September 29 – OT Reading

Hosea 8-14

Hosea 8

Israel Reaps the Whirlwind

Put the trumpet to your lips! Like an eagle the enemy comes against the house of the Lord, Because they have transgressed My covenant And rebelled against My law. They cry out to Me, “My God, we of Israel know You!” Israel has rejected the good; The enemy will pursue him. They have set up kings, but not by Me; They have appointed princes, but I did not know it. With their silver and gold they have made idols for themselves, That they might be cut off. He has rejected your calf, O Samaria, saying, “My anger burns against them!” How long will they be incapable of innocence? For from Israel is even this! A craftsman made it, so it is not God; Surely the calf of Samaria will be broken to pieces. For they sow the wind And they reap the whirlwind. The standing grain has no heads; It yields no grain. Should it yield, strangers would swallow it up.

Israel is swallowed up; They are now among the nations Like a vessel in which no one delights. For they have gone up to Assyria, Like a wild donkey all alone; Ephraim has hired lovers. 10 Even though they hire allies among the nations, Now I will gather them up; And they will begin to diminish Because of the burden of the king of princes.

11 Since Ephraim has multiplied altars for sin, They have become altars of sinning for him. 12 Though I wrote for him ten thousand precepts of My law, They are regarded as a strange thing. 13 As for My sacrificial gifts, They sacrifice the flesh and eat it, But the Lord has taken no delight in them. Now He will remember their iniquity, And punish them for their sins; They will return to Egypt. 14 For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces; And Judah has multiplied fortified cities, But I will send a fire on its cities that it may consume its palatial dwellings.

 

Hosea 9

Ephraim Punished

9 Do not rejoice, O Israel, with exultation like the nations! For you have played the harlot, forsaking your God. You have loved harlots’ earnings on every threshing floor. Threshing floor and wine press will not feed them, And the new wine will fail them. They will not remain in the Lord’s land, But Ephraim will return to Egypt, And in Assyria they will eat unclean food. They will not pour out drink offerings of wine to the Lord, Their sacrifices will not please Him. Their bread will be like mourners’ bread; All who eat of it will be defiled, For their bread will be for themselves alone; It will not enter the house of the Lord. What will you do on the day of the appointed festival And on the day of the feast of the Lord? For behold, they will go because of destruction; Egypt will gather them up, Memphis will bury them. Weeds will take over their treasures of silver; Thorns will be in their tents.

The days of punishment have come, The days of retribution have come; Let Israel know this! The prophet is a fool, The inspired man is demented, Because of the grossness of your iniquity, And because your hostility is so great. Ephraim was a watchman with my God, a prophet; Yet the snare of a bird catcher is in all his ways, And there is only hostility in the house of his God. They have gone deep in depravity As in the days of Gibeah; He will remember their iniquity, He will punish their sins.

10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your forefathers as the earliest fruit on the fig tree in its first season. But they came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame, And they became as detestable as that which they loved. 11 As for Ephraim, their glory will fly away like a bird— No birth, no pregnancy and no conception! 12 Though they bring up their children, Yet I will bereave them until not a man is left. Yes, woe to them indeed when I depart from them! 13 Ephraim, as I have seen, Is planted in a pleasant meadow like Tyre; But Ephraim will bring out his children for slaughter. 14 Give them, O Lord—what will You give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.

15 All their evil is at Gilgal; Indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels. 16 Ephraim is stricken, their root is dried up, They will bear no fruit. Even though they bear children, I will slay the precious ones of their womb. 17 My God will cast them away Because they have not listened to Him; And they will be wanderers among the nations.

 

Hosea 10

Retribution for Israel’s Sin

10 Israel is a luxuriant vine; He produces fruit for himself. The more his fruit, The more altars he made; The richer his land, The better he made the sacred pillars. Their heart is faithless; Now they must bear their guilt. The Lord will break down their altars And destroy their sacred pillars.

