Wednesday 30 January 2013

Bible Book:

Hosea 8:1-14 Wednesday 30 January 2013


In a sobering description of judgement, Hosea prophesies thedreadful consequences of turning from God. Israel has broken thecovenant (verse 1), rejecting the love and trust of God in favourof idolatry and foreign alliances. Israel's declaration that it'knows God' is rendered false by its actions (verses 2-3).

Hosea relates Israel's idol-making to its thirst forsetting up kings without guidance from God (verse 4). Such kingshave led Israel astray. Idols - including the 'calf of Samaria' -are objects of divine anger (verse 5), created by artisans but soonto be destroyed. Israel will reap the "whirlwind" of destruction,since the nation has spurned the God who had saved them (verse3).

Hosea also condemns foreign alliances as a further form offaithlessness. By bargaining with Assyria, Israel has become a"useless vessel" (v. 8), following the way of all nations ratherthan relying upon the Lord. Although Israel has appealed forAssyria's help (verse 9), it is Assyria that acts as the "vulture"over the Lord's house (v. 1), and Assyria that invaded and exiledthe Israelites in 722/721BC (2Kings 17:1-23).

God is the "good" that Israel has spurned (v. 3); God isthe one who has provided a 'multitude of instructions' (verse 12).Ultimately, however, 'Israel has forgotten his Maker' (v. 14). Theprophet relates faithlessness to the loss of genuine knowledge ofGod. When true knowledge is lost, people quickly turn toidols.

To Ponder

  • Where do we find God's "instructions" (v. 12) today?
  • Does God always accept 'sacrifices' that people make? Why orwhy not?  

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