February 2, 2011

Minor Prophets IV: Punishing Prostitutes

In Hosea 4 we see a list of the "charges" or indictments that God brings against Israel in this chapter and many are not pretty, some are downright nasty and I for one would not want to be accused of them.

These all appear to be a lack of what one should consider “covenant” virtues or behaviors that would be attached to people adhering to God’s covenant. What is here in abundance is what one would consider are not behaviors you would expect-vices.

What is lacking (Hubbard 97):

(1) There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land.
(1a) The end results of this are instability, infidelity and unreliability.
(1b) There is no kindness or concern for those that need help
(1c) There is no knowledge of God which is the whole point of a covenant “relationship”, what He has done for His covenant people. The appropriate response to God for what He has done for His people should’ve been at least worship, instead He is ignored.

What is present in abundance (Hubbard 97):

(2) There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.
(2a) Swearing or inappropriate use of the divine name by damning other using Yahweh’s name attached to a curse.
(2b) Lying which pretty much is either destruction of self-character or someone else’s or murder which is taking of a life without regards for the Law.
(2c) Stealing: taking/appropriating items of someone else.
(2d) Adultery: Sexual immorality which appears to represent the spiritual and physical promiscuity of Israel
(2e) Break all bounds seems to be attached to the final “bloodshed” so appears to be excessive or wanton bloodshed or savage violation of divine law.

Referring directly to the priest/priesthood of the cults and their failure to be leaders and keepers of God’s covenant (v.4-19) (Hubbard 99)

(v.6) Failure to teach the Law
(v.7-10) Selfish use of the position of the priesthood
(v.12) Practicing divination
(v.13a) Offering sacrifices on the High Places
(v.13b-14) Ritual orgies
(v. 17-19) Drunken stupidity in connection with idol worship

**List of indictments continues into Chap 5 (But I won’t for the sake of )

Hubbard, David Allan. "Hosea's Messages:Part One." Hosea: an introduction and commentary. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1989. 95-99. Print.

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