February 10, 2011

Minor Prophets IX: How Many Times Do I Need To Tell You?

Even after all the patience and mercy from God, Hosea 6:11b-7:16 allludes to the fact that His people cannot and will not receive restoration. We see the reasons why He cannot restore His people in verse 7:1-16?

God’s grace is pretty much there for the taking if it wasn’t for their rebellion (Israel and Judah [v.6:11b]). Judah will also reap the harvest of her iniquity. God wants to show them mercy but they’re idiots. We see the actions committed by Israel (and Judah): (v1) He wants to restore their fortunes and to “heal” them but Ephraim’s sins are exposed as are the crimes of Samaria (v2) They practice deceit and commit evil deeds. (v2) Their sins engulf them; they are always before me. (v3) Their leadership is wicked (v4) They’re adulterers burning like an oven (v5) leadership are drunkards (v6) The sin of the people is voracious and ambitious as it is referred to as burning like and oven (v8) Ephraim mixes with the nations and a flat loaf not turned over (burnt) & (v9) Foreigners sap their strength unwittingly and “Israel’s arrogance testifies against him”. Israel’s sin had so thoroughly taken them over they had become blind and stupid to the fact they were being tapped by foreigners and weakened (v11) forcing them to turn to previous enemies or currently strained relationships for help. Because of their own foolish actions...they would pretty much become toast.

We then see the real reason the sins are being committed. We see the spiritual malady behind the atrocious actions of Israel and Judah (v13) “Woe to them, because they have strayed from me! The farther from God people stray the more they sin and less holy they become. Not only have they strayed they are in outright rebellion against God. They also defame His character. They defame it more by their behavior than anything else. They are God’s chosen and many know this yet they act as unrepentant hedonists like the culture around them. Whoring after the other gods (v14) slashing themselves to reinforce ritualistic prayer to Baal even though the Bible forbid this. They apostatized, so judgment is coming instead of mercy and grace that God would’ve given them had they just turned their hearts to Him.

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