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The Book of Hosea
INTRODUCTION TO HOSEA 12
Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel (Gen.32:28), was the ancestor of all the 12 tribes of Israel, both the northern and southern kingdoms. Jacob wrestled with the Angel in order to be blessed, but his descendants thought their blessings came from their own successes. Jacob purged his house of idols (Gen.35:2), but his descendants would not quit their idol worship.
Chapter 12 contains complaints and charges against both Israel and Judah, and threatens them with punishment if do not repent, for which they are warned. Ephraim is charged with idolatry, vain confidence and alliances with foreign nations. Then the Lord states that He has an argument with Judah, and shall punish the people there for their sins. They are rebuked and warned to turn to God, wait on Him, and do that which is right and good in their lives.
Ephraim is charged with fraudulent dealing and with oppression, and the love of it . . . yet he pretended he got riches by his own hard work, and without wrong doing. The Lord promises them public ordinances of worship, and joy in them, and the ministry of His prophets, although for the present they were guilty of gross idolatry.
This prophecy was delivered about the time that Israel was seeking aid of the Egyptian king "So" (2 Ki.17:4), in violation of their covenant with Assyria. He warns them to follow their father Jacob's persevering prayerfulness, which brought God's favor upon him. As God is unchangeable (Jam.1:17), He will show the same favor to Jacob's posterity as He did to Jacob, if they, like him, seek God.
Hosea 12:1 Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt. (KJV)
Ephraim feedeth on wind . . . there is no profit or benefit to him, than wind is to a man that opens his mouth, and fills himself with it. This expresses labor in vain, of a man getting nothing from all the pains he takes. The house of Israel is like someone that sows the wind, and reaps the whirlwind all the day (Hos.8:7). "Ephraim feedeth on wind" . . . is self-flattery of Ephraim, his supporting himself with hopes that are utterly unfit to sustain him. The attitude of "Me, me, me" will NOT get you anywhere in God's eyes!
John 15:4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (KJV)
Phil.4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (KJV)
And followed after the east wind . . . a wind strong and violent, burning and blasting, is very toxic and harmful. Instead of receiving profit and advantage from their idolatry or their covenants with other nations, they were only pursuing what would be great to their loss. They would be not be able to attain any benefit by such methods that they sought for, than they would be able to overtake or stop the east wind. The east wind in those countries were most vehement, dangerous, and blasting (Ps.48:7; Jonah 4:8); an excellent symbol representing the self-destroying course on which Ephraim was on.
He daily increaseth lies and desolation . . . all the time that they increased idols (Hos.10:1), which are lies false and deceitful, and increased idolatrous rites and rituals, and acts of worship, they simply increase their desolation and ruin. They continually persecute, spoil and plunder those who do not go along with their false worship. Idolaters are nearly always persecutors. Col.3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: (KJV) . . . They plow wickedness, and reap iniquity (Hos.10:13).
And they do make a covenant with the Assyrians . . . they made a covenant with the Assyrians; with the idea to defeat the threats of God, and to secure themselves. They sinfully partner with enemies, as before (Hos.5:13; 7:11; 8:9); forsaking God's covenant, and NOT trusting Him, but make a covenant with enemies, and trusting them. They gave tribute and presents to their kings, as Menahem did to Pul, and Hoshea to Shalmaneser, not to hurt them, and to help and assist them against their enemies, and to strengthen their kingdom (2 Ki.15:19). The covenant made with So, king of Egypt, was accounted a conspiracy in Hoshea, and this brought Shalmaneser upon Israel, which war ended in Israel's ruin and final desolation. How foolish!
And oil is carried into Egypt . . . not common oil for trade, but rich, precious oils, presents and price to obtain friendship there too, although forbidden (Isa.30:2; 31:1, 57:9). The land of Israel, was a land of oil olive, and was famous for the best oil, of which there was a scarcity in Egypt, and therefore was a welcome present there, as balsam also was (Gen.37:25).
