Monday 04 February 2013

Bible Book:

Hosea 10:1-8 Monday 4 February 2013


In today's passage we learn of Hosea's message from God of thepenalty for Israel. The contrast from the start of the passage tothe end could not be more different, Israel will go from "luxuriantvine" (v. 1), to having her holy places covered with thorns andthistles (verse 8). So the change from prosperity to begging themountains to fall on them could not be greater for the people ofIsrael. Israel is going to be punished for turning its back on Godin a time of plenty and thus seeking solace and reverence inidols.

Chapter nine tells us that Israel is to be punished, and chapterten tells us how Israel is to be punished. Firstly, the altars totheir foreign gods are to be destroyed (verse 2). Secondly, theidol Beth Aven will be removed into 'exile' (verse 5). Beth Aven isBethel's calf-god and it was a central feature to the idolatrousshrine, and over time this statue came to have great significancefor the people and the priests who had administered there.

The chapter begins from a vantage point of wealth and prosperityand ends up in a kind of spiritual wilderness. The similaritieswith our own society stemming from the banking crisis could not bemore profound. The fruit at the start of the chapter stemmed fromagricultural prosperity which leads to material wealth, but all thewhile Yahweh is ignored. Now the people seem to have little left.There is recognition that they have no king because he too, likethe idol calf, is removed to exile (verse 3). With their figureheadgone, their idolatry purged and their pride defeated, society hashad a hole punctured in it, leaving the people bereft and withouthope. The sin has been found out and the people now have to sufferthe consequences.

To Ponder

  • What similarities exist between what Hosea faced and the latesteconomic crisis? To what extent does prosperity lead todestruction?
  • What idols exist in your life, which have become an impedimentto your spiritual health?
  • Does sin always get found out?
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