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The Book of Hosea
Chapter 4

Israel guilty before God

The private life of Hosea fades into the background. The emphasis is now on the Lord God and the faithless nation of Israel which has been playing the harlot. We leave that section of the book which is personal. Chapters 4-14 deals with that which is prophetic.

Israel's Depravity

In the first section, the prophet demonstrates the necessity for judgment, by exposing the sins and foolishness of Israel. This section is divided into two parts: “Hear the word of the Lord” (Hos.4:1), and “Hear ye this” (Hos.5:1). The difference between the two parts is . . . in chapter 4 the reproof of their sins passes from Israel as a whole, to the sins of the priests in particular. In chapter 5 it passes from the ruin of the priesthood to the depravity of all Israel, and announces the judgment of devastation upon Ephraim, and then closes in Hosea 6:1-3 with a command to return to the Lord. The contents of the two chapters, are so arranged, that it is difficult to divide them.

#1. Second son of Joseph: (Gen.41:52; 48:5,14-20; Num.26:35-37; 1 Chron.7:21-22)
#2. A tribe of Israel: (Gen.49:25-26; Isa.ch.7; 9:18-21; 11:13; 28:1; Jer.31; Hos.5:14; Zec.9:10; 10:7).
#3. Numbered at Mount Sinai and in plains of Moab: (Num.1:33; 26:37).
#4. Failed to expel the Canaanites: (Josh.16:10).
#5. revolted from house of David: (1 Ki.12:25; 2 Chron.10:16).
#6. Worshiped Baal: (Hos.13:1).
#7. Name of Ephraim, applied to the ten tribes: (2 Chron.17:2; 25:6-7; Isa.7:8-9; 11:12-13; 17:3; Jer.31:18,20; Hos.4:17; 5:3,5; 6:4,10; 8:11; 12:14).
#8. Ephraim called Joseph: (Rev.7:8).
#9. A range of low mountains: (Josh.17:15-18).
#10. Residence of Micah: (Judg.17:8).
Also see: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/5793-ephraim

Because of the heartbreaking experience in his own home, Hosea now comes to speak to Israel. He knows how God feels about them. God is now going to bring them into court, bring certain charges against them, and prove those charges. The message of chapter 4 is . . . Israel is guilty of lawlessness, immorality, ignorance of God's Word and idolatry. Sounds like today! This chapter can be compared to the first chapter of Isaiah, where Isaiah speaks to the southern kingdom, spelling out God's charge against that nation.

Does Hosea speak to us today? Absolutely! The same sins of Israel are indeed the sins of our own nation. Yes! It is true that Israel was God's chosen people, and He gave the Mosaic Law to them. BUT . . . we need to consider that His Word is Law. If anyone disobeys Him, He certainly CANNOT bless that person or nation.
Our nation is guilty of the same sins that Israel was guilty of when God judged them and sent them into captivity. I am sure many will disagree with me, by saying: "We are NOT idolaters." My friend, covetousness is idolatry (Col.3:5; Heb.13:5). There is NO other nation more greedy and/or worships the almighty dollar more than the United States! Do NOT point your finger at Israel and think, "It's a shame how they turned from God." All you have to do is open your eyes and look around!

God's judgments against the sins of the people (Hos.4:1-5)

Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. (KJV)

Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel . . . "hear" is more than just listening, it is seriously considering and weighing what the Lord is saying! It is the hearing of the mind, as well as of the ear, that is required. "The word of the Lord" . . . He that speaks through Hosea is the great and TRUE God. Although the messenger is a man; the message comes NOT from man, but it is the Word of God, a message of the sovereign, holy, just and Almighty Creator God, who always speaks most important things things that refer to our obedience and safety. "Ye children of Israel" . . . the people of ten tribes, with whose ancestors God's covenant was made, who received the law by the disposition of angels (Acts 7:53), but have NOT kept it. They that have turned aside from their TRUE God to idols.

For the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land . . . the inhabitants of the land, who dwell in Israel, are divided from the house of David (Judah), and from the house of God. They dwell among idolatrous neighbors . . . NOT just a few of them, but the majority of the people . . . just like our nation today!

It is the inhabitants of the whole land that the Lord has an action against. The Lord knows your sins (Eze.11:5). He hates sin, He threatens and will judge and punish sin unless they repent. It is God that speaks here through Hosea, and summons them to plead with Him. "Hath a controversy" . . . they have wronged Him, and He will right Himself, but He will be very clear in His judgment. All shall see that the just Lord does justly, and that Israel's sins are the cause of all their sufferings. God does NOT take pleasure in afflicting the children of men. Against Him they had sinned, and before Him they stood guilty. He had many things against them. A charge is brought into open court, the indictment is read, an answer must be made. God is their enemy, who moves and brings on the controversy in a judicial way. WHO can answer him? (Mat.22:46; Lk.14:6). WHO can stand before Him? (Jer.10:10; Nah.1:6; Rev.6:17).

Because there is no truth . . . NONE do or speak truth. NONE are true and faithful . . . NONE are true to their word, NONE are faithful to their commitment. NO truth of grace is found in them, NO truth of doctrine is received and held by them. Truth is gone from them. There was NO truth of Word or worship with respect to Almighty God. There are NONE that do truth, NONE that dispense mercy, NONE that walk in the fear of the Lord in the land. Fear, reverence of the Lord: (Ps.2:11; Ps.25:12-14; Ps.31:19; Ps.33:8; Ps.33:18; Ps.34:7; Ps.34:9; Ps.67:7; Ps.96:4; Ps.111:10; Ps.115:11; Prov.1:7; 3:7; 8:13; 9:10; 14:2; 15:16; 22:4; Mat.10:28; Jam. 2:19).

Nor mercy . . . NO mercy, NO kindness, NO gentleness of heart and mind. All are hardened, and hold back any compassion, which should be opened toward the indigent and those in need. There is NO compassion, NO doing good among them. They have NO pity.

Nor knowledge of God in the land . . . all are ignorant, and have NO knowledge of God. They know NOT what God is in Himself, know NOT what God has done for them, know NOT His honesty and truth, know NOT His love, kindness and tenderness that He requires in His Word. If by chance they did have a slight knowledge of those things, they certainly did NOT consider them. They have wiped out any knowledge of God they did have. Again, like today!