Surely now they will say, “We have no king, For we do not revere the Lord. As for the king, what can he do for us?” They speak mere words, With worthless oaths they make covenants; And judgment sprouts like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field. The inhabitants of Samaria will fear For the calf of Beth-aven. Indeed, its people will mourn for it, And its idolatrous priests will cry out over it, Over its glory, since it has departed from it. The thing itself will be carried to Assyria As tribute to King Jareb; Ephraim will be seized with shame And Israel will be ashamed of its own counsel. Samaria will be cut off with her king Like a stick on the surface of the water. Also the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed; Thorn and thistle will grow on their altars; Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!” And to the hills, “Fall on us!” From the days of Gibeah you have sinned, O Israel; There they stand! Will not the battle against the sons of iniquity overtake them in Gibeah? 10 When it is My desire, I will chastise them; And the peoples will be gathered against them When they are bound for their double guilt.

11 Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh, But I will come over her fair neck with a yoke; I will harness Ephraim, Judah will plow, Jacob will harrow for himself. 12 Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord Until He comes to rain righteousness on you. 13 You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, You have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your way, in your numerous warriors, 14 Therefore a tumult will arise among your people, And all your fortresses will be destroyed, As Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle, When mothers were dashed in pieces with their children. 15 Thus it will be done to you at Bethel because of your great wickedness. At dawn the king of Israel will be completely cut off.

 

Hosea 11

God Yearns over His People

11 When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. The more they called them, The more they went from them; They kept sacrificing to the Baals And burning incense to idols. Yet it is I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them in My arms; But they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love, And I became to them as one who lifts the yoke from their jaws; And I bent down and fed them.

They will not return to the land of Egypt; But Assyria—he will be their king Because they refused to return to Me. The sword will whirl against their cities, And will demolish their gate bars And consume them because of their counsels. So My people are bent on turning from Me. Though they call them to the One on high, None at all exalts Him.

How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I surrender you, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart is turned over within Me, All My compassions are kindled. I will not execute My fierce anger; I will not destroy Ephraim again. For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, And I will not come in wrath. 10 They will walk after the Lord, He will roar like a lion; Indeed He will roar And His sons will come trembling from the west. 11 They will come trembling like birds from Egypt And like doves from the land of Assyria; And I will settle them in their houses, declares the Lord.

12 Ephraim surrounds Me with lies And the house of Israel with deceit; Judah is also unruly against God, Even against the Holy One who is faithful.

 

Hosea 12

Ephraim Reminded

12 Ephraim feeds on wind, And pursues the east wind continually; He multiplies lies and violence. Moreover, he makes a covenant with Assyria, And oil is carried to Egypt. The Lord also has a dispute with Judah, And will punish Jacob according to his ways; He will repay him according to his deeds. In the womb he took his brother by the heel, And in his maturity he contended with God. Yes, he wrestled with the angel and prevailed; He wept and sought His favor. He found Him at Bethel And there He spoke with us, Even the Lord, the God of hosts, The Lord is His name. Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually. A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, He loves to oppress. And Ephraim said, “Surely I have become rich, I have found wealth for myself; In all my labors they will find in me No iniquity, which would be sin.” But I have been the Lord your God since the land of Egypt; I will make you live in tents again, As in the days of the appointed festival. 10 I have also spoken to the prophets, And I gave numerous visions, And through the prophets I gave parables. 11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? Surely they are worthless. In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls, Yes, their altars are like the stone heaps Beside the furrows of the field.

12 Now Jacob fled to the land of Aram, And Israel worked for a wife, And for a wife he kept sheep. 13 But by a prophet the Lord brought Israel from Egypt, And by a prophet he was kept. 14 Ephraim has provoked to bitter anger; So his Lord will leave his bloodguilt on him And bring back his reproach to him.

 

Hosea 13

Ephraim’s Idolatry

13 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling. He exalted himself in Israel, But through Baal he did wrong and died. And now they sin more and more, And make for themselves molten images, Idols skillfully made from their silver, All of them the work of craftsmen. They say of them, “Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves!” Therefore they will be like the morning cloud And like dew which soon disappears, Like chaff which is blown away from the threshing floor And like smoke from a chimney.

Yet I have been the Lord your God Since the land of Egypt; And you were not to know any god except Me, For there is no savior besides Me. I cared for you in the wilderness, In the land of drought. As they had their pasture, they became satisfied, And being satisfied, their heart became proud; Therefore they forgot Me. So I will be like a lion to them; Like a leopard I will lie in wait by the wayside. I will encounter them like a bear robbed of her cubs, And I will tear open their chests; There I will also devour them like a lioness, As a wild beast would tear them.