Hosea 12:2 The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him. (KJV)
The Lord hath also a controversy with Judah . . . Judah is the two southern tribes. Although Judah, compared to Ephraim, was faithful, his ways and doings were found faulty in many areas, and God had a just complaint against Judah. In public worship Judah was faithful, stayed with God and His Temple, though not without some defects. But in their lives there were many more and greater faults.
And will punish Jacob according to his ways . . . all the posterity of Jacob, be it Ephraim or Judah; those of the ten tribes, or of the two, all were descendants of Jacob, and God "will visit according to his ways." If right, and agreed to the Mind and Word of God, in a way of grace and mercy; but if wrong, crooked and perverse, then in a way of punishment; for "visiting" is used both ways. "Will punish" . . . or visit with chastising to amend their ways, or else to destroy. "Jacob" . . . here is NOT the patriarch, but those who are descended from him (his children), but that have degenerated from his ways of love, fear, trust, and obedience. Both Ephraim and Judah are of "Jacob," but both have corrupted themselves, and therefore God will come against both. If Judah, the less faulty, escape not, Ephraim can have no hope at all of escape. If Judah be whipped with rods because a disobedient son, Ephraim may fear a sword because he has been and still is an obstinate rebel.
According to his doings will he recompense him . . . as they were good or bad; if good, will reward them with a reward of grace; if bad, with vengeance. According to works: (Ps.28:4; 62:12; Pro.24:12,29; Ecc.8:14; Dan.7:10 ; Jer.25:14; 32:19; Mat.16:27; 25:31-32; Jn. 12:48; 1 Cor. 3:12-15; 2 Cor.5:10; 2 Tim.1:9; 4:14; 1 Pet.1:17; Rom.2:15-16; Rev.2:23; 20:12-13)
The two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, as well as the ten tribes; for though they had ruled with God, and had been faithful with the saints in the first times of the apostasy of Israel; yet afterwards they sadly degenerated, and fell into idolatry, likewise, particularly in the time of Ahaz, in which Hosea prophesied; and therefore the Lord had something against them; nor would He spare them, but reprove them by the prophets, and rebuke them in His providences; bring them to His bar, and lay before them their evils, and threaten them with punishment in case of impenitence, as follows:
Hosea 12:3 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: (KJV)
He took his brother by the heel in the womb . . . He, Jacob, took his brother, Esau, by the heel in the womb (Gen.25:26).
It is mentioned here to remind them of that goodness which God showed to them in their father Jacob, who was by a miracle foretold to be superior to Esau, that he and his should have the birth-right. This should not be forgotten. The true worship of God they should have preserved, since the priesthood was both a privilege and a duty. Justice and equity they should have maintained as the kingly authority is included in the birth-right. BUT . . . all these blessings are forfeited by their apostasy! They should repent and humble themselves before Almighty God. They should seek to recover a disposition as worthy as Jacob. Jacob strove for the blessing, beginning in the womb, but they profanely neglect it in their full age.
Jacob took his brother Esau by the heel, as he came forth from his mother's womb. . Gen.25:22-24 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. 24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. 26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them. (KJV)
Romans 9:11-13 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. (KJV) . . . Hated = loved less.
And by his strength he had power with God . . . this "strength" was not of normal nature, but of the grace of God, a fruit of the Divine love and election, strength from God. "He had power with God" . . . a power received from God that was well used many times. In it he wrestled for and obtained the blessing (Gen.28:12-16); but they let it slip out of their hands. They sinned God's blessings away!
Hosea 12:4 Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us; (KJV)
Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed . . . he is Jacob, their father of whom they boast. "Had power" . . . behaved himself as a prince with God (Gen.32:28). "The angel" . . . this is the uncreated Angel of the Covenant, Christ Jesus, the Son of God. "The Angel" . . . is called God (Hos.12:3,5). The Angel is God, the "everlasting Father" (Isa.9:6), Lord of hosts. He was NO created angel, He was/is the uncreated Angel, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, eternal God by nature and essence, angel by office and voluntary undertaking. "And prevailed" . . . Jacob got the victory! Jacob was victorious with God by his faith and prayer.