Because of the heartbreaking experience in his own home, Hosea knows how God feels about Israel. Everything that has been said so far, has been in general way. God said, "They have sinned. They have played the harlot and been unfaithful to Me." God is now going to bring them to court, spell out certain charges against them, and prove those charges. The message of chapter 4 is that Israel is guilty of lawlessness, immorality, ignorance of God's Word and idolatry . . . which can be compared with the first chapter of Isaiah, where Isaiah speaks to the southern kingdom (Judah), bringing God's charge against that nation.

If a person would just look around, I think that these sins of Israel, are the same as the sins of our own nation. You may say: "We are NOT idolaters." My friend, covetousness is idolatry (Eph.5:5; Col.3:5; Heb.13:5)! I do not know of another nation that is more greedy and worships the almighty dollar more than this nation of ours today. As you read the Book of Hosea, do you point your finger at Israel and say, "It is a shame how they turned from God." Do NOT be too quick to judge them! Look around and see if the same thing is not true of America.

Hosea 4:2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. (KJV)

By swearing, and lying . . . swearing, either falsely or profanely, or cursing and wishing evil to someone. "Lying" . . . instead of truth, there is perjury; instead of compassion there is hatred and evil-speaking. Lying of all kinds: affirming falsehoods, denying truths, deception, defrauding, calling good evil and evil good (Isa.5:20), representing something as good that it is not, flattery, defaming, etc.

And killing . . . God had forbidden all kinds and degrees of murder, but this people, through ignorance of God, filled the land with murders, some open, some secret . . . by cruelty withholding relief from some, by violence and falsehood cutting off others: the people seemed bent on killing. Murder is sin: (Ex.20:13; Deut.5:17; 27:25; Ps.10:8; 10:8; 94:6; Jer.7:9; Hos.4:2; Mat.5:21; Mk.7:21; 10:19; Lk.18:20; Rom.13:9; 1 Tim.1:9; Jam.2:11; 1 Pet.4:15; 1 Jn.3:15; Rev.21:8; 22:15). Murder includes ABORTION!

And stealing . . . stealing is injury to another, either by taking away what was his, or holding back what should have been his, or giving less than was due him. Israel was inclined to be frauds, many addicted to secret thefts, and some openly practicing it. Stealing is sin: (Ex.20:15; 22:1,7; Lev.19:11; Deut.5:19; 23:24; Hos.7:1; Mat.19:18; Mk.10:19; Lk.18:20; Rom.13:9-10; 1 Cor.6:10; Eph.4:28; 1 Pet.4:15; Rev.9:21).

Committing adultery . . . this sin had grown to a great height in Israel; a sin directly against the truth and mercy which should have been among them. "Adultery" consisted of all degrees of adultery: lasciviousness, impure thoughts, words and gestures being included. Adultery, fornication and homosexuality is sin: (Exodus 20:14; Lev.18:20; 20:10; Deut.5:18; Pro.6:32; Jer.5:7; 23:10; 29:23; Eze.16:32; 22:11; Hos.4:2; Mal.3:5; Mat.5:32; 19:9,18; Mk.6:18; 7:21; Mk.10:11,19; Lk.16:18; 18:20; Rom.1:26-32; 7:3; 13:9; 1 Cor.6:9,18; 7:2; 10:8; Gal.5:19; Eph.5:3; Col.3:5; Heb.13:4; Jam.2:11; 2 Pet.2:14; Jude 1:7; Rev.2:20-22; 9:21).
ALL Wickedness is disobedience to God: (Gen.13:13; 18:20-21; Ex.22:18-20; Lev.18:22-24; 19:31; 20:2-6,13-17,27; 1 Sam.15:23; 2 Ki.9:22; 21:6; 23:24; 2 Chron.28:3; 33:6; Job 15:16; Ps.14:1-4; 50:17-22; 53:2; 58:2-4; Pro.6:18; Ecc.17:9; Isa.8:19; 19:3; 29:4; 32:6-7; 57:3-11; Jer.4:14; Eze.8:9,12; Mic.5:12-15; Nah.3:4; Mat.15:19; Mk. 7:21-23; Rom.1:24-32; 3:9-19; 1 Cor.6:9-11; Gal.5:15-21; Eph.2:1-3; Col.3;5-9; 1 Tim.1:8:11; 2 Tim.3:1-7; Tit.3:3; Rev.21:8,27).

They break out . . . from all the restraints of the laws of God and man. Like an unruly horse that grabs the bit in his teeth and runs away, or like wild beasts, that break down the fences and get away, or like a flooding river that breaks down dams and banks, and overflows the land. Such was the flood and deluge of sin abounding in the nation. Israel broke down the hedge of the God's law, which absolutely forbids what they were doing day by day.

And blood toucheth blood . . . slaughters are multiplied: by "blood" the Scripture often means slaughter (Gen.4:10; Ps.58:10). Zachariah is murdered by Shallum (2 Ki.15:10); Menahem slew Shallum (2 Ki.15:14), and ripped up women with child in Tiphsah (2 Ki.15:16). These kings being killed in this way, leave no doubt that much blood was spilt. "Blood touches blood" means that there was so much murder, that the blood was falling on the dried blood of previously murdered victims. Some understand this as sins in general, because ALL sin is filthy and abominable to the Lord; and with the addition and multiplication of them, there were heaps of them, seemingly a chain of them linked together . . . thus, they add sins to sins.

Others interpret this as impure mixtures, incestuous lusts or marriages contrary to the ties of blood, and laws of consanguinity (Lev.18:6).

Each of the sins mentioned was breaking Israel's Ten Commandments. Read them in the twentieth chapter of Exodus: "Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness..." (Ex.20:13-16).

God gave Israel the Ten Commandments, which were just a part of the Mosaic system. In them God expressed His will. The church today is NOT under the Ten Commandments as the way of salvation or the way to live the Christian life. BUT that does NOT mean that we can break the commandments; it simply means that He has called us to a higher plane of living and has enabled us so to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our commandments are as follows: Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV)
See our articles about the Ten Commandments:

God has condemned drunkenness, and He has condemned homosexuality. He uses very strong language when speaking of homosexuality. God says homosexuality is an "abomination" to Him, and that when a people or an individual indulges in this perversion, He will give them up (Rom.1:24,26,28). God gave Israel up to captivity because they were guilty of indulging in these sins. Homosexuality: (Gen.18:20; 194-11,24,28; Lev.18:22-24; 20: 13-16; Deut.23:17; Isa.3:9; Lk.17:29; Rom.1:24-32; 1 Cor.6:9-11; 1 Tim.1:8-11; 2 Pet.2:4-6; Jude1:7).