It is your destruction, O Israel, That you are against Me, against your help. 10 Where now is your king That he may save you in all your cities, And your judges of whom you requested, “Give me a king and princes”? 11 I gave you a king in My anger And took him away in My wrath.

12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; His sin is stored up. 13 The pains of childbirth come upon him; He is not a wise son, For it is not the time that he should delay at the opening of the womb. 14 Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from death? O Death, where are your thorns? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion will be hidden from My sight.

15 Though he flourishes among the reeds, An east wind will come, The wind of the Lord coming up from the wilderness; And his fountain will become dry And his spring will be dried up; It will plunder his treasury of every precious article. 16 Samaria will be held guilty, For she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword, Their little ones will be dashed in pieces, And their pregnant women will be ripped open.

 

Hosea 14

Israel’s Future Blessing

14 Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity And receive us graciously, That we may present the fruit of our lips. “Assyria will not save us, We will not ride on horses; Nor will we say again, ‘Our god,’ To the work of our hands; For in You the orphan finds mercy.”

I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from them. I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily, And he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon. His shoots will sprout, And his beauty will be like the olive tree And his fragrance like the cedars of Lebanon. Those who live in his shadow Will again raise grain, And they will blossom like the vine. His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon.

O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like a luxuriant cypress; From Me comes your fruit.

Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

September 26 – OT Reading

Hosea 1-7

Hosea 1

Hosea’s Wife and Children

1 The word of the Lord which came to Hosea the son of Beeri, during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.

When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord.” So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. And the Lord said to him, “Name him Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.”

Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to him, “Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them. But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the Lord their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen.”

When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said, “Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God.”

10 Yet the number of the sons of Israel Will be like the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered; And in the place Where it is said to them, “You are not My people,” It will be said to them, “You are the sons of the living God.” 11 And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together, And they will appoint for themselves one leader, And they will go up from the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel.

 

Hosea 2

Israel’s Unfaithfulness Condemned

2 Say to your brothers, “Ammi,” and to your sisters, “Ruhamah.”

“Contend with your mother, contend, For she is not my wife, and I am not her husband; And let her put away her harlotry from her face And her adultery from between her breasts, Or I will strip her naked And expose her as on the day when she was born. I will also make her like a wilderness, Make her like desert land And slay her with thirst. “Also, I will have no compassion on her children, Because they are children of harlotry. “For their mother has played the harlot; She who conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, Who give me my bread and my water, My wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’ “Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns, And I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths. “She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them; And she will seek them, but will not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband, For it was better for me then than now!’

“For she does not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the new wine and the oil, And lavished on her silver and gold, Which they used for Baal. “Therefore, I will take back My grain at harvest time And My new wine in its season. I will also take away My wool and My flax Given to cover her nakedness. 10 “And then I will uncover her lewdness In the sight of her lovers, And no one will rescue her out of My hand. 11 “I will also put an end to all her gaiety, Her feasts, her new moons, her sabbaths And all her festal assemblies. 12 “I will destroy her vines and fig trees, Of which she said, ‘These are my wages Which my lovers have given me.’ And I will make them a forest, And the beasts of the field will devour them. 13 “I will punish her for the days of the Baals When she used to offer sacrifices to them And adorn herself with her earrings and jewelry, And follow her lovers, so that she forgot Me,” declares the Lord.

Restoration of Israel

14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Bring her into the wilderness And speak kindly to her. 15 “Then I will give her her vineyards from there, And the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. 16 “It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord, “That you will call Me Ishi And will no longer call Me Baali. 17 “For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, So that they will be mentioned by their names no more. 18 “In that day I will also make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, The birds of the sky And the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land, And will make them lie down in safety. 19 “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, 20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord.

21 “It will come about in that day that I will respond,” declares the Lord. “I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth, 22 And the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil, And they will respond to Jezreel. 23 “I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, And I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘You are my God!’”

 

Hosea 3

Hosea’s Second Symbolic Marriage

3 Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.” So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley. Then I said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you.” For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar and without ephod or household idols. Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness in the last days.

