Read Hosea 1 -- 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 (I Kings 11:26-40; 12:2-20). To secure his newly-formed Kingdom of Israel, he changed the place of worship from Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put His Name (II Chronicles 12:13). And, at the new worship centers, he made two calves of gold, and said . . . behold your gods (I Kings 12:28). Consequently, Jeroboam I became known as the man who made Israel to sin (I Kings 14:16; 15:26,30,34; 16:2,26; 21:22; 22:52; II 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 compared to the Feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month in Jerusalem.
The moral and spiritual level of the Israelites had now become so low as to embrace sodomites (male cult prostitutes) and all the abominations of the nations whom the Lord cast out (of Caanan) (I 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 to 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). God revealed the results of their sin, saying: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you . . . seeing you have forgotten the Law of your God, I will also forget your children (4:6).
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 You the Only True God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent . . . . I have given them Your Word; and the world has hated them . . . keep them from the evil. . . . Sanctify them through Your truth: Your Word is truth (John 17:3,14-15,17).
Christ Revealed: 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 (Rom. 5:8;8:32; II Pet. 1:3). I will betroth you unto Me for ever (Hosea 2:19).
Word Studies: 2:3 set means expose; 2:16 Ishi means my husband; Baali means my lord and master; 3:4 ephod means priestly robe; teraphim means household idols; 4:16 slideth back means stubborn; 5:7 portions means land, fields; 5:15 early means earnestly.
Government Officials: Del. Donna Christian-Christensen (Virgin Islands) and Rep. Marge Roukema (NJ) · Pray for Nathan Burke and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WCMX-AM, Lunenburg, MA · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Letha Hash's brother, Henry Rogers · Country: Argentina (37 million) in southern South America · Major languages: Spanish and English · Religious freedom · 87% Roman Catholic; 6% Protestant; 1% Muslim; 1% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you contentment in your circumstances, whether in plenty or in want (Philippians 4:11-12).
Memory Verse for the Week: Daniel 6:25-26