He wept, and made supplication unto him . . . he wept, NOT the angel, as some mistakenly think. It was Jacob who wept, he prayed with tears, although the story does not say so. I thing Jacob deeply felt his unworthiness, and humbly and earnestly pleaded for the mercy he so desired, fearful of the majesty of Him with Whom he wrestled. But Israel, totally opposite, were proud as if they worthy, earnestly sought out idols, but NOT God! "Made supplication unto him" . . . it is Christ Who is intended here, NOT some mere creature (Gen.32:26). .
He found him at Bethel . . . the angel found Jacob, when he was fleeing from Esau into Syria (Gen 27:41-46). The Lord appeared to him "in Bethel" (Gen.28:11-19; 35:1). This is a sad contrast, because it was this same Bethel, where Israel now worshipped the golden calves! "He" (God) "found him." Jacob was tired from the run, and the fears and solicitude on his journey to Laban (Gen.28:12,20). Jacob's prayers obtained a blessing. When he returned after this wrestling (Gen.35:1, 7-15), God appeared to him and blessed him. Bethel was formerly called Luz, but Jacob named and called it Bethel (Gen.28:19).
And there he spake with us . . . there He (God) spake, renewing His Promise and confirming the blessing (Gen.28:13-15). "With us" . . . Jesus spoke to Jacob, but also was speaking to Israel, as posterity were in Jacob's loins, and blessed with him.
This place where God appeared to Jacob, He commanded him to build an altar there, to restore religion and get his family away from idolatry, which he did (Gen.35:1-4). But these children of this godly Jacob by natural descent, are of another and far different kind, even though they have been called and warned to leave their idols, yet all these years they have kept them. God sees their sin, sees their hard-headedness, and He shall punish such a "Jacob" as they are.
Hosea 12:5 Even the LORD God of hosts; the LORD is his memorial. (KJV)
Even the Lord God of hosts . . . He that appeared and spoke, promised the blessing, and commanded the restoration at Bethel, was the Lord, the Almighty and the eternal and unchangeable God, who still promised with like commands. "God of hosts" . . . Who can both carry out His Promises and execute His threats. He is a most terrible enemy to those who disobey Him, and the most desirable Friend to those who love and obey Him and seek His will in their lives.
The Lord is his memorial . . . His Name, Jesus, belongs to this Angel. He is the Son of God, the Son of His divine Father, conceived by the Holy Ghost (Mat.1:20). His Name expresses His divine and eternal existence (Jn.1:1-2), and His immutability. This is His memorial, the remembrance of Him; which puts His people of all ages in remembrance of Him . . . what He is, what an infinite, almighty, and all sufficient Being He is. Those who love Him, believe in Him and trust Him are wise indeed. Exodus 3:15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. (KJV)
Hosea 12:6 Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually. (KJV)
Therefore turn thou to thy God . . . no more vain boast of Jacob; for they cannot approve themselves before God. Turn back to God . . . mourn (Mat.5:4), repent, leave all idols and all sins. They must worship God alone, casting all idols out.
Keep mercy and judgment . . . show compassion and kindness to all who need it. Cast off all cruelty and inhumanity, be merciful to the afflicted. These are right actions to the duties we owe to anyone that are in trouble (Mat.23:23).
And wait on thy God continually . . . have patience in prayer, as you wait for an answer, and in worship of Him, with hope of meeting Him one day, and enjoying His Presence. They (and us) should seek God, and Him alone should we serve and trust. Idols should have NO part in any sacrifice, prayer, praise or trust from you.
Hosea 12:7 He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress. (KJV)
He is a merchant . . . Ephraim is far from being Jacob, or as Jacob, that you may call and account him a Canaanite, a subtle merchant. (Hos.4:17; 5:5; 6:4,10; 8:11; 12:14).
The balances of deceit are in his hand . . . he used false weights and measures; made the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsified the balances by deceit; had wicked balances, and deceitful weights, and the scant measure, which is abominable (Amos 8:5). Their pretense of weighing everything exactly that they bought or sold was far from truth. They cheated either by sleight or hand, holding the balances as they should not, or had one pair of scales and weights to buy with, and another to sell by, contrary to the law of God (Lev.19:35-36). They were covetous and very unjust. Ephraim is said to be a cheating "merchant," a fraudulent dealer, more like a descendant of Canaan, by his manners, than a descendant of Jacob..