 

Hosea 4

God’s Controversy with Israel

4 Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel, For the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land, Because there is no faithfulness or kindness Or knowledge of God in the land. There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, And everyone who lives in it languishes Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky, And also the fish of the sea disappear.

Yet let no one find fault, and let none offer reproof; For your people are like those who contend with the priest. So you will stumble by day, And the prophet also will stumble with you by night; And I will destroy your mother. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame. They feed on the sin of My people And direct their desire toward their iniquity. And it will be, like people, like priest; So I will punish them for their ways And repay them for their deeds. 10 They will eat, but not have enough; They will play the harlot, but not increase, Because they have stopped giving heed to the Lord.

11 Harlotry, wine and new wine take away the understanding. 12 My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them; For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, And they have played the harlot, departing from their God. 13 They offer sacrifices on the tops of the mountains And burn incense on the hills, Under oak, poplar and terebinth, Because their shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters play the harlot And your brides commit adultery. 14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot Or your brides when they commit adultery, For the men themselves go apart with harlots And offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes; So the people without understanding are ruined.

15 Though you, Israel, play the harlot, Do not let Judah become guilty; Also do not go to Gilgal, Or go up to Beth-aven And take the oath: “As the Lord lives!” 16 Since Israel is stubborn Like a stubborn heifer, Can the Lord now pasture them Like a lamb in a large field? 17 Ephraim is joined to idols; Let him alone. 18 Their liquor gone, They play the harlot continually; Their rulers dearly love shame. 19 The wind wraps them in its wings, And they will be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

 

Hosea 5

The People’s Apostasy Rebuked

5 Hear this, O priests! Give heed, O house of Israel! Listen, O house of the king! For the judgment applies to you, For you have been a snare at Mizpah And a net spread out on Tabor. The revolters have gone deep in depravity, But I will chastise all of them. I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from Me; For now, O Ephraim, you have played the harlot, Israel has defiled itself. Their deeds will not allow them To return to their God. For a spirit of harlotry is within them, And they do not know the Lord. Moreover, the pride of Israel testifies against him, And Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity; Judah also has stumbled with them. They will go with their flocks and herds To seek the Lord, but they will not find Him; He has withdrawn from them. They have dealt treacherously against the Lord, For they have borne illegitimate children. Now the new moon will devour them with their land.

Blow the horn in Gibeah, The trumpet in Ramah. Sound an alarm at Beth-aven: “Behind you, Benjamin!” Ephraim will become a desolation in the day of rebuke; Among the tribes of Israel I declare what is sure. 10 The princes of Judah have become like those who move a boundary; On them I will pour out My wrath like water. 11 Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment, Because he was determined to follow man’s command. 12 Therefore I am like a moth to Ephraim And like rottenness to the house of Judah. 13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, And Judah his wound, Then Ephraim went to Assyria And sent to King Jareb. But he is unable to heal you, Or to cure you of your wound. 14 For I will be like a lion to Ephraim And like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear to pieces and go away, I will carry away, and there will be none to deliver. 15 I will go away and return to My place Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.

 

Hosea 6

The Response to God’s Rebuke

6 “Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him. “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.”

What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? For your loyalty is like a morning cloud And like the dew which goes away early. Therefore I have hewn them in pieces by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth; And the judgments on you are like the light that goes forth. For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me. Gilead is a city of wrongdoers, Tracked with bloody footprints. And as raiders wait for a man, So a band of priests murder on the way to Shechem; Surely they have committed crime. 10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing; Ephraim’s harlotry is there, Israel has defiled itself. 11 Also, O Judah, there is a harvest appointed for you, When I restore the fortunes of My people.

 

Hosea 7

Ephraim’s Iniquity

7 When I would heal Israel, The iniquity of Ephraim is uncovered, And the evil deeds of Samaria, For they deal falsely; The thief enters in, Bandits raid outside, And they do not consider in their hearts That I remember all their wickedness. Now their deeds are all around them; They are before My face. With their wickedness they make the king glad, And the princes with their lies. They are all adulterers, Like an oven heated by the baker Who ceases to stir up the fire From the kneading of the dough until it is leavened. On the day of our king, the princes became sick with the heat of wine; He stretched out his hand with scoffers, For their hearts are like an oven As they approach their plotting; Their anger smolders all night, In the morning it burns like a flaming fire. All of them are hot like an oven, And they consume their rulers; All their kings have fallen. None of them calls on Me.