Multitudes in the United States today are guilty of the same sins as Israel was: there is NO knowledge of God in this land, and certainly NO fear of God! And many of those who "profess" to be "Christians" compromise with the wickedness going on all around them: abortion, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, same sex marriage, living together without being married, etc. God does NOT approve of any 'alternative' lifestyles just because YOU think they are OK! Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (KJV)
See our articles: http://www.hisservants.org/this_life_h_s.htm

Just because there is a church on every corner and on Sunday mornings you can hear church bells, does NOT mean this is a nation that has knowledge of God. A very small percentage of the population actually attends church, and many of these are hypocrites (Mat.23) . . . and very few are really being reached with the TRUE Word of God by the false teachers in the pulpits. Even though the Bible is freely available, America is Biblically ignorant! The news media is at the top of the list, with government very close behind! Consider the following quote: "NO man is uneducated who knows the Bible, and NO one is truly educated who is ignorant of its teachings." (Author unknown).

Alcohol is another dreadful sin that is rampant in our land . . . the same as it was in Israel in that day. Someone said that a few years ago that there were over 100 cocktail parties every day in Washington, D.C. If that is true, think how much that has increased. I do not know the actual statistics, but I do know that there is MUCH drinking going on in our nation's capital. I would think that there are millions of Americans who are alcoholics. Kids start at a very early age because it it right there in front of them in their home! Many will say that this is NONE of my business. I disagree. I have a burden for lost souls, and our government and our nation are engaged in gross immorality and are breaking God's laws. EVERY person shall one day stand before the Great Judge! WHAT will He say to you? IF you continue on a path of disobedience and sin, He has only one verdict for you . . . HELL! (Rev.20:11-15). Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV) . . . Is your name in the "book of life"? If not, it could be! Open your heart's door to Jesus (Rev.3:20).
Drunkenness: (Deut.21:20; Pro.20:1; 21:17; 23:20-21,29-35; 31:4-7; Isa.5:11-12,22-23; 19:14; 24:9,11; 28:1,37-8; 56:11-12; Jer.25:27; Hos.4:11; 7:5,14; Joel 1:5; 3:3; Amos 2:8,12; 6:1,6; Mic.2:11; Nah.1:10; Hab.2:15-17; Mat.24:49; Lk.12:45; 21:34; Rom.13:13; 1 Cor.5:11; 6:10; Gal.5:19-21; Eph.5:18; 1 Thes.5:7-8; 1 Pet.4:3).

Consider the following quote from J. Vernon McGee:
It is argued in our day that alcoholism is a disease and not a sin. That has been answered by a medical doctor, who writes:
Alcoholism, a disease? If so:
It is the only disease contracted by an act of will.
It is the only disease that is habit forming.
It is the only disease that comes in a bottle.
It is the only disease causing hundreds of thousands of family disruptions.
It is the only disease promoting crime and brutality.
It is the only disease contributing to hundreds of thousands of automobile accidents.
It is the only disease playing a major part in over 50 percent of the more than 50,000 annual highway deaths.
It is the only disease which is sold by license.
It is the only disease that is bought in grocery stores, drug stores, and well-marked retail outlets.
It is the only disease that is taxed by the government.

Hosea 4:3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. (KJV)

Therefore shall the land mourn . . . "therefore" connects to the former verse . . . since their sins are so many and so great, the ten tribes that inhabit the land shall mourn. Men and women mourn because of the loss of their comforts and joys, and they neglect their godly habits. The sins of the people shall bring an enemy upon the land. War shall first spoil their cities, towns, vineyards, and olive yards, and finally shall carry the people captive. All shall be in a horrible and sad state (Isa.24:4; Amos 1:2). "Therefore shall the land mourn" . . . consider the situation of this country. We are polluting everything, everywhere around us. We have polluted the land, and the land is mourning today. When God judges a nation, the land itself is involved and even the beasts, fowls and fishes suffer because of the sin of man.

And everyone that dwelleth therein shall languish . . . every one that dwells there, because they ALL had provoked God and sinned. "Shall languish" . . . with grief and vexation, they shall pine away. What they see with their eye shall make their heart ache, they shall faint with great despair and gloom (Isa.16:8; Joel 1:12). Languishing: (Isa.24:4-12; 33:9; Jer.4:27; Joel 1:10-13; Amos 1:2; 5:16; 8:8; Nah.1:4)

With the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven . . . these are elsewhere mentioned (Zep.1:2-3). God shall punish man in cutting off what was made for his benefit and comfort. It could be that the domestic cattle were starving for want of grass or fodder, all being eaten up and consumed by the wasting armies. "With the fowls of heaven" . . . the domestic fowls killed by enemies, or possibly all the dead bodies are devoured by buzzards, eagles and birds of prey, which in those countries wait on armies (Rev.19:21). With the beasts: (Jer.4:25; 12:4l Eze.38:20; Zep.1:3)

Yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away . . . taken away, possibly by drying up the waters of rivers, lakes and ponds, or by some disease . . . "the fishes of the sea" shall be fewer because of their sins.

Hosea 4:4 Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest. (KJV)

Yet, let no man strive, nor reprove another . . . ALL of them are guilty. No one can say, "Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye" because he knows that "behold, a beam is in thine own eye" (Mat.7:3-5). Judgments great and devastating are sure to come, and the approaching calamities will lay all utterly waste. God wants to let them know they are so stubborn and hardened, there is no reason to warn any more. "Strive" . . . argue, contend, plead as before a judge; it was useless to lay the law before them, for they have repeatedly refused to hear it . . . like this country! People have the Bible, yet they want NO part of it! "Nor reprove" . . . it was useless to admonish, blame, chide, rebuke, reprimand, reproach, scold . . . sharply inveigh, angrily disapprove, protest vehemently, against their sins and ways. They all are so corrupted, that there is no one free to argue against others with confidence. The people were incorrigible, and despised all reproof (Eze.3:26). It was like "casting pearls before swine" (Mat.7:6), all lost labor and in vain.