He loveth to oppress . . . instead of keeping and doing mercy and justice, they oppressed the poor, defrauded them of what was rightfully due, them. And by secret and private methods cheated them in their dealings with them, bringing them to poverty and distress. They took great delight and pleasure in their evil practices, revealing an utter lack of honesty in them. Their sinful habits were a way of life to them. They were hardened in it, and had no remorse, no conscience against it, but instead gloried in it.
Hosea 12:8 And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin. (KJV)
And Ephraim said, yet I am become rich . . . this covetous, oppressive merchant became rich by defrauding others. What He aimed at, he got. He improved his stockpile, but also stockpiled his sins before God. Treasuring up wrath: (Job 21:16-20; Ps.38:4; Pro.5:22-23; Dan.9:27; Rom.2:5-6; 1 Thes.2:16; 2 Pet.3:7).
I have found me out substance . . . they found ways and means of acquiring great riches and large properties, by their wisdom and cunning. He took to himself all these things by the sinful manner of acquiring them, taking the praise himself. They completely forget God, boasting only of their wisdom and wit, although they cannot boast of their honesty. SO much of this going on today! SO SAD!!!
In all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin . . . Ephraim, or the people of Israel, vainly ascribe all their wealth and riches to their own labor, diligence and industry. They take NO notice of God and His providence, or of His blessing upon them. They are "hypocrites" (Mat.23:13-33); who pretended to be upright and honest in their dealings. They admit no great fault, no crime, no sin! They believe all is well since they prosper, so they do not suspect any great miscarriage which should deserve punishment. So they flatter themselves into security, do not fear punishment, and are hardened in the stubbornness of sin that is incapable of being amended (Pro.30:20). But in God's eyes, they are found to deserve a rebuke or punishment.
Hosea 12:9 And I that am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast. (KJV)
And I that am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt . . . God gave them wealth, but was forgotten in both Israel and Judah. They did not fear God's anger and sinned against Him, forgetting that it was He Who gave them power to get wealth. Instead of giving God the glory, they took it themselves, not remembering that it was God Who brought them out of Egypt.
Will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast . . . this alludes to the feast of tabernacles, kept in commemoration of the Israelites dwelling in tents in the wilderness (Lev.23:4-44), and was typical of Christ's incarnation, expressed by His tabernacling among men in human nature (Jn.1:14), and which feast, though abolished by Christ with the rest, yet it is said will be kept by converted Jews and Gentiles in the latter day.
Ephraim, sacrilegiously robbed God of the praise and glory He deserved, and were not thankful for what He had done for them. God does NOT change! He is the same God today, that brought those Israelites out of Egypt, giving them plenty, peace, safety and joy, and would willingly continue it all, if they would just trust and obey Him.
Hosea 12:10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets. (KJV)
I have also spoken to the prophets . . . God wanted Ephraim's peaceful state to continue, so He spoke to them by His prophets. These special men warned them of their danger of apostasy, rebuked them for their sins, encouraged them to repent and stay true to God. These prophets spoke plain words to them, that could not be misunderstood by these blind and sinful people.
And I have multiplied visions . . . as was foretold in Joel 2:28. I have multiplied visions; by many visions and representations of my mind, the duty of the people, what would be safe, what dangerous, by lively emblems set before the prophets, and by them told to Israel, God advised and warned that He might yet settle them. He deposited with them His instructions which should have brought them to the right way. God's prophets used similitudes, symbols, metaphors, allegories and parables, so as to get their attention, and bring them back to their duty, but alas! all is in vain. None profited by God's warnings. .
