The Contention of The Lord

He made free use of Christian vocabulary. He talked about the blessing of the Almighty and the Christian confessions which would become the pillars of the new government. He assumed the earnestness of a man weighed down by historic responsibility. He handed out pious storie … More

Hypocrisy

 

In this chapter God brings a charge of disobedience against Israel (v. 1). The religious leader had replaced true worship of God with ritual prostitution. The nation had gone down hill spiritually and morally, breaking the laws God had given to them. The people found it easy to condemn Hosea’s wife for her adultery but they were not so quick to see they had been unfaithful to God.

God explained the reasons for Israel’s suffering. There is not always a cause and effect relationship between our actions and the problems we face. However, the lawless behavior of Israel had brought them judgement by increased violence and an ecological crises. God pointed out that even murder was being taken casually in Israel (v. 2).

It is easy for us to blame others if we fear punishment for our wrongdoing. Hosea warned the priests not to blame others because the nation’s sins were largely their fault. Israel’s priests were quick to point out the people’s sins, but God would not allow them to overlook their own sinful actions. Instead of instructing the nation in religion and morality, they were leading them toward idolatry and immorality. Every time a person brought a sin offering, the priest received a portion of it. The more the people sinned the more the priest received (v. 7). Therefore instead of trying to lead the people away from sin, they encouraged sin so they would receive more.

Application

The fact that God will not allow me to blame others for my mistakes should cause me to deal with my sins head-on. I need to be careful that I’m not a hypocrite but responsible for my own actions.

Hosea 4:1-10 (English Standard Version)

Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel, for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens, and even the fish of the sea are taken away. Yet let no one contend, and let none accuse, for with you is my contention, O priest. You shall stumble by day; the prophet also shall stumble with you by night; and I will destroy your mother. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. The more they increased, the more they sinned against me; I will change their glory into shame. They feed on the sin of my people; they are greedy for their iniquity. And it shall be like people, like priest; I will punish them for their ways and repay them for their deeds. They shall eat, but not be satisfied; they shall play the whore, but not multiply, because they have forsaken the LORD to cherish....

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