Israel Will Be Punished

President Calvin Coolidge invited some people from his hometown to dinner at the White House. Since they did not know how to behave at such an occasion, they thought the best policy would be just to do what the President did. The time came for serving coffee. The President … More

Imitator

It was customary in Hosea’s day for people to rejoice at harvest time. Israel, however, was commanded not to do so, because she attributed the abundance she experienced to the idols she worshiped, instead of God who sent it (v. l). Because of her spiritual defection, crops will fail and the threshing floors and winepresses will be inactive (v. 2). In fact, she will fall into captivity to Egypt and Assyria (v. 3). They became involved in religious activity that was not pleasing to God. Through all of this they became spiritually insensitive, considering God’s prophets to be fools and those who were rightly related to God to be mad (v. 7). God had intended for Israel to be in fellowship with Him and to experience His blessing. However, instead of loving God and walking in His ways, they hated Him and departed from His ways (v. 8).

God recalls a time when the people were as refreshing to Him as a cluster of luscious grapes would be to a person in the wilderness or as tree-ripened figs are delicious to a hungry person (v. 10). How sad it is that His covenant people have changed. Their sin is so serious that God will strike them where it will hurt most and that is in their offspring (v. 11). Israel will experience both a declining birthrate (v. 11) and an exceeding high death rate among the children that are born (v. 12). God planted His people in a special land, but they polluted the land with their idols (v. 13). Gilgal is a symbol of the depth of God’s threat of judgment to the nation that refused to repent (v. 15-17).

Application

People often take on the characteristics of what or whom they love or worship. Am I becoming more like God or am I becoming more like someone who just imitates others?

Hosea 9:1-17 (English Standard Version)


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