Israel is Doomed

Eamon De Valera was an Irish statesman who served three times as prime minister of Ireland and subsequently as her president. After the Easter rebellion of 1916, De Valera was sentenced to penal servitude. While traveling to prison, he took out his pipe and was about to lig … More

Choices

Knowing that life is filled with choices , we must as Jacob of old, wait upon the Lord (Gen. 49:18). Jacob’s descendants likewise had to make choices, but they chose to go against God and His love:

  1. Choosing dissipation rather than exaltation (vv. 1-3). Israel’s sin increased like an unchecked infection. At one time everyone listened to God and respected Him (v. 1). Then something happened and under Ahab they gave themselves to the worship of Baal and the result of this infectious increase in sin was complete dissipation of the nation.
  2. Choosing destruction rather than salvation (vv. 4-8). Understanding the knowledge of God  would have permitted Israel to make the right choices but she forgot that the Lord was her Savior and followed after destruction.
  3. Choosing the desire of a human king rather than the King of kings (vv. 9-11). Prompted by a desire to be like other nations, Israel asked God for a human king, a request God in His righteous anger granted (Saul) but because of rebellion was soon removed. (I Sam. 15:22-23).
  4. Choosing death rather than life (vv. 12-16). The Lord reminds Israel that restoration, not retribution is the goal of His sovereign plan. Like a ray of sunlight penetrating through a sky filled with storm clouds God offers afresh His promise to redeem Israel from the realm of death into which she was falling. Hosea warns that although Israel is flourishing Assyria will sweep down upon the land and cause it to become dry and barren (vv. 15-16).

Application

An abundance of possessions made Israel feel self sufficient and as a result they chose to turn their back on God. This feeling of self sufficiency can also bring me to destruction. I must choose to rely on God in both good times and in bad times. It is so easy to want to have my way in the many choices of life rather than wanting to go God’s way whether it is easy or hard.

Hosea 13:1-16 (English Standard Version)

When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling; he was exalted in Israel, but he incurred guilt through Baal and died. And now they sin more and more, and make for themselves metal images, idols skillfully made of their silver, all of them the work of craftsmen. It is said of them, "Those who offer human sacrifice kiss calves!" Therefore they shall be like the morning mist or like the dew that goes early away, like the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor or like smoke from a window. But I am the LORD your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior. It was I who knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought; but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me. So I am to them like a lion; like a leopard I will lurk beside the way. I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs; I will tear open their breast, and there I will devour them like a lion, as a wild beast would rip them open. He destroys you, O Israel, for you are against me, against your helper. Where now is your king, to save you in all your cities? Where are all your rulers-- those of whom you said, "Give me a king and princes"? I gave you a king in my anger, and I took him away in my wrath. The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is kept in store. The pangs of childbirth come for him, but he is an unwise son, for at the right time he does not present himself at the opening of the womb. Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion is hidden from my eyes. Though he may flourish among his brothers, the east wind, the wind of the LORD, shall come, rising from the wilderness, and his fountain shall dry up; his spring shall be parched; it shall strip his treasury of every precious thing. Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword; their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.

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