For thy people are as they that strive with the priest . . . the people and the priests are all rebels against the Lord, the priests had become idolaters, just like the people (Hos.4:9). When the priests reproved the people, they argued with them, saying: physician, heal thyself; take the beam out of your own eye; look to yourselves, and your own sins, and do not reprove us. The priests in that day were not doing their duty; they were not warning the people. That is why God raised up the prophets. "Thy people" . . . the ten tribes of Israel, not Judah (Hos.4:1).

Hosea 4:5 Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother. (KJV)

Therefore shall thou fall in the day . . . because their sins are so many and so vile, and they were so hopeless and persistent in pursuing them, they shall fall, fast! The prophet speaks to Israel, as to one person. They were all one in sin, and so would be their punishment. "In the day" . . . very suddenly. Their fall would be presently effected by their enemies' power, vigilance and success. It would no longer delayed. One day, one hour, fast: (Isa.9:14; 10:17; 47:9-11; 66:8; Zec.3:9; 13:4; 2 Pet.3:8; Rev.18:8,10,17,19).

And the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night . . . the false prophets that are with you, who spoke smooth things, who prophesied deceits (Isa.30:10), as the false prophets of Baal and the groves would also fall (Jer.14:13-16; 23:9,15; Eze.13:9-16; 14:8-10; Mic.3:5-7; Zec.11:8; 13:2). "Shall fall" . . . be in the same sad calamitous condition as the people. "With thee" . . . when the people are ruined and taken captivate, with them the false prophet shall be likewise ruined and taken captivate. "In the night" . . . either proverbially taken, people and prophet shall continually fall; or both shall fall as a man that falls "in the night" . . . they shall fall in the darkest of calamities. The false prophets had falsely foretold and promised light unto the people, which was not to be.

And I will destroy thy mother . . . God will destroy the nation of Israel. There were false prophets in Israel, just like we have false prophets and false teachers today. They do NOT tell people the truth. They tell just enough truth to make their words very dangerous! These today teach "damnable heresies" (2 Pet.2:1) that will lead you to HELL! BEWARE!!! Destroy thy mother: (Hos.2:2; Isa.50:1; Jer.15:8; 50:12; Eze.16:44-45; Gal.4:26).

Hosea rebukes immorality and idolatry. There was no truth, mercy or knowledge of God in the land. It was full of murders (2 Ki.21:16). Because of this, devastating calamities were near, which would make desolate the country. It is the same with this country! We ALL are sinners. Let us submit to God, and humble ourselves before Him, confess our sins and repent of them (1 Jn.1:9), that He may not go on to destroy this nation.

Verse 6 is probably the best known verse in the entire Book of Hosea.

God's Judgments Against The Sins of the Priests (Hos.4:6-11)

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (KJV)

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge . . . one main reason for their sin was a lack of knowledge of the Word of God, just like it is today, and getting worse, day by day! IF you are a Christian, the minute you move away from the Word of God, you are doomed to fail in your Christian life. No matter how many conferences or seminars you go to that tell you how to be successful in your home, business and social life, you will be a failure. Hosea makes it very clear that we do NOT live a life pleasing to God by worldly gimmicks and methods. We MUST have a personal knowledge of the Word of God and a personal relationship with its Author! People are destroyed for lack of knowledge, and that lack of knowledge leads to apostasy! And when you turn away from God, He will turn away from you (your sin).

Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shall be no priest to me . . . those who would be teachers . . . are and will be ignorant, will not know, will reject knowledge and not want to know about God. "Hast rejected knowledge" . . . perverseness! These are the ones who would direct and teach others??? "I will also reject thee" . . . with equal dislike, and God will destroy their priesthood. God intended that the whole nation of Israel would be priests unto Him, and in the Millennium they will be that. But here, God says, "You are not even going to have priests."

Seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children . . . the people of Israel, the whole kingdom of the ten tribes; the pretended priests and their children with them. God says to the people of this nation, "I will forget you, because you have forgotten Me." Because Israel has gone through a long, sordid history of departing from the Lord, they have now come to the time of judgment. God has proved His case against these people; in the beginning of the chapter He numbered their sins . . . they have broken the Ten Commandments that He gave them, so He hands down His decision that He shall judge them. "Seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God" . . . Israel and the priests, all sinned together, slighted and disrespected His law, broken all the precepts of it, set up other gods, other worship, other priests than the law directs.

God judges people based on what they know. These verses (Rom.4:15; 5:12; 2 Pet.2:21), show that God does not hold a person accountable for what was done in innocent ignorance. People cannot know IF they had no opportunity to learn, BUT . . . all ignorance is NOT innocent. People most often do not learn about God because they REFUSE to learn from what was available to them. The BIBLE is available to everyone, everywhere. If you do not have one, the library does!

Hosea 4:7 As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. (KJV)

As they were increased, so they sinned against me . . . "they" . . . kings, priests and people of that time. "Were increased" . . . increased in number, in riches, in power and in SIN (Isa.1:2). "So they sinned against me" . . . sin grew with their wealth, so much like today. God was provoked by them, for they turned His bounty into sin. This is common today as well.

As the children of the priests increased and grew up, and they too sinned against the Lord, imitating their parents. This reveals the universal depravity and corruption of all Israel. God would take away their priesthood from them. He would reduce them to a state of poverty and disgrace. There would be no more honor, just scorn and contempt.

Therefore will I change their glory into shame . . . the priests turned their glory, that which they might glory above others, into sin, so God would turn it into shame and dishonor. Had it been used properly, it would have been their honor. God would degrade their priests, impoverish the people and send both into captivity.

