“For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:” -Hosea 3:4
Hosea speaks prophetically of a time when Israel would spend a long period of time without a king, a prince, or a sacrifice. In part, this prophecy may refer to the time when the nation returned from captivity to rebuild the temple. They had no king, but the did have sacrifices even in Jesus’ time. But in 70 a.d., the nation of Israel would be forever changed again.
The Roman forces sacked the city and left not one stone upon another. It was flattened. The Jewish people were scattered once more. Today, they have no king, no prince, and no sacrifice. On the positive side, they also have no image (monument/shrine of worship), ephod (instrument used for divination or fortune-telling), or teraphim (general word for idols used in Baal-worship). For approximately twenty-six centuries, the nation of Israel has never turned to idolatry again.
But she waits. Romans chapters nine through eleven speak of the temporary setting aside of God’s agenda with Israel to turn his attention to the Gentiles. It was forever intended that the Jewish people would hold in trust the deposit of God’s truth in the Law, and that they would share the truth of God with the world. By Jesus’ day, the Jewish leaders had snubbed their noses at the Gentiles, damning them to an eternity without a knowledge of Jehovah.
Jesus wept bitterly over His rejection by His own people as He glared at Jerusalem. Then the book of Acts turns its attention to God’s agenda for the Gentile people. Did God forsake His chosen nation in favor of the heathen? God forbid. God’s agenda for Israel, temporarily set aside to welcome the nations into His family will be resumed someday in anticipation of the coming of Jesus Christ to reign as King over His chosen people forever.
For further reading on God’s long-term agenda for Israel, read Deuteronomy 28:64-67; Isaiah 11:11-12; 60:21; Jeremiah 16:14-16; Ezekiel 36:24-28; Amos 9:14-15; and Romans 11-13. One day I will gladly subject myself to the eternal rule and reign of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom leaders, the Jews. I pray for the day to come when millions of Jews turn to Jesus Christ by faith and receive Him as their eternal King.