- Hos. 4:1-19; 5:1-15; 6:1-11; 7:1-16; 8:1-14; 9:1-17
As we continue Hosea’s prophecy, in today’s reading GOD lays out His case against Israel:
1 Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites, because the LORD has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. 2 There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.
(Hos. 4:1-2 NIV)
6 “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. 7 The more priests there were, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their glorious God for something disgraceful. 8 They feed on the sins of my people and relish their wickedness. 9 And it will be: Like people, like priests. I will punish both of them for their ways and repay them for their deeds.
(Hos. 4:6-9 NIV)
12 My people consult a wooden idol, and a diviner’s rod speaks to them. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God. 13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar and terebinth, where the shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution and your daughters-in-law to adultery.
(Hos. 4:12-13 NIV)
The Israelites are stubborn, like a stubborn heifer [a female calf].
(Hos. 4:16a NIV)
And here’s the prophecy of the punishment GOD would inflict upon His people for their disobedience:
8 “Sound the trumpet in Gibeah, the horn in Ramah. Raise the battle cry in Beth Aven; lead on, Benjamin. 9 Ephraim will be laid waste on the day of reckoning. Among the tribes of Israel I proclaim what is certain. 10 Judah’s leaders are like those who move boundary stones. I will pour out my wrath on them like a flood of water. 11 Ephraim is oppressed, trampled in judgment, intent on pursuing idols. 12 I am like a moth to Ephraim, like rot to the people of Judah.
(Hos. 5:8-12 NIV)
14 For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, like a great lion to Judah. I will tear them to pieces and go away; I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them. 15 Then I will return to my lair until they have borne their guilt and seek my face—in their misery they will earnestly seek me.”
(Hos. 5:14-15 NIV)
The days of punishment are coming, the days of reckoning are at hand. Let Israel know this. Because your sins are so many and your hostility so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired person a maniac.
(Hos. 9:7 NIV)
GOD is very longsuffering towards His people. But make no mistake, His patience towards wickedness is limited, and Israel is about to find this out firsthand. As the Hebrew writer says:
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
(Heb. 10:31 NKJV)