Read Hosea 1 -- 6
In Today's Reading:
Israel compared to an unfaithful wife; judgment upon adulterous Israel; Jehovah's people destroyed because they had forgotten (rejected) the Law of their God; repentance urged.
Verse for Today:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee . . . seeing thou hast forgotten the Law of thy God, I will also forget thy children (4:6).
Near the end of the Northern Kingdom, Jeroboam II was king. He was followed by the brief reigns of Zachariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, Pekah, and Hoshea. During that time, Hosea, Obadiah, Jonah, Amos, and, possibly, Joel were prophets.
Jeroboam II followed the example of Jeroboam I, the first king of the ten tribes of Israel when they separated from the United Kingdom following Solomon's death (1 Kings 11:26-40; 12:2-20). To secure his newly-formed Kingdom of Israel, Jeroboam II changed the place of worship from Jerusalem, the city the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put His Name (2 Chronicles 12:13). And, at the new worship centers, he made two calves of gold, and said . . . behold [your] gods (1 Kings 12:28). Consequently, Jeroboam I became known as the man who made Israel to sin (14:16; 15:26,30,34; 16:2,26; 21:22; 22:52; 2 Kings 3:3; 10:29,31; 13:2; 14:24; 15:9,18,24,28; 23:15).
This was a violation of the First Commandment, which forbids having other gods; and it was also a violation of the Second Commandment, which condemns all graven images (Exodus 20:3-4). Jeroboam also instituted a non-Levitical order of priests and a new religious feast in the eighth month that replaced the Feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month in Jerusalem.
The moral and spiritual level of the Israelites had, by this time, become so low as to embrace sodomites (male cult prostitutes) and all the abominations of the nations [whom] the Lord cast out (of Canaan) (1 Kings 14:24). Not one of the 19 kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel ever attempted to lead the people to worship in Jerusalem as God had instructed Moses. It was in this situation that the Word of the Lord . . . came unto Hosea . . . in the days of Jeroboam . . . king of Israel. . . . I will have no more mercy upon the House of Israel; but I will utterly take them away (Hosea 1:1-6).
The Lord spoke against the people through Hosea, saying: There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. (They were guilty of) swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery (4:1-2). But, most critical, Israel's leadership had failed to see the importance of obedience to the Word of God. In His day, Jesus prayed: This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only True God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent. . . . I have given them Thy Word; and the world hath hated them. . . . keep them from the evil. . . . Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth (John 17:3).
Through Hosea's love for his unworthy, sinful wife (Hosea 3). 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 (Romans 5:8; 8:32; 2 Peter 1:3). I will betroth [you] unto Me for ever (Hosea 2:19).
2:3 set = expose; 2:16 Ishi = my husband; Baali = my lord and master; 3:4 ephod = priestly robe; teraphim = household idols; 4:16 slideth back = stubborn; 5:7 portions = land, fields; 5:15 early = earnestly.
Government Officials: Del. Donna Christian-Christensen (Virgin Islands) and Rep. Marge Roukema (NJ) · Pray for the President · Country: Turkmenistan (4 million) southwestern central Asia · Major languages: Turkmen and Russian · Religious freedom · 76% Muslim; 6% Russian/Armenia Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for your Christian friends (Philemon 1:4).
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 5:10-11