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Lo RuhamahIn verse 6 then we meet Gomer’s second child, her daughter. “6 And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him: “Call her name Lo-Ruhamah, for I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, but I will utterly take them away.”

I say Gomer’s second child because this child is not Hosea’s. Notice, the son, Jezreel, she bore to him, to Hosea. “She conceived and bore him a son.” The second child now she bore, but not to him. That is significant. At some point after the birth of Jezreel, Gomer became unfaithful. The second child, this daughter, we just read that God told Hosea to name her and she was named Lo-Ruhamah. Her name means, “No mercy.”

God is declaring that there is a limit now to His mercy. At some point, it will stop and judgment will follow. He says, “I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, but I will utterly take them away.” In verse 7 we continue, “Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword or battle, by horses or horsemen.”

As Assyria conquered Israel, they were prepared to move south and take Judah next. Twenty years later, in 701 BC, Sennacherib led the Assyrians toward Jerusalem. This was when Hezekiah was king in Judah and he cried out to the Lord for help and deliverance. In 2 Kings 19:15-19 we read Hezekiah’s prayer.

“O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. 17 Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands—wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. 19 Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.”

We also read the account of this in Isaiah 37, as Isaiah ministered to the King. The Lord assured Hezekiah that He would take care of it! 2 Kings 19 tells us, “Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard.’” And then “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: ‘He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor build a siege mound against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return; and he shall not come into this city,’ Says the Lord. 34 ‘For I will defend this city, to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’ 35 And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh. 37 Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.

This was the first time that Assyria went somewhere and lost! They were the dominant military power in the world at this time and if they wanted you they were coming to take you it was just a matter of how much time it took for them to get there and defeat you. They would burn you out and starve you out – they were going to capture you if they were coming. Hezekiah knew this and he knew their only help was going to be the Lord. And God did intervene and protected the city and Sennacherib went back defeated and while he was worshipping his false gods he was assassinated by his own sons. Assyria had been stopped.

That was God’s mercy toward Judah, while Israel was shown no mercy when the Assyrians came and attacked. How bad does it have to be for God’s mercy to run out? Yet so many today live as if it is inexhaustible. Yes, His mercy is forever. Yes, His mercy is new every morning. But there are also limits, according to His holiness and His will. The people of Israel were being warned by the name of this little girl, Lo-Ruhamah. There will be no mercy, the people will no longer be pitied. Judgement, unabated judgment was about to pour down on them.

We do have further evidence that this was not Hosea’s daughter, even though he named her and cared for her as is she was, because later in Hosea 2:4 we find God saying, “I will not have mercy on her children, for they are the children of harlotry.” This is not a reference to all three children, but to two as this statement is a play on words. It is a play on their names. Lo-Ruhamah, “I will have no mercy”, and the third child we are about to meet, a son named Lo-Ammi, whose name means, “Not My People,” “they are the children of harlotry,” and not Mine, God is saying. “4 I will not have mercy on her children, for they are the children of harlotry. 5 For their mother has played the harlot; She who conceived them has behaved shamefully.” And still Hosea names them and behaves as a father toward them.

Tomorrow we will meet Gomer’s third child.

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