The Strain Upon Divine Patience

In a recent survey it was found that 15 percent of the ladies tinted their hair, 38 percent wore rouge, 98 percent wore eye shadow, 22 percent wore false eyelashes, 93 percent wore nail polish. And 100 percent voted in favor of a resolution condemning any kind of false pack … More

Deception

Hosea’s own personal tragedy fades into the background as Israel is examined under God’s searchlight. The events of this chapter summarize what Gomer has done and what Israel has done. What happens to Gomer will happen to Israel. Israel, like Gomer, has defected from their true husband. Gomer thought that it was men other than her husband who would provide these things for her and Israel thought that it was gods other than the true and living God who would provide these things for her. Such is the deception of sin.

The prophet focuses on the following:

  1. Israel Indicted (vv. 2-5). The Lord in verse 2 calls upon the harlot’s children to indict their mother because of her adultery. The motivation for the children to plead with their mother  points out the consequences that will occur if the mother fails to give up the traces of harlotry (vv. 3-5). Like Gomer, Israel is willing to believe a lie and credits her false lovers (Baal) for every good thing she has received (v. 5).
  2. Israel Punished (vv. 6-13). These verses (vv. 6-8) summarize God’s initiation of the process of punishment, the isolation of Israel from her illicit lovers. The grave consequences of forgetting the Lord,  (vv. 9-13) emphasize the Lord’s desire for Israel to know Him again. The predicted destruction of the vine and fig tree (v. 12) should have shaken Israel to an awareness of her folly. The same people who forgot the Lord who brought them out of bondage never forgot to adorn themselves properly for a festival dedicated to Baal (v. 13).

Application

Today many people give credit to everything and everyone but God for their prosperity. The call it luck, hard work, quick thinking or the right contacts. Where do I stand on this issue of deception? Do I ever try to make people think that I am something that I am not?

Hosea 2:1-13 (English Standard Version)

Say to your brothers, "You are my people," and to your sisters, "You have received mercy." "Plead with your mother, plead-- for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband-- that she put away her whoring from her face, and her adultery from between her breasts; lest I strip her naked and make her as in the day she was born, and make her like a wilderness, and make her like a parched land, and kill her with thirst. Upon her children also I will have no mercy, because they are children of whoredom. For their mother has played the whore; she who conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, 'I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.' Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths. She shall pursue her lovers but not overtake them, and she shall seek them but shall not find them. Then she shall say, 'I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now.' And she did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal. Therefore I will take back my grain in its time, and my wine in its season, and I will take away my wool and my flax, which were to cover her nakedness. Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall rescue her out of my hand. And I will put an end to all her mirth, her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her appointed feasts. And I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees, of which she said, 'These are my wages, which my lovers have given me.' I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall devour them. And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals when she burned offerings to them and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry, and went after her lovers and forgot me, declares the LORD."

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