Last Days Prophecy
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Prophecies about Israel
From the Book of Hosea
The emphasis is on the LORD God and the faithless nation of Israel which has been playing the harlot. Chapter 4-14 deals with that which is prophetic.
What about the USA?
The prophet shows the need for judgment, by exposing the sins and foolishness of Israel. This section is divided into two parts: “Hear the word of the LORD” (Hos.4:1), and “Hear ye this” (Hos.5:1). The difference between the two parts is . . . in chapter 4 the reproof of their sins passes from Israel as a whole, to the sins of the priests in particular. In chapter 5 it passes from the ruin of the priesthood to the depravity of ALL Israel, and announces the judgment of devastation upon Ephraim, and then closes in Hosea 6:1-3 with a command to return to the LORD. The contents of these two chapters, are so arranged, that it is hard to divide them.
Because of the heartbreaking experience in his own home, Hosea now speaks to Israel. He knows how God feels about them. God is now going to bring them into court, bring charges against them, and prove those charges. The message of chapter 4 is . . . Israel is guilty of lawlessness, immorality, ignorance of God's Word and idolatry. Sounds like today! This chapter can be compared to the first chapter of Isaiah, where Isaiah speaks to the southern kingdom, spelling out God's charge against that nation.
Is Hosea speaking to us today? Absolutely! The same sins of Israel are indeed the sins of our own nation. Yes! It is true that Israel was God's chosen people, and He gave the Mosaic Law to them. BUT . . . we need to consider that His Word is Law. If anyone disobeys Him, He certainly CANNOT nor will NOT bless that person or nation.
Our nation is guilty of the same sins that Israel was guilty of when God judged them and sent them into captivity. I am sure many will disagree with me, by saying: "We are NOT idolaters." My friend, covetousness is idolatry (Col.3:5; Heb.13:5). There is NO other nation more greedy and/or worships the almighty dollar more than the United States! Do NOT point your finger at Israel and think, "It's a shame how they turned from God." All you have to do is open your eyes and look around!
Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. (KJV)
To "hear" is more than just listening, it is seriously considering and weighing what the LORD is saying! It is hearing of the mind, as well as of the ear, that is required. "The word of the LORD" . . . He that speaks through Hosea is the great and TRUE God. Although Hosea is a man; the message comes NOT from man, but it is the Word of God, a message of the sovereign, holy, just and Almighty Creator God, who always speaks most important things that refer to our obedience and safety. "Ye children of Israel" . . . the people of ten tribes, with whose ancestors God's covenant was made, who received the law by the disposition of angels (Acts 7:53), but have NOT kept it. They that have turned aside from their TRUE God to idols.
For the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land . . . the inhabitants of the land, who dwell in Israel, are divided from the house of David (Judah), and from the house of God. They dwell among idolatrous neighbors . . . NOT just a few of them, but the majority of the people . . . just like our nation today!
It is the inhabitants of the whole land that the LORD has an action against. Dear one, the LORD knows your sins (Eze.11:5). He hates sin, He threatens and will judge and punish sin unless they repent. It is God that speaks here through Hosea, and summons them to plead with Him. "Hath a controversy" . . . they have wronged Him, and He will right Himself, but He will be very clear in His judgment. All shall see that the just LORD does right, and that Israel's sins are the cause of all their sufferings. God does NOT take pleasure in afflicting the children of men. Against Him they had sinned, and before Him they stood guilty. He had many things against them. A charge is brought into open court, the indictment is read, an answer must be made. God is their enemy, who moves and brings on the controversy in a judicial way. WHO can answer him? (Mat.22:46; Lk.14:6). WHO can stand before Him? (Jer.10:10; Nah.1:6; Rev.6:17).
Because there is no truth . . . NONE do or speak truth. NONE are true and faithful . . . NONE are true to their word, NONE are faithful to their commitment. NO truth of grace is found in them, NO truth of doctrine is received and held by them. Truth is gone from them. There was NO truth of Word or worship with respect to Almighty God. There are NONE that do truth, NONE that dispense mercy, NONE that walk in the fear of the LORD in the land. Fear is reverence of the LORD: (Ps.2:11; Ps.25:12-14; Ps.31:19; Ps.33:8; Ps.33:18; Ps.34:7; Ps.34:9; Ps.67:7; Ps.96:4; Ps.111:10; Ps.115:11; Prov.1:7; 3:7; 8:13; 9:10; 14:2; 15:16; 22:4; Mat.10:28; Jam. 2:19).
Nor mercy . . . NO mercy, NO kindness, NO gentleness of heart and mind. All are hardened, and hold back any compassion, which should be opened toward the indigent and those in need. There is NO compassion, NO doing good among them. They have NO pity.
