Israel’s Sin Proclaimed Hosea 4-7, cont’d.
Hosea 5:1-15-God declares judgment on all of Israel…priests, people, royalty. They are all guilty and will be held accountable (:1). He is totally aware of their actions (:3). God says that they have become so involved in sin that they have become captured by it and cannot escape (:4). They have become so involved in sin that they no longer even “know the LORD” (:4). They have lost the knowledge of Who He truly is…His nature and character. He says that they have played the harlot (forsaken God) by worshipping other gods and now will face the consequences. Even though they will bring sacrifices to the Temple...they don't even know Who they are bringing them to (:4,6). So, God has walked away from them and left them on their own to face the natural results of their actions (:6). On top of the natural results, God will initiate spiritual results of judgment on them (:8-14). He will not respond to them until they "acknowledge their guilt and seek My face" (:15).
Hosea 6:1-3-Israel speaks and says that they should return to the Lord because He will certainly respond. This is an act of presumption. In essence they are saying: “Don’t worry. All we have to do is call to God and He will take care of the problem. He always has in the past.” (:1-3).
Hosea 6:4-11-However, God says that He knows that their return would only be short-lived and not truly from the heart. They are just trying to use Him for their own benefit (:4). That is the reason He has judged them in the manner that He has (:5). He is not looking for mere actions, but for loyalty (:6). They have broken faith with God…and God has declared that they will be judged (:7-11).
Hosea 7:2-7-Israel forgets that God knows their intentions and attitudes...He is not fooled by their actions (:1-2). The people did anything and everything to gain a personal advantage. Even using perverse behavior to influence the opinion of the king (:3-7).
Hosea 7:8-16-God accuses Israel of turning everywhere but to Him for help.
They turn to other resources…
- “Ephraim mixes himself with the nations” (:8)
- “They call to Egypt, the go to Assyria” (:11)
- “…they have strayed from Me!” (:13)
- “…rebelled against Me!” (:13)
- “…do not cry to Me from their heart.” (:14)
- “…turn away from Me.” (:14)
They don’t turn to God…
- “…they have neither returned to the LORD their God, nor have they sought Him” (:10)
- "They turn, but not upward..." (:16)
Israel’s Judgment Pronounced Hosea 8-10
Hosea 8:1-14-God continues to declare that He will judge Israel for its sin, which involves…
- “transgressed My covenant” (:1)
- rebelled against My law” (:1)
- “rejected the good” (:3)
- “set up kings, but not by Me” (:4)
- “appointed princes, but I did not know it” (:4)
- “made idols for themselves” (:4)
- “gone up to Assyria…has hired lovers” (:9-10-this means that they are trying to pay other nations to give them protection instead of looking to God)
- “multiplied altars for sin” (:11-they worship many false gods)
- “My law…regarded as a strange thing” (:12-they think that God’s law is wrong)
- “sacrifice the flesh and eat it” (:13-they give a sacrifice to God and then turn around and eat it themselves)
- “forgotten his Maker” (:14)
Hosea portrays God’s judgment as…
- a swift eagle (8:1)…literally the word means a “vulture”
- a whirlwind (8:7)
- a burning fire (8:14).
As a result of this judgment…
- the nation will be scattered (8:8; 9:17)
- they will suffer more than they have sown (10:12-15).
Prayer: Lord, don’t ever allow me to presume on Your grace. Don’t let me think that I can sin and that it doesn’t matter…because You will forgive me. Help me to love You so much that I don’t ever want to sin!