Friday 08 February 2013

Bible Book:

Hosea 13:1-14 Friday 8 February 2013


This chapter concentrates on Ephraim's falls from grace, andsubsequent sin and punishment. It opens with how things used to be:when Ephraim spoke, people listened, but due to his worship of theidol, Baal, he paid the ultimate price and died because of hisimmoral behaviour (verse 1). Unfortunately though, the people didnot learn from this dreadful incident and have appeared to havecontinued regardless further embroiling themselves in their sin.The people now indulge in idol worship and human sacrifice makingthem abhorrent in the sight of God (verse 2).

However, all is not lost and from verse 4 onwards, God seeks toremind them what God has done for them in the past. He rescued themfrom bondage in Egypt (verse 4), looked after them in the desert(verse 5) and when they were hungry, God fed them (verse 6) untilthey were satisfied.  Therefore God's anger is aroused againstthem in the hope that this will encourage them to turn back to aright way of living once again. Verse 10 almost sounds like God istaunting the people, saying things like "where now is your king?"and "where in all your cities are your rulers" implying that whenthere is a problem to be resolved they are nowhere to be found.

So God is going to punish the people bringing drought which willhave a knock-on effect and cause a famine on the area; wells willdry up and the storehouse will be empty (verse 15). Then comes thethreat of violence and yet again, children and women are singledout as the ones who will suffer. It sounds like all people willsuffer; but these two groups of people are especially mentioned.Here is a graphic picture of judgement to end a sad and depressingchapter: the people hearing this from the words of Hosea can be inno doubt that this prophecy means trouble, chaos and suffering.

To Ponder

  • Why is it, do you think, when way or violence breaks out it isalways the most vulnerable in society that seem to suffer themost?
  • To what extent does sin always lead to severe consequences?Why?
  • In what ways can Christians do more to stand against war andbloodshed?
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