Read Hosea 1 -- 6
In Today's Reading:
Israel compared to an unfaithful wife; judgment upon adulterous Israel; Jehovah's withdrawal from His people; repentance urged
Jeroboam II was king of the northern kingdom near the end of its existence. He followed the evil example of Jeroboam I, the first king of the ten tribes of Israel which withdrew from the united kingdom following Solomon's death (I Kings 11:26-40; 12:2-20).
The moral and spiritual level of the Israelites had become so low as to embrace sodomites (male cult prostitutes) . . . and . . . all the abominations (detestable practices) of the nations which the LORD had 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 to 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 (Hosea 1:1-6).
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 (break all restraint), and blood touches blood (4:1-2). God revealed the consequences of Israel's sin, saying: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to Me: seeing you have forgotten the Law of your God, I will also forget your children (4:6).
Israel's kings as well as its political and religious leadership ignored the importance of obedience to the Word of God. Jesus Christ set the example of how important the Old Testament should be to us. His emphasis started with the first words of our Lord following His baptism. After 40 days of fasting, He was tempted of the Devil, who said: If you 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 proceeds out of the mouth of God (spiritual necessities) (Matthew 4:3-4; compare Deuteronomy 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 first submit ourselves to the Lord and allow His Word to become a vital part of our daily lives by reading every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
Through Hosea's love for his unworthy, sinful wife (Hosea 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 (Romans 5:8; 8:32; II Peter 1:3). I will betroth you to 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, obstinate backsliders; 5:7 portions = land parcels, fields; 5:15 early = earnestly.
BP Staff: Pam Pendergrast · Pray for Andrew Horvath, Hungarian translator · Government Officials: Del. Donna Christian-Christensen (Virgin Islands) and Rep. Marge Roukema (NJ) · Country: South Korea (47 million) in northeastern Asia · Major languages: Korean and English · Religious freedom · 33% Buddhist; 24% Protestant; 22% Confucianism and other eastern religions; 4% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Pray with unwavering faith so that your prayers may be answered (James 1:5-7).
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 10:10