Ephraim mixes himself with the nations; Ephraim has become a cake not turned. Strangers devour his strength, Yet he does not know it; Gray hairs also are sprinkled on him, Yet he does not know it. 10 Though the pride of Israel testifies against him, Yet they have not returned to the Lord their God, Nor have they sought Him, for all this. 11 So Ephraim has become like a silly dove, without sense; They call to Egypt, they go to Assyria. 12 When they go, I will spread My net over them; I will bring them down like the birds of the sky. I will chastise them in accordance with the proclamation to their assembly. 13 Woe to them, for they have strayed from Me! Destruction is theirs, for they have rebelled against Me! I would redeem them, but they speak lies against Me. 14 And they do not cry to Me from their heart When they wail on their beds; For the sake of grain and new wine they assemble themselves, They turn away from Me. 15 Although I trained and strengthened their arms, Yet they devise evil against Me. 16 They turn, but not upward, They are like a deceitful bow; Their princes will fall by the sword Because of the insolence of their tongue. This will be their derision in the land of Egypt.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

The Ways of the Lord are Right!

 

Thoughts About What We’re Reading…

 

Today in our reading, we are looking at the book of Hosea – one of the minor prophets.

Hosea’s name means salvation. He has been called by some as the “tender” prophet or prophet of grace.

The major themes of Hosea are the same as many of the prophets – sin, judgment, and salvation with promises of restoration to those who are faithful – the remnant.

In this book we find five cycles of judgment and restoration.  God loves Israel but they have betrayed Him – judgment on sin is coming, but God will eventually bring His people back to Himself.

The uniqueness of this book is how the prophetic message is linked so closely to Hosea’s personal life.

Hosea marries a woman who will betray his trust, and take other lovers.

In addition, Hosea gives his children names that sent messages of judgment to the people of Israel. The return of Hosea’s wife Gomer after seeking other lovers is symbolic of restoration.

We can find the background for the book, the big idea so to speak, in the covenantal agreement and relationship between the Lord and Israel established in Deuteronomy 28.

Israel was to maintain loyalty and relationship with the Lord by worshiping Him alone and obeying His Commandments.

Obedience would bring blessing – disobedience would bring judgment and eventual exile.

Hosea’s role as a prophet was to expose Israel’s breach of the covenant and warn them of the Lord’s impending judgment.

Israel believed that by prostituting herself in worship to Baal she would receive blessing for her crops and other necessities in life – she was guilty of spiritual adultery.

Although other sins are mentioned in the book – social injustice, religious hypocrisy, etc., the nation was primarily summarized as an adulteress.

Judgment would come and exile would be a result.

Israel was so steeped in their sin of prostitution to the other idols and “gods” that any possibility of repentance was precluded for the time being.

Though Hosea’s prophecy contains some calls to repentance, he did not expect a positive response. The Lord’s coming judgment was inescapable.

In implementing the curses, the Lord would cause the nation to experience infertility, military invasion, and exile.

Several times Hosea emphasized the justice of God by indicating that His divine punishment fit the crimes perfectly.

However, the Lord would not abandon Israel totally.

Despite its severity, each judgment was disciplinary and was intended to turn Israel back to God.

Hosea’s own reconciliation with his wayward wife illustrated Israel’s ultimate restoration.

The ultimate purpose of the Lord’s judgment on His people was to restore them (Hosea 2:5–7).

For the time being, though, God would not hear their prayers.

He would go back to His place like a lion returning to its lair (Hosea 5:14) till the nation underwent its punishment.

As we read though this book we are again reminded of the consequence and effects of our sin.

We can be so much like ancient Israel pursuing idols in a vain attempt to build our own kingdoms, chasing greener pastures, yet end up wallowing in the shame and guilt of our actions.

Yet, our loving God, extends His mercy to a sinful people, despite our rebellion and sin, that we might repent and be restored into a rightful relationship with Him – our God, Lord, and Savior.

Until next time…  keep reading!

Jim

Sources and excerpts used for this blog were taken from: The Bible Knowledge Commentary