The "glory" of Israel was the Temple with the Shekinah glory upon it. God's visible Presence was with the nation and His definite leading of them. God is saying to the people through Hosea: "I will remove My glory from you. I'll remove My blessing from you, and I will judge you by letting the enemy come upon you and take you into captivity." His Shekinah Presence WAS removed: (Eze.9:3; 10:4,18; 11:22-23). God's glory GONE until Christ was born: (Lk.1:9; 2:1-20). God's glory will NOT return again until Christ's Second Coming: (Zec.14:1-4; Rev.19:11-21).
Shekinah glory: (Ex.25:8; 29:45-46; Num.5:3; 35:34; 1 Ki.6:13; Eze.43:9; Zec.2:12-13)
Occasionally the name of God is spoken of as descending: (Deut.12:11; 14:23; 16:6,11; 26:2; Neh.1:9)
It is especially said that God dwells in Jerusalem: (1 Chron.23:25; Zec.8:3; Ps.135:21)
On Mount Zion: (Isa.8:18; Joel 3:17,21; Ps.15:1; 124:2).
In the Temple itself: (Eze.43:7).
In the bush: (Deut.33:16)
And it is said that "the glory of the Lord abode upon Mount Sinai" (Ex.24:16)

Hosea 4:8 They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. (KJV)

They eat up the sin of my people . . . the priests gained by the sins of the people, made their living by them by upholding the idolatries of the people, partaking in their idol-sacrifices and idolatrous rites. This involved the desertion of God, and was "the sin of the people," and the root of all their other sins. The priests did this knowingly. They knew that there was NO truth in the golden calves; but they withheld the truth from the people, they held it down in unrighteousness, and preached false-hood, "these be thy gods, O Israel" (Ex.32:4,8). The reputation and maintenance of the false priests depended upon it. These false priests were not from the line of Aaron, so they could not be priests except to the calves. They upheld the sin whereby they lived, and taught them to worship the calves, falsely standing as representatives of God. Corrupt Priests: (Jer.2:8; 5:31; 6:13; Lam.1:19; 4:13; Eze.22:26; Hos.5:1; 6:9; Mic.3:11; Zep.3:4; Mal.1:6; 2:1,8; Mat.26:47,59; 27:20,41; Mk.15:11,31; Lk.19:47; 24:20; Jn.11:46; 19:6).

They set their heart on their iniquity . . . "they" are the comfortable, covetous, idolatrous priests, the priests of Baal and the calves, that had their hearts set on their iniquity. They really wanted the people to sin, expected them to bring offerings for sin, which is the iniquity of these priests, as well as profit in their pocket (Jer.50:6; Eph.4:18-19).

Hosea 4:9 And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings. (KJV)

And there shall be, like people, like priest . . . there was no difference between them. The priests were just as greedy of committing overindulgence and uncleanness as the people. Although the priests should have been giving good instructions and setting good examples . . . instead they were just as guilty as the people, and so they would receive their punishment as well.

And I will punish them for their ways . . . their evil ways, their wicked manner of life and conversation, both of the priests and the people.

And reward them their doings . . . reward them according to their doings, as their sins deserve. All people will be judged "according to their works." (Mat.16:27; Rom.2:6; 1 Cor.3:8,13; 2 Tim.4:14; 1 Pet.1:17; Rev.2:23; 18:6; 20:12-15; 22:12).

The summary of this is that God will certainly punish; because the sins both of priests and people are such that God will no longer withhold judgment. When He comes to punish, He will do it according to the ways and doings of both; where sins have been equal, punishment shall be equal too, both priest and people shall be led into captivity.

Hosea 4:10 For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD. (KJV)

For they shall eat, and not have enough . . . by whatever ways they may use to satisfy or gratify themselves, nothing shall work, for this is another part of their punishment. This is the curse God will punish this sin with, He will withhold his blessing, they shall not be nourished, not satisfied, with what they eat (Hag.1:6). Their sin of covetousness becomes their torment.

They shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase . . . meaning that their offspring shall not be able to have children, or the children they do have shall quickly die.

Because they have left off to take heed to the Lord . . . all the things of God, which Israel formerly had some regard for, now they had relinquished. They have forsaken the Lord, to sinfully and ever so wrongly commit fornication and drunkenness. Apostasy was rampant, as Israel turned from the true God, from His worship and His law. History repeats itself! All of today's world is turning away from God. Apostasy today is also rampant!

Hosea 4:11 Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart. (KJV)

Whoredom and wine, and new wine, take away the heart . . . whoring and wine takes away a person's understanding. Licentiousness is always connected with corruption, immorality and wickedness, because it weakens mental power and reveals itself in the foolishness of idolatry into which Israel has fallen. Licentiousness: (Ex.32:6; Pro.2:16-18; 5:3-5,8-13; 7:6-27; 9:13-18; 20:16; 30:18-20; Isa.28:7; Joel 3:3; Mk.7:21-23; Rom.1:22-32; 7:8; 13:13; 1 Cor.6:9-10,13,15-18; 9:27; 2 Cor.12:21; Gal.5:19-21; Eph.4:17-19; 5:5; Col.3:5; 1 Thes.4:5; 2 Tim.3:6; 1 Pet.4:2-3; Jude 1:4-7).

Greed, uncleanness and overindulgence deprive people of reason, judgment and common sense that they were born with, making them literal fools. So stupid are they as to do the following: stop following and obeying the Lord, stop taking heed to Him and chasing ridiculous idolatry, causing the heart to prefer sensual lusts and pleasures (1 Jn.2:15-17; 4:5-6; 5:4-5,19-21). This stupidity removes the fear and love of the TRUE God (Isa.28:7).

Both priests and people rejected knowledge of God, and God will justly and rightfully reject them. They forgot the law of God, not wanting to try to retain it in mind, nor did they have any desire to transmit the remembrance of the law to their posterity . . . SO therefore God will justly forget them and their children. IF we dishonor God with that which should be our honor, it will one day be our shame. Instead of the priests warning the people against sin, and showing them what a vile offence sin was to God, since it needed an atonement, the false priests encouraged the people to sin.

Anything that is unlawfully gained, can never be comfortably used. Both the people and the priests had hardened one another in sin; therefore they all shall share in the rightful punishment. Anyone who shares in sin must expect to share in the punishment that is certain to come. Beware of secret lusts, for that can "take away the heart."

God's Judgments Against Their Idolatry (Hos. 4:12-14)

Hosea 4:12 My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God. (KJV)

My people ask counsel at their stocks . . . in Israel’s day "stocks" were idols, especially of wood. Hosea prophesied during the same time as Isaiah; concurrent with Kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. During that time, Jeroboam led the northern ten tribes into gross idolatry. I don't think any of us can fully appreciate the intense fury that God feels when His people pray to other gods, which are not or cannot be gods. Few things provoke the TRUE God any worse than idolatry.

