Read Hosea 7
Israel seeks help from Egypt and Assyria (Hos. 7); worships golden calves (chap. 8). Reaping what you sow (8:7). Punishment promised (chap. 9). The call of God to worship Him (10:12). The Lord's love for Israel (chap. 11); His anger at Israel (chap. 13). Healing and the sacrifice of praise (chap. 14).
The Prophet Hosea's final words before the Israelites were conquered and carried away by the Assyrians remind all of us: The ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein (Hos. 14:9).
Former warnings of judgment changed to a message of love. This did not mean that God had changed. It meant that, even though the Holy God must judge His people for their sins, His love still reached out to them. He called for Israel to reject the idols and return to Him: O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity (14:1).
In the past, Israel had turned to the powerful nations of Egypt and Assyria for help; this led to the Israelites worshiping their idols (4:17; 8:4; 11:2; 13:2; Is. 42:17; 44:17). The more God prospered the Israelites, the more they served themselves with an illusion of self-sufficiency. Consequently, prosperity led to selfish ends: He bringeth forth fruit unto himself (Hos. 10:1).
With a divided heart, the people of God feared the Lord, and served their own gods (II Kin. 17:32-33). They would give up neither God nor idols but “worshiped” all of them.
Many today have yet to learn that no man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to (be loyal to) the one, and despise the other (the one of less importance to him). Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matt. 6:24). With altars to idols nullifying the Temple sacrifice to God, the Israelites' worship became empty words of hypocrisy. They boasted of their relationship to the God of Jacob but did not walk in His steps. Israel's character was like that of Solomon, whose wives turned away his heart after other gods. . . . Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. . . . Chemosh, the abomination of Moab . . . and . . . Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. . . . his heart was turned from the Lord (I Kin. 11:4-5,7,9).
When we repent, turn from our sins, receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord of our lives, and let the indwelling Holy Spirit guide our lives as we read our Bible, we are freed from the power of Satan, sin, and spiritual death. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do (practice) not the Truth (I John 1:6).
Thought for Today:
Know therefore that . . . the faithful God . . . keepeth Covenant . . . with them that love Him and keep His Commandments (Deut. 7:9).
In the son who was called out of Egypt (Hos. 11:1). This prophecy is twofold: one is a historical reference pertaining to Israel (Ex. 4:22-23); and the other is prophetic, looking to the sojourn of Christ as a child in Egypt (Matt. 2:14-15).
9:1 hast gone a whoring have committed spiritual adultery and idolatry, were unfaithful to God (Israel was regarded as the wife of Jehovah. Isaiah 54:5; 62:4-5); cornfloor threshing floor; 10:5 calves golden calf idols; 10:11 to ride to put in harness; 11:12 yet ruleth with God is still considered faithful to God.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Ken Ernst • Staff: Ilene Wallace • Country: Zimbabwe (11.2 million) in south-central Africa • Major languages: English and Shona • Limited religious freedom • 59% Christian; 35% Traditional; 2% Muslim; 4% Other/non-Religious (Hindu, Buddhist, Baha'i, Jewish) • Prayer Suggestion: What a comfort to know that we depend upon His strength (Ps. 71:16).
Memory Verse for the Week: