Joined to Idols: The Whoredom of Israel
Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend;
and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, The LORD liveth.
For Israel slideth back as a back-sliding heifer: ... Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.
Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually:
Hosea 4:17 (Spoke 6, Cycle 2)
The dominant and unmistakable theme of Hosea is God's judgment of the Northern Kingdom of Israel
as a harlot who has "transgressed the covenant" and "joined" herself to idols.
Israel was supposed to be joined to the Lord as a wife to her husband.
Though this imagery is particularly strong in Hosea, it is woven throughout Scripture as
an aspect of the consummating theme of the Church as the Bride of Christ (see Spoke 22).
Here is an example from the Apostle Paul:
Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ,
and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which
is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. ... What? know ye not
that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God?
1 Corinthians 6:15ff
This now returns us to the typology of the Temple (Spoke 2, BW book pg 136) and its
ultimate antitype (fulfillment) in the Lord Jesus Christ. Every detail of the Temple is significant because
God designed it (Spoke 4, BW book pg 179. Case in point; the
only Biblical use of Vav is as the "hooks" for its curtains and veil, and it first occurs
as the "hooks" of the veil blocking the way into the Holy of holies:
And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed
thee in the mount [BW book pg 148]. And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple,
and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be
made: And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks (vavim)
shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. And thou shalt hang up the vail under
the clasps, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and
the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy. And thou shalt put
the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.
The veil was needed because sin broke our connection with God. Ever since the Fall
in Genesis 3, God has had to hide His face
(Spoke 17, BW book pg 307) lest the light of His perfect righteousness
destroy us sinners. The Man Christ Jesus reconnected us with God and opened the way into the
Holy of holies. This is explained in the Book of Hebrews in terms of the
typology of the veil as the body of Christ:
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the
blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that
is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God;
God confirmed this typology when He tore the veil of the Temple at the moment Christ died:
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;
This is the glory revealed in the typology of the Temple. Just as the body of Jesus was
"rent" as He hung nailed (vav) to the cross (tav), so at
the moment of His Death the veil of the Temple was rent as it hung from its hooks (vavim),
opening the way to the Holy of holies! This is the Gospel, the New Covenant in which God joined Himself to
sinful people, properly likened to a harlot who joins herself to other gods.
And this brings us to yet another thread woven in this wonderful tapestry; Rahab. She appears
in the second chapter of Joshua:
And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly,
saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house,
named Rahab, and lodged there.
Joshua 2:1 (Spoke 6, Cycle 1)
Rahab is surprisingly prominent in Scripture. She was a Gentile who helped the spies and
so entered into the "Faith Hall of Fame" of Hebrews 11 (BW book pg 281) where she
is remembered as "the harlot Rahab" who was saved by faith.
She was the great, great ... great grandmother of Jesus (Mat 1:5), and she remains a powerful typological figure
of the Church. Just as she entered the ancestral blood-line of Christ through faith,
so all we who are in the Church today have entered His blood-line through faith. When Christ
purchased the Church of God "with His own blood" (Acts 20:28), He "married harlots" who had been separated
from God by sin, but now are "one flesh" with Him, joined through faith (Eph 5:32).
God expanded upon this striking (and quite disturbing) typology in the second Book on Spoke 6:
The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea,
Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the
land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.
Hosea 1:2 (Spoke 6, Cycle 2)
God told Hosea to marry a prostitute! How his heart must have died within him when
he received this command! It was just about the greatest humiliation any servant of
God could suffer. Remember, Simon the Pharisee judged Jesus as "no prophet" when
He merely let a prostitute touch His feet (Luke 7:39). How much greater a dishonor to marry one!
So why did God give such a scandalous command? What did He intend for us to see in it?
And why did Jesus deliberately associate with prostitutes? What was His point? The
answer leads directly to the absolute core of the Gospel, as revealed on the third Book on Spoke 6 when God made Himself
"of no reputation" for the salvation of our souls.
Next article: Philippians: God in the likeness of Man