Men who Had Visions from God:
Abraham (Gen.15:1) Jacob (Gen.46:2) Balaam (Num.24:4,16) Samuel (1 Sam.3:1,15) Nathan (2 Sam.7:17; 1 Chron. 17:15) Isaiah (Isa.1:1; 2 Chron. 32:32) Messiah (Ps.89:19) Ezekiel (Eze.7:13; 8:1-4; 11:24) Iddo (2 Chron. 9:29) Daniel (Dan.2:19; 8:1-27; 9:21-24) Nebuchadnezzar (Dan.2) Obadiah (Ob.1) Habakkuk (Hab.2:2-3) Peter (Mat.17:9; Acts 10:19; 11:5) James (Mat.17:9) John (Mat.17:9; Rev. 9:17) Zacharias (Luke 1:22) Ananias (Acts 9:10-12) Cornelius (Acts 10:3,17) Paul (Acts 16:9-10; 18:9; 2 Cor.12)
And used similitudes by the ministry of the prophets . . . "similitudes" are similarities, likenesses, parables, examples, actions, symbols, etc.. Isaiah went barefoot (Isa.20:2-4), names his son Maher-shalal-hash-baz, to warn Israel. Betharbel's desolation is mentioned to prevent Samaria's (Hos.10:14). Hosea takes an adulteress to wife to bring Israel to sight and sense of their sin (Hos.1:2). All this and so much more by God's prophets, because God had compassion and would have made them dwell in peace and safety under His government. And yet Israel would not be counseled and were unthankful and would not understand and comply, would not own their sins and repent. Similitude: (Num.12:8; Deut.4:12,15-16; 2 Chron.4:3; Ps.106:20; 144:12; Dan.10:16)
Five ways that God speaks:
1. By His Book, His Holy Word
2. By the prophets, and by His Son (Heb.1:1-2)
3. By visions (Gen. 46:2; Eze. 1)
4. By similitudes
5. By nature (Gen.7:6-7; 19:24-25; 41:6; Ex.9:22-29; 10:19,22-23; 14:21-31; Num.11:31-32; 2 Ki.2:1,11; Job 37:9; Ps.18:7; 46:2-3; 78:17-23,26-28; 104:32; Eze.1:4; 19:12; Hos.13:15; Nah.1:3).
Hosea 12:11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? surely they are vanity: they sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal; yea, their altars are as heaps in the furrows of the fields. (KJV)
Is there iniquity in Gilead? . . . the prophet warns the disobedient, ungodly Israelites by an example of God's wrath on them. They are nothing but iniquity. Iniquity, especially idolatry, in Scripture is often called "vanity" (Pro.13:11). Any wealth gotten by vanity, is iniquity (Isa.41:29). "Gilead" refers to Mizpah-gilead, a city representing the region beyond Jordan (Hos.6:8; Judg.11:29). . . . Gilead:http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6674-gilead
Tiglath-pileser came up against Israel, and took Gilead among other towns, leading the inhabitants captives (2 Ki.15:29; 16:8-9), now some sixteen or seventeen years after, the prophet reminded sinful and secure Ephraimites what they must expect, and does it in this overpowering question, "Is there iniquity in Gilead?" This is much like the question of Christ (Luke 13:2-3).
Surely they are vanity . . . the inhabitants of Gilead, as well as of Bethel, worshipped idols, which are utterly vain things, vanity itself, and deceive those that serve them, and trust in them.
Yea, their altars are as heaps in, the furrows of the fields . . . not only in the city of Gilgal, and in the temple there, but even outside the city, in the fields they set up altars, which looked like piles of stones. Rocks were picked up from the fields, to make cultivating easier, and placed at the edge of the field. I remember doing this when I was a child.
Their altars were so many, they looked like the heaps upon the borders of the fields. Idolatrous Israel abounded in altars. Can Ephraim have any hope to escape, whose sins exceed the sins of captive Gilead? Hosea rebukes them: "Will you never be wise, never be warned, never repent?"
They sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal . . . "Gilgal" is the region on this side of Jordan (Hos.4:15; 9:15). In all sections alike, they are utterly vile. In Gilgal they were sacrificing bulls. This shows that Gilead was not the only place for idolatry, which was on the other side Jordan, but Gilgal, which was on this side Jordan, was also polluted with it. Gilgal:http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6675-gilgal
Hosea 12:12 And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep. (KJV)
And Jacob fled into the country of Syria . . . Jacob, the patriarch, fled into the country of Syria, because he feared Esau. Although they prided themselves on the great name of "Israel," they did not forget that their ancestor was the same Jacob who was a fugitive, and who served 14 years for Rachel. He did not forget God Who delivered him when fleeing from Esau, and when oppressed by Laban (Gen.28:5; 29:20,28; Deut.26:5). But they, although delivered from Egypt (Hos.12:13), and abounding with God's favors, are not willing to return to God. "Country of Syria" . . . the region of Syria, lying between the Tigris and Euphrates (Gen.48:7).
And Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep . . . "Israel" is Jacob. He served Laban 7 years for Rachel. Laban cheated him, and gave him Leah instead. Jacob had to serve another 7 years to get Rachel, whom he loved. Jacob served Laban 14 years tending sheep to get the wife he wanted (Gen.29:1-35).
Hosea 12:13 And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved. (KJV)
And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt . . . by Moses, the Lord brought Israel, their forefathers, out of Egypt; where they had been bondmen about 215 years. Moses (Num.12:6-8; Deut.18:15,18).
And by a prophet he was preserved . . . preserved, kept. There is an allusion to the same Hebrew word in Hos.12:12, "kept sheep." Israel was kept by God as His flock, even as Jacob kept sheep (Ps.80:1; Isa.63:11). Just as Moses was "preserved" (Ex.2:1-25; 3:1-22), so too Moses then preserved Israel in the wilderness.
Hosea warns Israel, trying to prevent their vain pride and boasting of their ancestors, and their trying to shelter themselves with their ancestors' merits, against God's just displeasure on them for their sins, and the stupefied plea of what their fathers did at Beth-el and Gilgal.
By the same prophet Moses, was Israel preserved at the Red sea, and in the wilderness . . . where they were kept as a flock of sheep from their powerful enemies, and brought to the borders of Canaan's land.
Hosea 12:14 Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him. (KJV)
Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly . . . the Lord used many ways from time to time to reclaim idolatrous sinning Israel. But they still provoked God to righteous anger by their idolatries, perjuries, oppressions and murders. All their horrid sins simply aggravated God to righteous wrath. When a person or a nation turns away from God and His goodness, and turns to idolatry, the judgment of God shall fall! Israel's sins were as wildfire to God, bringing out the His bitter anger against them.
Therefore shall he leave his blood upon him . . . Israel is guilty and deserves death. Blood had been shed and the guilt of his sin remained upon him. Israel had turned from God, and therefore He must judge them. Seeing they hopelessly persist as they had begun, the end of their sin shall be desolation and misery. They shall bear the guilt and punishment of their disobedience and wickedness. "Therefore shall he leave his blood upon him" . . . this is similar to our Lord's Words (Mat.25:41,46; John 3:36; 8:24; 9:41; Rev.20:15).
And his reproach shall his Lord return unto him . . . Ephraim dishonored God when they worshipped idols, and God shall repay him! That God is "his Lord" by redemption and special revelation to Ephraim only aggravates and increases his guilt, instead of giving him hope of escape. God does not give up His claim to them as His, but they set aside His power over them.
Isaiah 59:18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence. (KJV)
Rev.18:6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. (KJV)
Consider this: Ephraim was like a deceitful merchant. They carried on trade covetously, with fraud and deceit, thus becoming rich, and falsely thought that God favored them. But ALL shameful sins shall have shameful punishments. Any benefits we have had from the Word of God, makes our sin and folly all the worse, when we slight that Word in any way. We are much better off to stay with the hardest ways of poverty, than to grow rich by sin. God's Word is there for us, that we may judge our own conduct by comparing it with those in the Old Testament. BEWARE!!! Whosoever despises the message of God, will perish (Mat.25:41,46; John 3:36; 8:24; 9:41; Rev.20:15). May we all hear His Word with humble, obedient hearts and faith.
Book of Hosea
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