Hosea 4 – The Charge Against Israel
Hosea 5 – A Special Message To The People And Leaders
Hosea 6:1-7:16 – Israel Unrepentant
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One Reply to “The Unfaithful Nation”
Hosea 4 summarizes the charge against Israel (the Northern kingdom), “they exchanged their glorious God for something disgraceful” (Hosea 4:7), and the result: “Because of this the land dries up, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea are swept away” (4:3). In an attempt to shield Judah from their grievous ways, Hosea pleads with Israel, “Though you, Israel, commit adultery, do not let Judah become guilty” (4:15).
Chapter 5 includes words of judgment against Israel, “I will discipline all of them” (5:2). Notice the word “discipline” vs “punish” here. As a parent who loves his children, I understand the significance of the difference. It makes me wonder about the terminology of our court system, one that levies out punishment for crimes, time in prisons or fines, etc. Interesting rabbit trail, yes? “Judah’s leaders are like those who move boundary stones” (5:10), like those who change the rules, who cheat their neighbors.
Chapter 6 begins with an appeal to the people, a great way to start a sermon, “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.” (6:1) and Hosea attempts to explain, “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings” (6:6).
This seems like an appropriate reference about the state of our current society, at least for many. Lord, may we cry out from our hearts, with sincerity, may we return to you daily.
Today is Easter Sunday. It’s quiet. The sense of anticipation is not like that of Christmas, yet arguably Easter is the most significant day for Christians. This day provides the definition that distinguishes those of us from the rest of the world. We say, “Christ is Risen, He is risen indeed!” while the rest of the world looks on with skeptical eyes. Teach us to celebrate Easter like never before! In Anderson, South Carolina, we’re surrounded by church-going people and it’s commonplace to say Happy Easter to anyone. This is not the same in Monterey, California, a foreign land compared to this location. Even so, the Lord looks to the heart and not just the words that are spoken.
Kneading the dough, working it over while the fire waits. “All of them are host as an oven; they devour their rulers. All their kings fall, and none of them calls on me” (7:7). The imagery of Hosea seems more relevant to our present circumstance as I re-read its brief passages. Help us to be vigilant Lord! Teach us, increase our wisdom that we may speak with authority against those who have convinced themselves of their lofty wisdom. It breaks my heart to hear such words, but they are present everywhere.
Remember your remnant Lord.