Nor knowledge of God in the land . . . all are ignorant, and have NO knowledge of God. They know NOT what God is in Himself, know NOT what God has done for them, know NOT His honesty and truth, know NOT His love, kindness and tenderness that He requires in His Word. If by chance they did have a slight knowledge of those things, they certainly did NOT consider them. They have wiped out any knowledge of God they did have. Again, this is like today!
Because of the heartbreaking experience in his own home, Hosea knows how God feels about Israel. Everything that has been said so far, has been in general way. God said, "They have sinned. They have played the harlot and been unfaithful to Me." God is now going to bring them to court, spell out certain charges against them, and prove those charges. The message of chapter 4 is that Israel is guilty of lawlessness, immorality, ignorance of God's Word and idolatry . . . which can be compared with the first chapter of Isaiah, where Isaiah speaks to the southern kingdom (Judah), bringing God's charge against that nation.
If a person would just look around, I think that these sins of Israel, are the same as the sins of our own nation. You may say: "We are NOT idolaters." My friend, covetousness is idolatry (Eph.5:5; Col.3:5; Heb.13:5)! I do not know of another nation that is more greedy and worships the almighty dollar more than this nation of ours today. As you read the Book of Hosea, do you point your finger at Israel and say, "It is a shame how they turned from God." Do NOT be too quick to judge them! Look around and see if the same thing is not true of America. BEWARE!! Judgment Day is coming.
Hosea 4:2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. (KJV)
Swearing, either falsely or profanely, or cursing and wishing evil to someone. "Lying" . . . instead of truth, there is perjury; instead of compassion there is hatred and evil-speaking. Lying of all kinds: affirming falsehoods, denying truths, deception, defrauding, calling good evil and evil good (Isa.5:20), representing something as good that it is not, flattery, defaming, etc.
And killing . . . God had forbidden all kinds and degrees of murder, but this people, through ignorance of God, filled the land with murders, some open, some secret . . . by cruelty withholding relief from some, by violence and falsehood cutting off others: the people seemed bent on killing. Murder is sin: (Ex.20:13; Deut.5:17; 27:25; Ps.10:8; 10:8; 94:6; Jer.7:9; Hos.4:2; Mat.5:21; Mk.7:21; 10:19; Lk.18:20; Rom.13:9; 1 Tim.1:9; Jam.2:11; 1 Pet.4:15; 1 Jn.3:15; Rev.21:8; 22:15). Murder includes ABORTION!
And stealing . . . stealing is injury to another, either by taking away what was his, or holding back what should have been his, or giving less than was due him. Israel was inclined to be frauds, many addicted to secret thefts, and some openly practicing it. Stealing is sin: (Ex.20:15; 22:1,7; Lev.19:11; Deut.5:19; 23:24; Hos.7:1; Mat.19:18; Mk.10:19; Lk.18:20; Rom.13:9-10; 1 Cor.6:10; Eph.4:28; 1 Pet.4:15; Rev.9:21).
Committing adultery . . . this sin had grown to a great height in Israel; a sin directly against the truth and mercy which should have been among them. "Adultery" consisted of all degrees of adultery: lasciviousness, impure thoughts, words and gestures being included. Adultery, fornication and homosexuality is sin: (Exodus 20:14; Lev.18:20; 20:10; Deut.5:18; Pro.6:32; Jer.5:7; 23:10; 29:23; Eze.16:32; 22:11; Hos.4:2; Mal.3:5; Mat.5:32; 19:9,18; Mk.6:18; 7:21; Mk.10:11,19; Lk.16:18; 18:20; Rom.1:26-32; 7:3; 13:9; 1 Cor.6:9,18; 7:2; 10:8; Gal.5:19; Eph.5:3; Col.3:5; Heb.13:4; Jam.2:11; 2 Pet.2:14; Jude 1:7; Rev.2:20-22; 9:21).
ALL Wickedness is disobedience to God: (Gen.13:13; 18:20-21; Ex.22:18-20; Lev.18:22-24; 19:31; 20:2-6,13-17,27; 1 Sam.15:23; 2 Ki.9:22; 21:6; 23:24; 2 Chron.28:3; 33:6; Job 15:16; Ps.14:1-4; 50:17-22; 53:2; 58:2-4; Pro.6:18; Ecc.17:9; Isa.8:19; 19:3; 29:4; 32:6-7; 57:3-11; Jer.4:14; Eze.8:9,12; Mic.5:12-15; Nah.3:4; Mat.15:19; Mk. 7:21-23; Rom.1:24-32; 3:9-19; 1 Cor.6:9-11; Gal.5:15-21; Eph.2:1-3; Col.3;5-9; 1 Tim.1:8:11; 2 Tim.3:1-7; Tit.3:3; Rev.21:8,27).
