthew 2:14-15 – “So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.”’
Although this prophecy is relatively unknown, compared to some of the other OT prophecies concerning Jesus’ first coming to the earth, it is still of great importance to our recognition of Jesus as the promised Messiah, the Son of God sent to the earth.
Let’s take a few short moments and study this wonderful affirmation of Jesus and His role as the Christ, Our Savior and Lord over all.
When we look at this prophecy in its context (Hosea 11:1-4), we can see that its main thrust involves a backslidden nation of Israel. Note some of what we are told about the condition of Israel during the times of Haggai’s prophecy….
1) When Israel [was] a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
1. Israel, as a young nation was loved by the Lord
2. Based upon the love of the Lord for Israel, He delivered them from their captivity in the land of Egypt.
2) [As] they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.
3. As Egypt beckoned for the Israelites to return to them, the Lord through the 10 plagues, overcame the desire of the Egyptians and brought out the nation of Israel from their midst.
4. However, the Israelites forgetting all the Lord had done for them, turns their back on Him and begins to worship and serve the idols of man.
3) I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.
5. Ephraim, the favored son of Joseph, is here a picture of the entire nation of Israel as the favored nation of Jehovah. The Lord took up Israel kindly removing them from captivity and leading them through their wilderness wanderings to the land of promise.
4) I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.
6. Jehovah then brought Israel to Himself, forming a strong bond of love with them
7. He removed the yoke of oppression and slavery from off of them
8. He supplied their every need as they traveled to the promised land.
The text following this (Hosea 11:5-7) then explains how this same liberated, loved and protected Israel turned their backs on the Lord and forgot all of his many benefits that were bestowed upon them: “He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return…”
So, when kept in its proper context, we can see that this Old Testament passage is a look back in time to the deliverance of Israel from bondage at the hands of the nation of Egypt and the Lord’s gracious deliverance of Israel.
Now let’s turn to the Matthew 2:13-15 passage where we find this Old Testament text applied to our Lord at His first coming….
…lo, the messenger of the Lord appears in a dream to Joseph, saying
The context of this passage centers on a message received by Joseph from an angel sent by God.
Having risen, take to thyself the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt, and be there till I speak to thee;
Joseph is now instructed to take his young son, Jesus, into the land of Egypt and then stay until they are told to depart by the angel.
for Herod is about to seek the young child to destroy him.
The reason for Joseph and his family to flee into Egypt was that Herod was now looking for the young boy seeking to kill Him. Why did Herod desire to kill Jesus? Because Herod had been told by the wise men that the King of the Jews had been born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1-3)
And having risen, he took to himself the young child and his mother by night, and turned back in Egypt: And was there till the death of Herod:
Joseph, being faithful to the command of God given through His angel, fled to Egypt with his family. He then stayed in Egypt until the death of Herod.
that it might be completed having been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.”
One of many reasons for this event to take place, was so that the Hosea 11:1 prophecy of Christ might be fulfilled exactly… “Out of Egypt have I called my son”
At this point, many of us are wondering how can it be that a Old Testament account of an historical event (the deliverance of the physical nation of Israel from Egyptian bondage) is now applied to an event that took place 1200-1300 years later?
To understand the answer to this question we must acknowledge the most basic similarity between these two historical events…
In both cases, we have GOD’S LOVE ON DISPLAY AS HE DELIVERED HIS CHOSEN BELOVED FROM HARM…
1. In the case of the Nation of Israel, the Beloved of Jehovah, we find the Lord’s gracious deliverance being shown to them their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt.
2. In the case of our Lord Jesus, the Beloved Son of God, we find His Father delivering Him from the sinful desires of Herod’s heart.
But our lesson does not stop there because, in both deliverances, He was working to bring deliverance to those who are saved, from the bondage of sin and a wicked world.
Stop and think about it….
1. If God had not delivered the nation of Israel from the Egyptian bondage, you would not have the establishment of the physical nation from whom would come the Messiah, Jesus, the promised “the Lamb Of God who taketh away the sin of the world.”
2. Likewise, if you did not have the Lord Jesus delivered from the clutches of Herod, once again, you would not have Him completing His earthly ministry which was to “save His people from their sins”.
In other words, it is through the loving deliverance of Israel and the deliverance of the Lord Jesus Christ that we find the deliverance of the saved from their sins.
Or to put it another way,…
1. It was through the deliverance of God’s PHYSICAL NATION OF ISRAEL FROM EGYPT that we find the deliverance of His SPIRITUAL NATION FROM A FALLEN SIN-SICK WORLD.
2. It was through the deliverance of His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON FROM HEROD’S GRASP that we find the deliverance of His ADOPTED SONS AND DAUGHTERS FROM SIN’S GRASP.
What a wonderful truth to keep in mind this holiday season. As the Lord delivered the physical Israelites and His Son, Jesus… He had His people in his mind. He not only brought deliverance to them for their sake, but He also worked their deliverance for His people as well! He did all of this so that we might have a Redeemer who would deliver His people from their sins…
20) But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22) Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24) Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25) And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (Matthew 1:20-25)
26) And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27) For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28) As concerning the gospel, [they are] enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, [they are] beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
29) For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance.
30) For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
31) Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
32) For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Over the holidays, let us praise and honor Him for all He has done for us in working to raise up a Deliverer on the behalf of His people.
One of the greatest ways to bring glory to Him is by telling others about all that He has done for us. We can do this by sharing with them the gospel message of His death, burial and resurrection which brings salvation to those who will come to Him in faith.
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May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”