Israel’s Judgment Pronounced Hosea 8-10, cont’d.
Hosea 9:1-6-God continues to accuse Israel of forsaking Him for other gods (:1). They have participated in all kinds of pagan celebrations (:2). At this point, even if they did bring a sacrifice to God it would not really be for Him, but for themselves (:4). With that in mind…when the time comes that they are attacked…it will do them no good to run to God, then (:5-6).
Hosea 9:7-17-God says that the day of His judgment is about to arrive (:7). They should have seen it coming, but they failed. And now, God is going to punish their sins (:8-9). Though God personally chose them to be His own…yet, they turned to other gods (:10). They turned to gross sensuality at Gibeah (9:9; 10:10, cf. Judges 19), immorality at Baal-peor (:10, cf. Numbers 25), and defection at Gilgal (:15, cf. 1 Samuel 11:15-where they proclaimed Saul to be king even when God did not want them to have a king). All that was once wonderful about Ephraim (Israel) will be lost, destroyed (:11-17).
Hosea 10:1-11-Israel used the financial gains that God gave them to build altars to pagan gods. They cannot be trusted…so God is going to destroy the altars that they built. Israel will talk as if they are faithful to God…but actually, they are not (:4). The truth is, they only make promises and take vows in hopes of appeasing God so that He will not allow their practice of pagan religions to be harmed (:5). Beth-aven was Hosea’s sarcastic nickname for Bethel. Bethel means, “House of God”…but the people had worshipped false gods there so Hosea changed the name to Beth-aven which means, “House of Wickedness”. Not only had the city of Bethel become a place of pagan worship…but also other places referred to as “high places of Aven”. These places of idolatrous worship originated in the religions of the pagan people (Canaanites) who inhabited the land before the people of Israel arrived. In His time, God will judge them (:10).
Hosea 10:12-God tells Israel to change their behavior and to seek Him. Then He will pour out His blessings on them.
Hosea 10:13-They have already suffered much for their evil behavior (:13). But unless they turn from their wickedness there is more suffering to come at the hands of their enemies (:14-15).
Israel’s Hope Promised Hosea 11-14
Hosea 11:1-4-God tells of His love for Israel...from its youth, when He brought them out of Egypt, to the present.
Hosea 11:5-7-Even so, they continually reject Him.
Hosea 11:8-11-But even yet, God still loves Israel and does not want to punish them. God’s heart is deeply moved over the situation (:8). God will not respond like a mere man in anger towards Israel (:9). He will judge them…but that judgment will cause them to turn back to Him (:10-11).
Prayer: Lord, I pray that I will always remember all that You have done for me. Don’t ever let me forget. Keep Your blessings present in my mind as a safeguard against straying from You.