They break out . . . from all the restraints of the laws of God and man. Like an unruly horse that grabs the bit in his teeth and runs away, or like wild beasts, that break down the fences and get away, or like a flooding river that breaks down dams and banks, and overflows the land. Such was the flood and deluge of sin abounding in the nation. Israel broke down the hedge of the God's law, which absolutely forbids what they were doing day by day.
And blood toucheth blood . . . slaughters are multiplied: by "blood" the Scripture often means slaughter (Gen.4:10; Ps.58:10). Zachariah is murdered by Shallum (2 Ki.15:10); Menahem slew Shallum (2 Ki.15:14), and ripped up women with child in Tiphsah (2 Ki.15:16). These kings being killed in this way, leave no doubt that much blood was spilt. "Blood touches blood" means that there was so much murder, that the blood was falling on the dried blood of previously murdered victims. Some understand this as sins in general, because ALL sin is filthy and abominable to the LORD; and with the addition and multiplication of them, there were heaps of them, seemingly a chain of them linked together . . . thus, they add sins to sins.
Others interpret this as impure mixtures, incestuous lusts or marriages contrary to the ties of blood, and laws of consanguinity (Lev.18:6).
Each of the sins mentioned was breaking Israel's Ten Commandments. Read them in the twentieth chapter of Exodus: "Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness..." (Ex.20:13-16).
God gave Israel the Ten Commandments, which were just a part of the Mosaic system. In them God expressed His will. The church today is NOT under the Ten Commandments as the way of salvation or the way to live the Christian life. BUT that does NOT mean that we can break the commandments; it simply means that He has called us to a higher plane of living and has enabled us so to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our commandments are as follows: Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV)
God has condemned drunkenness, and He has condemned homosexuality. He uses very strong language when speaking of homosexuality. God says homosexuality is an "abomination" to Him, and that when a people or an individual indulges in this perversion, He will give them up (Rom.1:24, 26, 28). God gave Israel up to captivity because they were guilty of indulging in these sins. Homosexuality: (Gen.18:20; 194-11,24,28; Lev.18:22-24; 20: 13-16; Deut.23:17; Isa.3:9; Lk.17:29; Rom.1:24-32; 1 Cor.6:9-11; 1 Tim.1:8-11; 2 Pet.2:4-6; Jude1:7).
Multitudes in the United States today are guilty of the same sins as Israel was: there is NO knowledge of God in this land, and certainly NO fear of God! And many of those who "profess" to be "Christians" compromise with the wickedness going on all around them: abortion, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, same sex marriage, living together without being married, etc. God does NOT approve of any 'alternative' lifestyles just because YOU think they are OK! Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (KJV)
Just because there is a church on every corner and on Sunday mornings you can hear church bells, does NOT mean this is a nation that has knowledge of God. A very small percentage of the population actually attends church, and many of these are hypocrites (Mat.23) . . . and very few are really being reached with the TRUE Word of God by the false teachers in the pulpits. Even though the Bible is freely available, America is Biblically ignorant! The news media is at the top of the list, with government very close behind! Consider the following quote: "NO man is uneducated who knows the Bible, and NO one is truly educated who is ignorant of its teachings." (Author unknown).
Alcohol is another dreadful sin that is rampant in our land . . . the same as it was in Israel in that day. Someone said that a few years ago that there were over 100 cocktail parties every day in Washington, D.C. If that is true, think how much that has increased. I do not know the actual statistics, but I do know that there is MUCH drinking going on in our nation's capital. I would think that there are millions of Americans who are alcoholics. Kids start at a very early age because it right there in front of them in their home! Many will say that this is NONE of my business. I disagree. I have a burden for lost souls, and our government and our nation are engaged in gross immorality and are breaking God's laws. EVERY person shall one day stand before the Great Judge! WHAT will He say to you? IF you continue on a path of disobedience and sin, He has only one verdict for you . . . HELL! (Rev.20:11-15). Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV) . . . Is your name in the "book of life"? If not, it could be! Open your heart's door to Jesus (Rev.3:20).