People asking a piece of wood for advice??? STUPIDITY! Israel was asking for advice from a piece of wood, consulting their wooden idols as to what they should do. They think a stick can tell them the future! Longing after idols has made them foolish. They have played the prostitute, serving other gods and deserting their God. But, my friend, this is very common today, maybe not a wooden idol, but witchcraft in many different ways, and it ALL is SIN!

And their staff declareth unto them . . . they think their diviner's rod can give them information. The "staff" has a double meaning: that of satanic worship, and a walking stick to help one walk in the rough country. As a diviner's staff, it brings on God's wrath, for they follow a a spirit of prostitution that leads them astray. They hold two rods, mutter ridiculous verses or enchantments; and when the rods fall through the influence of demons, they consider how they fell, front or back, right or left; and think they have right answers . . . by the way the rods fall. BEWARE!!! They commit adultery by giving themselves to other gods. Witchcraft, sorcery, and divination associated with idolatrous worship and demonic powers: (Ex.7:11,22; 8:7,18; 22:18; Lev.19:31; 20:6,27; Deut.18:9-12; 1 Sam.15:23; 28:3,7; 2 Ki.9:22; 21:6; 23:24; 1 Chron.10:13; 2 Chron.33:6; Isa.8:19; 19:3,11-12; 29:4; 47:9-13; Jer.14:14; 27:9; 29:8-9; Eze.13:6-9; 22:28; Mic.3:6-7; 5:12; Nah.3:4-5; Mal.3:5; Gal.5:20)

A "staff" is often mentioned in the Word of God, but hardly anyone today knows that anything in the spiritual world was represented by it. Moses was commanded that whenever miracles were to be done, he was to lift up his staff (Ex.4:17; 7:9-10,12; 17-21; 8:1-6,16-17; 9:23-26; 10:12-15; 14:16,21-29; 17:5-6,9-14). That a staff signifies power in the Bible in Moses' case is true, but it was NOT Moses' power . . . it was the power of Almighty God, through Moses!

This was known among Gentiles also, for there were stories in which staffs are ascribed to magicians (Ex.7:11,22; 8:7). All diviners, magicians, sorcerers and witches receive their power from Satan . . . the devil! BEWARE!!! He does have power.
Satan's Power: (1 Chron.21:1; Job 1:6,12; Mat.13:19,38; Mk.5:4; Lk.4:6; Jn.12:31; 13:27; 14:30; 16:11; Acts 5:3; 26:18; Rom.16:20; 2 Cor.4:3-4; Eph.2:2; 6:12; Col.1:13; 2 Thes.2:8-9; 2 Tim.2:26; Heb.2:14; Rev.2:9; 3:9; 11:7; 13:2,7).
Exodus 8:19 Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said. (KJV) . . . Even these heathens KNEW that Moses' miracles were of God!
Exodus 9:11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians. (KJV)
Isaiah 47:12-13 Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. 13 Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. (KJV) . . . ALL sorcery and witchcraft are condemned by God!

Moses' staff represented power, in that he was commanded to take a staff (rod), with which he was to do miracles; and that he took the rod of God in his hand (Ex.4:17, 20). When smitten by the rod, the waters in Egypt became blood (Ex.7:15,19-20); that when the rod was stretched out over the streams, frogs came up (Ex.8:1-11); that when the dust was smitten by the rod, it became lice (Ex.8:16-20); that when the rod was stretched out toward heaven, there was hail (Ex.9:23); and that when the rod was stretched out over the land, locusts came up (Ex.10:3-21). The hand is by which power is signified, and the rod or staff is the instrument, therefore miracles were also wrought when Moses' "hand" was stretched forth (Ex.10:12-13); when his hand was stretched forth toward heaven, there was thick darkness over the land of Egypt (Ex.10:21-22); and when his hand was stretched forth over the sea, by an east wind the sea was made dry land; and again stretching forth his hand, the waters returned (Ex.14:21,26-27).

For the spirit of whoredom hath caused them to err . . . they erred from the worship of their God, from the TRUE God, who stood in the relationship of a husband to them; but, led by a spirit of error, they departed from Him, and committed spiritual adultery, which is idolatry.

And they have gone a whoring from under their God . . . an aggressive and lustful inclination to idolatry, which is spiritual adultery, and a strong affection for it, was stirred up by an evil spirit (the devil), which cleverly influenced them, causing them to wander from the true God, and the worship of Him.

Hosea 4:13 They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery. (KJV)

They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains . . . both the priests and the people, sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains; where their altars were sometimes to God, sometimes to idols.
High Places were Used For True Worship: (Gen.22:2; 31:54; Judg.6:26; 1 Sam.9:12,19; 10:5,13; 1 Ki.3:4; 18:19; 1 Chron.21:29). . . . BUT, there also were Idolatrous High Places, which were Condemned: (Lev.26:30; Num.33:52; Deut.12:2; 1 Ki.13:2,32; 14:23; 2 Ki.23:8,13; 2 Chron.14:3; 21:11; 28:4; 31:1; Ps.78:58; Isa.16:12; 65:7; Jer.2:20; 3:2,6,23; 7:31; 13:27; 17:3; 19:5; 32:35; 48:35; Eze.6:3,13; 16:16,24-25,31,39; 18:11-12; 20:28; 22:9; 43:7; Hos.4:13; 10:8; Amos 7:9; Mic.1:5).

And burn incense upon the hills . . . burning incense to their idols was another method of idolatry they practiced. The one kind of sacrifice named here stands for all others as well. Idolatry abounded in Israel.

Under oaks, and poplars, and elms . . . under every green tree that grew upon the mountains, they practiced idolatry (Deut.12:2; 1 Ki.14:23; 2 Ki.16:4; 17:10; 2 Chron.28:4; Isa.57:5; Jer.2:20; 3:6; Eze.6:13; 20:47).

Because the shadow thereof is good . . . the shade of geen trees was good and convenient for the sacrificers. The smoke and smell of the sacrifice went up through the limbs, while the coolness of the shade kept the people from direct heat. The heathens thought that the deity (god), delighted to dwell or often be in such places. The sins of Israel, although they did not count them as sins, harmonized with heathen superstitions; for they left God's Temple, against His commands, sacrificing where they would.

