Because of the traps they set with their sins, through Hosea God tells Israel to listen up. Despite being rebuked, the rebels and revolters are involved in murder. God sees all of Israel’s harlotry and how they sin against Him.
They don’t know God and their pride and harlotry are obvious. It will soon destroy them.
‘“You only have I known of all the families of the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”’ NKJV Amos 3:2
Judah stumbles also because of Israel and Ephraim. This is something that applies to us today. When non-believers look at us, who do they see? Do we reflect the world or our Lord? Sometimes, we are the only ‘Jesus’ people see and if we don’t be careful, we could cause others to stumble.
‘Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.’ Romans 14:13 NKJV
We must live our lives the way Jesus instructs us: in love and obedience to Him. We need to make sure that whatever we do, we do it for the glory of God and that nothing we do causes someone to stumble, sin or fall.
I wonder here if Hosea means they tried to sacrifice to God again with their flocks and herds but it was too late and He had left them. The reference verse make me think that this was very likely. Perhaps when the Israelites heard about their impending doom, they cried out to God but it was too late. They had ignored Hosea’s warnings and the Assyrians were already coming to capture and destroy them.
Ezekiel 8:18: ‘Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.”’ NKJV
Micah 3:4: ‘Then they will cry to the Lord, But He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, Because they have been evil in their deeds.’ NKJV
Their end is coming because of their treacherousness and pagan children they had through their harlotry. They will become desolate.
Jeremiah 3:20: ‘Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, So have you dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel,” says the Lord.’ NKJV
In this chapter we are told even Judah is getting punished because they have gone astray, following their own desires and being wicked. The people of Judah are as wicked as someone removing a landmark (Deuteronomy 19:14 & 27:17) They sought a ‘cure’ from Assyria but they couldn’t be healed by them.
God said He will destroy them and leave them like a lion destroys then leaves their prey. He ‘will tear them’ and ‘take them away’ (vs 14) then return to His place. I believe He means that He would return to Heaven. He will no longer be in their midst or occupy the temple anymore because of their wickedness. After their captivity, He will return. When they realize and acknowledge their sins and earnestly seek the Lord’s face, God will come back to them.
Time and again in Hosea, we are seeing that sin pays with punishment and death. While it may seem enjoyable at the time or at the very least not bad, it can and will ruin a person in the end. Thankfully, Jesus came so that we could be forgiven and join God in Heaven!
What are your thoughts about chapter 5? Share in the comment section below!! 🙂