Drunkenness: (Deut.21:20; Pro.20:1; 21:17; 23:20-21,29-35; 31:4-7; Isa.5:11-12,22-23; 19:14; 24:9,11; 28:1,37-8; 56:11-12; Jer.25:27; Hos.4:11; 7:5,14; Joel 1:5; 3:3; Amos 2:8,12; 6:1,6; Mic.2:11; Nah.1:10; Hab.2:15-17; Mat.24:49; Lk.12:45; 21:34; Rom.13:13; 1 Cor.5:11; 6:10; Gal.5:19-21; Eph.5:18; 1 Thes.5:7-8; 1 Pet.4:3).
Consider the following quote from J. Vernon McGee:
It is argued in our day that alcoholism is a disease and not a sin. That has been answered by a medical doctor, who writes:
Alcoholism, a disease? If so:
It is the only disease contracted by an act of will.
It is the only disease that is habit forming.
It is the only disease that comes in a bottle.
It is the only disease causing hundreds of thousands of family disruptions.
It is the only disease promoting crime and brutality.
It is the only disease contributing to hundreds of thousands of automobile accidents.
It is the only disease playing a major part in over 50 percent of the more than 50,000 annual highway deaths.
It is the only disease which is sold by license.
It is the only disease that is bought in grocery stores, drug stores, and well-marked retail outlets.
It is the only disease that is taxed by the government.
Verse 6 is probably the best known verse in the entire Book of Hosea.
God's Judgments Against the Sins of the Priests
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (KJV)
One main reason for their sin was a lack of knowledge of the Word of God, just like it is today, and getting worse, day by day! IF you are a Christian, the minute you move away from the Word of God, you are doomed to fail in your Christian life. No matter how many conferences or seminars you go to that tell you how to be successful in your home, business and social life, you will be a failure. Hosea makes it very clear that we do NOT live a life pleasing to God by worldly gimmicks and methods. We MUST have a personal knowledge of the Word of God and a personal relationship with its Author! People are destroyed for lack of knowledge, and that lack of knowledge leads to apostasy! And when you turn away from God, He will turn away from you (your sin).
Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shall be no priest to me . . . those who would be teachers . . . are and will be ignorant, will not know, will reject knowledge and will not want to know about God. "Hast rejected knowledge" . . . perverseness! These are the ones who would direct and teach others??? "I will also reject thee" . . . with equal dislike, and God will destroy their priesthood. God intended that the whole nation of Israel would be priests unto Him, and in the Millennium they will be that. But here, God says, You are not even going to have priests.
Seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children . . . the people of Israel, the whole kingdom of the ten tribes; the pretended priests and their children with them. God says to the people of this nation, I will forget you, because you have forgotten Me. Because Israel has gone through a long, sordid history of departing from the LORD, they have now come to the time of judgment. God has proved His case against these people; in the beginning of the chapter He numbered their sins . . . they have broken the Ten Commandments that He gave them, so He hands down His decision that He shall judge them. "Seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God" . . . Israel and the priests, all sinned together, slighted and disrespected His law, broken all the precepts of it, set up other gods, other worship, other priests than the law directs.
God judges people based on what they know. These verses (Rom.4:15; 5:12; 2 Pet.2:21), show that God does not hold a person accountable for what was done in innocent ignorance. People cannot know IF they had no opportunity to learn, BUT . . . all ignorance is NOT innocent. People most often do not learn about God because they REFUSE to learn from what was available to them. The BIBLE is available to everyone, everywhere. If you do not have one, the library does!
Hosea 4:7 As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. (KJV)
They . . . kings, priests and people of that time. Were increased . . . increased in number, in riches, in power and in SIN (Isa.1:2). So they sinned against me . . . sin grew with their wealth, so much like today. God was provoked by them, for they turned His bounty into sin. This is common today as well.
As the children of the priests increased and grew up, they too sinned against the LORD, imitating their parents. This reveals the universal depravity and corruption of all Israel. God would take away their priesthood from them. He would reduce them to a state of poverty and disgrace. There would be no more honor, just scorn and contempt.
Therefore will I change their glory into shame . . . the priests turned their glory, that which they might glory above others, into sin, so God would turn it into shame and dishonor. Had it been used properly, it would have been their honor. God would degrade their priests, impoverish the people and send both into captivity.
The glory of Israel was the Temple with the Shekinah glory upon it. God's visible Presence was with the nation and His definite leading of them. God is saying to the people through Hosea: I will remove My glory from you. I'll remove My blessing from you, and I will judge you by letting the enemy come upon you and take you into captivity. His Shekinah Presence WAS removed: (Eze.9:3; 10:4,18; 11:22-23). God's glory GONE until Christ was born: (Lk.1:9; 2:1-20). God's glory will NOT return again until Christ's Second Coming: (Zec.14:1-4; Rev.19:11-21).