Therefore your daughters shall commit whoredoms, and your spouses shall commit adultery . . . their daughters shall commit spiritual adultery, and dishonor themselves and their families by their lewdness and immorality with fornicators. Here spiritual whoredom is punished by their allowing their daughters to follow after their wandering lusts. "Your spouses shall commit adultery" . . . a great unhappiness to any family, to be belittled, ridiculed and wronged by adulteresses, and a grievous punishment, where or when it is executed.

Idolatry in this country today is covetousness and greed, causing many to want more, more, more! They want to move to a better neighborhood in a huge mansion they cannot afford, have a swimming pool, an RV and a boat, and the younger generation wants it NOW!!! The problem starts in the home. Parents are idolatrous, worshiping the almighty dollar. They do NOT know God, or IF they did know Him, or of Him, they forgot all about Him. People turn away from the living and true God, and no longer worship Him. APOSTASY!!! We all need to turn to the Savior who can redeem us and help us. See our articles:

Hosea 4:14 I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall. (KJV)

I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredoms, nor your spouses when they commit adultery . . . this seems to me to be a very severe woe! God threatens that He will NOT punish their sins with the correction of a Father in this present life, but will allow the sinners to chase after their iniquity. This is scary to me. Since God chastises all those whom He loves, when I anger Him by disobedience, I WANT Him to take me to the wood shed! But here, He says: "I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredoms, nor your spouses when they commit adultery." It seems to me God has given up all hope for these people. Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (KJV)

When we are chastened severely for lesser sins, to me, it is a token of great love of God toward us, BUT . . . if we are permitted to keep on in sin 'without punishment' . . . this a token of God's extreme displeasure, and a sign of rejection by God.

For themselves are separated with whores, and sacrifice with harlots . . . the husbands and fathers, are examples to wives and daughters; but they are with lewd women. They either put away their lawful wife to satisfy their lusts; or else withdraw from their fellow idolaters, so that they might commit whoredom in privacy with the women they chose. "Sacrifice with harlots" . . . perform sacrificial rites, in offering and in feasting. Wine and women are always great and common temptations to whoredom among men. They "separated" themselves to the horrid Baalpeor (Hos.9:10), in whose idolatrous worship many obscene and vulgar rites were used. These men separated themselves from their wives, as well as from God and His worship, and from the company and conversation of men, and in private committed uncleanness with the women that attended, and with the female priests that officiated at the worship of idols and after that ate of things offered to idols with them. So they associated with whores, and ate and drank with harlots. Some say this was sodomitical persons, and of the wickedness practiced by them in such places.

Therefore the people that doth not understand . . . by all this it is evident these are foolish, drunken and ignorant people, that know not God (Hos.4:1,6,11).

Shall fall . . . into idolatry and adultery (Pro.7:22), led by such examples, and be utterly ruined, broken into pieces, scattered; broken at home first by intestine wars, next by foreign invasions, and carried away at last by conquering enemies. Ignorance of the law is NO excuse. God shall judge them because they have turned from the living and true God and from His way. Israel was not judged because they had become harlots, but because they had turned from the living and true God. IF Israel would NOT stop their idolatry, Judah must be very careful of participating in the guilt of Israel. Hos.4:15-19 introduces the announcement of the inevitable destruction of the kingdom of the ten tribes.

Judah is urged to take warning by Israel's calamity (Hos.4:15-19)

Hosea 4:15 Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, The LORD liveth. (KJV)

Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend . . . it is possible that Hosea saw Judah was inclined to backslide. This sums up the sins . . . the idolatries of the ten tribes . . . and is a transition to what follows, either by way of urging or warning to the two tribes (Judah) which stayed with the house of David. "Let not Judah offend" . . . Judah must NOT commit like sins as Israel had done. They must NOT imitate any of Israel's idolatry.

And come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven . . . to worship idols in those places. Gilgal was on the borders of the ten tribes, between Israel and Judah, where Joshua circumcised the Israelites (Josh.5:3-7); kept the first passover in the land (Josh.5:10); and where the ark and tabernacle were for a time (Josh.4:11; 6:11). It may be for these reasons that Gilgal was chosen for a place of idolatrous worship. Bethaven is the same as Bethel, the name Jacob gave it (Gen.35:15), signifying the house of God; but when Jeroboam set up one of his calves here (1 Ki.12:25-33), the prophets, by way of contempt, called it Bethaven, the house of iniquity, or the house of an idol. There does seem to have been a place called Bethaven near Bethel, as appears from (Josh.7:2).

Gilgal was located between Jordan and Jericho (Josh.4:19) on the confines of Samaria; once a holy place to Jehovah (Josh.5:10-15; 1 Sam.10:8; 15:21); but afterwards desecrated by idol-worship (Hos.9:15; 12:11; Amos 4:4; 5:5; Judg.3:19).
Beth-aven, is "house of vanity" or idols: a name substituted in contempt for Beth-el, "the house of God"; once sacred to Almighty God (Ge 28:17,19; 35:7), but made by Jeroboam the seat of the worship of the calves (1 Ki.12:28-33; 13:1; Jer.48:13; Amos 3:14; 7:13). "Go up" refers to the fact that Beth-el was on a hill (Josh.16:1).

There is a question here. To whom was this addressed, Judah or Israel? Many interpreters think it is that the men of Judah were discouraged from going to these places for worship, when the Temple, the proper place of worship, was in their own tribe. But the speech does seem to be directed to the Israelites, to stop going to these places for worship, because Israel, being so close to Judah, might be the means of ensnaring and drawing Judah into the same idolatrous practices.

Neither go ye up to Beth-aven; which is Beth-el, where Jacob lodged, had a vision of angels, and a more comfortable vision of God, who appeared to Jacob, who for this gave name to the place, and called it Beth-el, house of God; but when Jeroboam made it the place of his calf worship, it became and is called, Beth-avert, house of vanity or iniquity. They were NOT to go up there to worship. It is prohibiting that religion which was in use at Beth-avert, and had been the established religion for 200 years, ever since Jeroboam's time.

Nor swear, the Lord liveth . . . "the Lord liveth" . . . this oath was appointed by God Himself (Deut.6:13; 10:20; Jer.4:2). It is therefore here forbidden not absolutely, but in conjunction with idolatry and falsehood (Isa.48:1; Eze.20:39; Zep.1:5). To swear by the living God, and still worship idols, brought on the wrath of God . . . to have His Name used by idolaters, or joined with their idols . . . especially since they meant their idol when they swore by the Lord.

