The faithfulness of God versus people's unfaithfulness. Who wins (Hos. 1:2)? Redemption (2:14). Charges against a sinful nation (chap. 4). God withdraws (chap. 5). Repent (chap 6)! Reaping what you sow (8:7). Punishment will come (chap. 9).
Jeroboam II was king of the northern kingdom. The moral and spiritual level of the Israelites had become so low as to embrace sodomites (male temple prostitutes) . . . and . . . all the abominations (detestable practices) of the nations which the Lord cast out (of the promised land) (I Kings 14:24). Not one of the 19 kings of the northern kingdom of Israel attempted to lead the people to worship in Jerusalem as God had instructed. It was under these circumstances that the Word of the Lord . . . came unto Hosea . . . in the days of Jeroboam . . . king of Israel. . . . I will break the bow of Israel. . . . God said . . . I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel (Hos. 1:1-6).
As a demonstration of His own relationship to a rebellious and wicked people, God had Hosea find and marry a prostitute. Her unfaithfulness to him pictured the nation of Israel and its unfaithfulness to God.
The Lord spoke against His people through Hosea because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out (with no restraint) (4:1-2). God revealed the consequences of Israel's sin, saying: Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to Me: seeing thou hast forgotten the Law of thy God, I will also forget thy children (4:6).
Israel's kings as well as its political and religious leadership blatantly disregarded the importance of obedience to the Word of God. Jesus Christ set the example of how important the Old Testament should be to us. After 40 days of fasting, He was tempted of the Devil, who said: If Thou be (Since You are) the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone (physical necessities), but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (spiritual necessities) (Matt. 4:3-4; compare Deut. 8:3). By quoting this Old Testament Scripture, our Lord revealed the "Key to Victory" over satanic deceptions. We can have that same victory over Satan when we allow every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God to become a vital part of our daily lives (Matt. 4:4).
Thought for Today:
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord (James 5:14).
Through Hosea's love for his unworthy, sinful wife (Hos. 3:1-5). Our Lord Jesus not only loved us while we were yet sinners, but He also died the death of shame for us on Calvary so that all He possessed might become ours (Rom. 5:8; 8:32; II Pet. 1:3-4). I will betroth thee unto Me for ever (Hos. 2:19).
2:3 (first) set =expose; (second) set =eave; 3:4 ephod =sleeveless priestly outer garment; 4:16 slideth back =stubborn, obstinate. Israel has committed whoredom and sacrifice to idols.
Pray for Government Officials: Del. Donna Christian-Christensen (Virgin Islands) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX) • Country: Bolivia (8 million) in South America • Major languages: Spanish and Quechua • Religious freedom • 92% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant; 3% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord; our God is the Mighty God (Ps. 50:1).
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Thessalonians 1:4