God continues to send messages of doom and destruction to the Israelites through Hosea. He said that when He had planned to heal Israel, the wickedness done by Samaria and Ephraim was revealed. This caused their subjugation.
Ezekiel 23:4-8: ‘Their names: Oholah the elder and Oholibah her sister; They were Mine, And they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem is Oholibah.
The Older Sister, Samaria
“Oholah played the harlot even though she was Mine; And she lusted for her lovers, the neighboring Assyrians, Who were clothed in purple, Captains and rulers, All of them desirable young men, Horsemen riding on horses. Thus she committed her harlotry with them, All of them choice men of Assyria; And with all for whom she lusted, With all their idols, she defiled herself. She has never given up her harlotry brought from Egypt, For in her youth they had lain with her, Pressed her virgin bosom, And poured out their immorality upon her.’ NKJV
But they don’t realize that God knows what they’ve done and now they are surrounded by their sins and guilt as they stand before God.
Their evil and lies make their princes happy. The Israelite kings are glad when their subjects do wrong.
Micah 7:3: ‘That they may successfully do evil with both hands—
The prince asks for gifts, The judge seeks a bribe, And the great man utters his evil desire; So they scheme together.’ NKJV
All of the Israelites have gone astray and were unfaithful to God.
Verse 4: ‘“Like an oven heated by a baker—
He ceases stirring the fire after kneading the dough, Until it is leavened.”’ NKJV
When the evil had permeated every part of Israel, God could take it no more and set them ablaze.
Jeremiah 23:10: ‘For the land is full of adulterers; For because of a curse the land mourns. The pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up. Their course of life is evil, And their might is not right. ‘ NKJV
Princes made their kings sick with wine and he helped scoffers.
Isaiah 28:7: ‘But they also have erred through wine, And through intoxicating drink are out of the way; The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink, They are swallowed up by wine, They are out of the way through intoxicating drink; They err in vision, they stumble in judgment.’ NKJV
So the scoffers and princes of Israel prepared their heart with the kindling of sin and it set them on fire, burning and destroying them. Their kings and judges fell and no one called on God. Ephraim had gotten mixed up with the evils of Israel and were burned also.
The foreign Assyrians took Ephraim’s strength and made him gray-haired. He doesn’t know that he will soon be destroyed.
Isaiah 1:7: ‘Your country is desolate, Your cities are burned with fire; Strangers devour your land in your presence; And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.’ NKJV
Israel’s pride in their sin is evident and is used as evidence against them. Ephraim is in trouble too. They are silly and flighty, looking to Egypt and Assyria for help when God spreads His trap for them and brings them down.
Isaiah 30:3: ‘Therefore the strength of Pharaoh Shall be your shame, And trust in the shadow of Egypt Shall be your humiliation.’ NKJV
Even though God tried to redeem Ephraim, but they fled from Him. He sends destruction against them for their transgressions.
Zechariah 7:5: ‘“Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me—for Me?’ NKJV
The people of Israel and Ephraim called out to God when they were in need but not with their hearts, merely with their lips. They didn’t truly repent but rebelled against God. They only assembled to eat and party; they didn’t assemble to praise and worship God.
Now doesn’t that sound familiar? People nowadays are so quick to get together and have a party, eat and drink on Fridays or Saturdays but how many of them go to church on Sunday morning? How many of them have opened their Bibles in the last week? Or even the last month? We meet together to have fun but we have stopped getting together to worship God and have fulfilling and Godly fellowship, which we shouldn’t do (see Hebrews 10:25 NKJV) Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t have fun, as long as we don’t sin or do anything that displeases God. But we need to put spending time in the presence of God and worshiping Him as our first priority, unless we want to end up like the Israelites.
Even though God strengthened and lovingly disciplined the Israelites, they devised evil against Him. They came back but not to God.
Psalm 78:57: ‘But turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers; They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.’ NKJV
In the end, their princes will die and they’ll be ridiculed in Egypt by their own curses.
So what did you think of chapter 7? Do you plan on going to church tomorrow? Don’t stop meeting with other believers! Share your thoughts in the comments below!!