Although Israel's ten tribes indulged in spiritual adultery. Judah, who had the legal priesthood, and the temple rites, and Jerusalem, were NOT to follow her bad example. God is saying, "Judah, don't you come up and worship these calves which Israel has put up here."

Hosea 4:16 For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place. (KJV)

For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer . . . Israel had become like a stubborn, unmanageable oxen that would not submit to the yoke of the law (Deut.21:18; Zec.7:11).

Now the Lord will feed them as a lamb in a large place . . . therefore, because of their disobedience, God would feed them like a lamb in a large, open place where they would become the prey of wolves and wild beasts. The Lord was offended by their sins and provoked to great displeasure by their sins. In their sin they were like an untamed heifer, strong and stubborn, but in their punishments they shall be like a lamb, alone, full of fears, in a large place or wilderness, with no rest, safety or provision. Such would be the condition of the ten captive tribes.

Something that we all should consider is, what backsliding really is. Many think that backsliding is when you have become a Christian, join the church, and then drop back into sin. That is not backsliding in the way it is used here. God illustrates it so that we cannot miss its meaning: "For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer." Israel was stiffening her front feet and pulling backwards, instead of willingly being led by God. In today's time, backsliding is like turning your back on God, stiffening your neck, heart and mind against Him, and saying "I don't have to obey God." When you refuse to go the way God wants to lead you, you are backsliding. God called Israel a backsliding heifer. The word backsliding is used three times in this book. It is used in Scripture only by Jeremiah and Hosea, both of whom spoke to a nation ready to go into captivity. Israel and Judah were guilty of backsliding, guilty of refusing to be led of God and refusing to come to God.
Backsliding: Jer.3:6,8,11,12,14,22; 8:5; 31:22; 49:4; Hos.4:16; 11:7; 14:4
Backsliding in NT: (Mat.5:13; 12:45; 24:12; Lk.9:62; 14:34; Gal.1:6; 2:18; 3:3; 4:9; 5:4; Heb.6:6; 10:38; 12:15; 2 Pet.1:9; 2:20; Rev.2:4; 3:15).

Hosea 4:17 Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone. (KJV)

Ephraim is joined to idols . . . Ephraim is the ten tribes. "Is joined to idols" . . . is incorporated with false gods, to the calves at Dan and Bethel; to Baal, and other idols that they worshipped. These few words express their strong affection for them, their constant worship of them and their stubborn persisting after them. These people had a real problem, for they clung to their idols, they seemed glued to them, as if they were married to them. There was no separating them, these idols were like an addiction to them, they lusted after them and the lusts of the flesh, to the god of unrighteousness, or to their own self-righteousness.

Let him alone . . . they can't be reclaimed, leave them to the end results of their perverted conduct. Rev.22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. (KJV) . . . Judah is not to have anything to do with Israel because they were backsliders and idolaters. They were to have NO communion or conversation with them. They were to let them alone, and worship alone from them, because there is absolutely NO fellowship with righteousness and unrighteousness, light with darkness, Christ with Belial, a believer and an infidel, or the temple of the living God with idols and idolaters. An "idol" is ANYTHING or ANYONE that you make your #1 priority, other than the TRUE Almighty Creator God! BEWARE!!!
2 Cor.6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (KJV) . . . These are words that we should pay close attention to today, because there is much idolatry in our nation today!

Hosea 4:18 Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love, Give ye. (KJV)

Their drink is sour . . . during their idol feasts, they drink wine and strong drinks, but it is either sour and unpleasant to their taste, or corrupt and hurtful, there is no good enjoyment or good taste in it. "Therefore" . . . because of Israel's idolatry, Judah must decline any intimate familiarity with Israel, and have NOTHING to do with the idolatries, of Israel (Isa.28:1-8).

They have committed whoredom continually . . . both spiritual and corporal, continually, without ceasing from Jeroboam's time to this day. One king after another, and one idolater after another; they were idolatrous worshippers of Baal or the calves.
Her rulers with shame do love, give ye . . . there is also shameful oppression and bribery among them. What good could Judah look for or expect from such an evil and corrupt society and friendship with them? This was why Judah should have nothing to do with Israel.

Hosea 4:19 The wind hath bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices. (KJV)

The wind hath bound her up in her wings . . . The whirlwind of wrath from God hath already seized this adulteress, and carried some of her children away already, (2 Ki. 15:19,29). Execution of judgment is already begun, and therefore, O Judah, keep your distance from Ephraim. Wind: (Pro.1:27; 10:25; Isa.5:28; 17:13; 40:24; 41:16; 66:15; Jer.4:11-13; 22:22; 23:19; 25:32; 30:23; 51:1-2; Dan.11:40; Hos.4:19; 8:7; 13:15; Zec.5:9-11; 7:14; 9:14)

And they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices . . . Israel shall be ashamed, confused and disappointed in their hopes (Ps.97:7). Judah must prevent this shame, flee the society of these idolaters. "Because of their sacrifices" . . . what was their confidence shall become their shame. Their idols CANNOT help them, but instead will be their downfall. Ashamed: (Hos.10:6; Isa.1:29; 42:17; Jer.2:26-27,36-37; 3:24-25; 17:13).

People today are carried away by every wind of doctrine, and God says that they are going to be greatly ashamed before it is over. Eph.4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (KJV)

The people consulted images, and NOT the Divine Word of God as they should have. They worshipped and sacrificed to idols, and NOT the TRUE and living God. This would bring on the wrath of God. Judah is warned NOT to come near the idolatrous worship of Israel. Because Israel was devoted to idols, Judah must let them alone. When sinners cast off the easy yoke of Christ (Mat.11:28-30), they go on in sin until the Lord finally says: "Let them alone." God simply gives up on them (Rom.1:24,26,28). When that happens, they receive NO more warnings, and feel NO more convictions, because Satan takes full possession of them (2 Cor.2:11; 11:3,14; Eph.6:11-12), they are completely at ease with their sin, and they dead ripe for destruction. My friend, it is a sad thing indeed, when the Lord leaves anyone alone in their sin. If a person is NOT alarmed, concerned or upset in their sin, they will be destroyed because of their sin. May we NEVER be in this awful state of God giving up on us. The wrath of God is like a violent windstorm that shall one day bring ALL impenitent sinners into eternal destruction.

Book of Hosea

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