I Will Love Them Freely

“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from him

Hosea 14:4 (NKJV)

In every chapter of Hosea, God is trying to show the Israelites just what He will do if they don’t change their ways. The people of Israel had gotten complacent and cumbersome in their dealings with God.

The Israelites had begun to worship other gods and they had decided that money was the number one goal in life. Not only had they decided that the individual had to be rich and powerful, they had decided that the synagogue must also be the most powerful feature of the Israeli Empire.

A sect of the Empire had already seen the wrong in their ways and had begun to teach a new way of living that was better and far more pleasing to God,  The sect that dared to turn against the synagogue was the Essenes.

The Essenes were teaching how the love of God would change a person and teach them a better way of life. The Essenes were teaching that the rule of the synagogue was over, and money was not to be a power in the Hebrew community.

In 1947, near the shores of the Dead Sea, thee was a cave discovered in the Qumran region. As it turned out there were several caves and close by, they found an archaeological site where it is believed the Essenes had lived.

It was evidenced that at least some of these people were scribes. There were several copies of the book of Isaiah and fragments of others. These books were both biblical and historical (Apocrypha) books.

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.'”

Matthew 3:1-3 (NKJV)

The leader of the Essenes was called “teacher.”  We must remember that this man was a symbol of what was to come. And they were trying to teach the world through their way of living that here was a better way.

When John the Baptist came out of the wilderness, He came from the direction of the Essene village. There is no indication that John the Baptist ever knew the Essenes, though there is a strong likeness between the two ways of life.

The wilderness that is mentioned in the Bible would lead one to feel that John the Baptist did come from the direction of the Essene settlement.

Another big coincidence that would lead to this same thought is that John preached “repent and be baptized.” The Essenes had built a series of pools/bathtubs and every day they came home and cleansed themselves in the pools. This was something that no other part of the world did.

This is an area that a person could learn from if they study hard enough. In the church today, we call this “baptism.”