The Day of Rebuke

An umpire named Babe Pinelli once called Babe Ruth out on strikes. When the crowd booed with sharp disapproval at the call, the legendary Ruth turned to the umpire with disdain and said, “There’s 40,000 people here who know that the last pitch was a ball.” Suspect … More



In this chapter God’s judgment results in three things:

  1. Rebuke (vv. 1-7). This is addressed to the religious leaders, the nation in general and the royalty. It is especially directed to the religious and governmental leaders, who have been leading the nation into its sin (v. 1). The nation has been wholly given over to idolatry. Though they may try to hide their true condition, God sees them for what they are, wholly given over to idolatry (v. 3). When they do come to the end of themselves and finally seek God with their sacrifices and religious formality, they are not able to find Him because in judgment He hath withdrawn Himself from them (vv. 6-7).
  2. Retribution (vv. 8-14). God’s retribution must fall. The judgment heaped upon the north will be so severe that it will even endanger the tribes in the south (v. 8). Because of their willful forsaking of God and wholesale turning to idols things will not get better for them. When both the northern and southern kingdoms saw their sad condition, they realized that they needed help but went to the wrong source to get it.  Instead of going to God they went to the king of Assyria, who was powerful in man’s sight but was totally helpless before God (v. 13).
  3. Repentance (v. 15). Into this dark picture of retribution was one ray of hope. He has withdrawn from His people for the purpose of causing them to seek Him. So just as certainly as the judgment has fallen so certainly will come their repentance.


This means that I do not need to bring it up again. I do not want to be tempted to argue with God over disappointments. His judgment is final.

Hosea 5:1-15 (English Standard Version)

Hear this, O priests! Pay attention, O house of Israel! Give ear, O house of the king! For the judgment is for you; for you have been a snare at Mizpah and a net spread upon Tabor. And the revolters have gone deep into slaughter, but I will discipline all of them. I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from me; for now, O Ephraim, you have played the whore; Israel is defiled. Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. For the spirit of whoredom is within them, and they know not the LORD. The pride of Israel testifies to his face; Israel and Ephraim shall stumble in his guilt; Judah also shall stumble with them. With their flocks and herds they shall go to seek the LORD, but they will not find him; he has withdrawn from them. They have dealt faithlessly with the LORD; for they have borne alien children. Now the new moon shall devour them with their fields. Blow the horn in Gibeah, the trumpet in Ramah. Sound the alarm at Beth-aven; we follow you, O Benjamin! Ephraim shall become a desolation in the day of punishment; among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure. The princes of Judah have become like those who move the landmark; upon them I will pour out my wrath like water. Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment, because he was determined to go after filth. But I am like a moth to Ephraim, and like dry rot to the house of Judah. When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his wound, then Ephraim went to Assyria, and sent to the great king. But he is not able to cure you or heal your wound. For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, and like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear and go away; I will carry off, and no one shall rescue. I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me.

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