Shekinah glory: (Ex.25:8; 29:45-46; Num.5:3; 35:34; 1 Ki.6:13; Eze.43:9; Zec.2:12-13)
Occasionally the name of God is spoken of as descending: (Deut.12:11; 14:23; 16:6,11; 26:2; Neh.1:9)
It is especially said that God dwells in Jerusalem: (1 Chron.23:25; Zec.8:3; Ps.135:21)
On Mount Zion: (Isa.8:18; Joel 3:17,21; Ps.15:1; 124:2).
In the Temple itself: (Eze.43:7).
In the bush: (Deut.33:16)
And it is said that "the glory of the LORD abode upon Mount Sinai" (Ex.24:16)
Hosea 4:18 Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love, Give ye. (KJV)
Their drink is sour . . . during their idol feasts, they drink wine and strong drinks, but it is either sour and unpleasant to their taste, or corrupt and hurtful, there is no enjoyment or good taste in it. "Therefore" . . . because of Israel's idolatry, Judah must decline any intimate familiarity with Israel, and have NOTHING to do with the idolatries, of Israel (Isa.28:1-8).
They have committed whoredom continually . . . both spiritual and corporal, continually, without ceasing from Jeroboam's time to this day. One king after another, and one idolater after another; they were idolatrous worshippers of Baal or the calves.
Her rulers with shame do love, give ye . . . there is also shameful oppression and bribery among them. What good could Judah look for or expect from such an evil and corrupt society and friendship with them? This was why Judah should have nothing to do with Israel.
Hosea 5:4 They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the LORD. (KJV)
They are the revolters, idolatrous and corrupted Israelites. They will NOT adjust their ways so that they might come back to God. They are deeply instilled with a false spirit within them (1 Jn.4:2-3). They have NO knowledge of the LORD, nor do they want any; just like billions today! They have become slaves to their own evil doings, and they have neither the will or power to change (Jer.13:23-24).
For the spirit of whoredom is in the midst of them . . . (Hos.4:12). Their minds were bent and fixed on spiritual whoredoms, and they are incited to it by the seducing spirit (1 Tim.4:1), lured to it by examples. They all were filled with this demonic spirit, it had taken over their hearts. This unclean spirit prompts and urges them on to commit physical and spiritual whoredom; their minds were set upon these abominable, evil practices. The spirit of error (1 Jn.4:6), which caused them to err, was the lying spirit in the false prophets which encouraged them. It was the spirit that works in the "children of disobedience" (Eph.2:2; 5:6). Unclean spirit: (Zec.13:2; Mat.12:43; Mk.1:23, 26; 3:30; 5:2,8; 7:25; Lk.4:33; 8:29; 11:24; Rev.18:2)
And they have not known the LORD . . . ignorance of God, His nature, His perfections, His will, His Word and His worship, was the cause of their idolatry, and other sins (Hos.4:1). This was willful and conceited ignorance. They knew not, nor would they understand, they rejected any and all knowledge of God, again . . . like billions today!
So many today have not known, never did rightly know, nor do they want to know, or IF they ever knew, they forgot and were willfully ignorant of the way of holiness and purity contained in the law of God. They do NOT turn to God, do NOT repent of their wicked ways, do NOT leave their sin, so they CANNOT return to God. They, like Israel, have violated the covenant and departed from God. Their sin has hardened them to a hopeless and remediless stubbornness and impenitence.
The Almighty LORD is absolutely pure, zealous for His glory, sovereign in His authority, rich in His rewards . . . BUT He is severe in His punishments, and true to His Promises and when He threatens something, He fulfills it! It is SO stupid for any nation or individual to forsake the True and Living God, because HE shall have the last Word!
Although the calf worship, or the worship of Baal, had been set up in the tribe of Ephraim, it indeed had defiled all ten of the tribes and even had an effect on the southern kingdom of Judah. Their sin was the sin of a people who had the Word of God and who knew God but had turned far from Him, no longer knowing Him or worshipping Him. Because of this, gross immorality and deterioration was throughout every part of the nation. Even the land and animals were affected, and I really do think the curse of God is still upon that land today. Any irrigation that has been done has NOT yet made the desert to "blossom as the rose" (Isa. 35:1).
Hosea 5:7 They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions. (KJV)
They . . . the whole house of Israel: all the priests, people and princes and their kings with them, have dealt treacherously; have falsified their word and promise of fidelity and constancy, of love and affection, when they entered covenant with God; have become idolaters, and worshipped and relied on false gods. The reason of His departure from them . . . just as a woman deals treacherously with her husband when she is unfaithful to him, and commits physical adultery; so Israel and Judah dealt treacherously with the LORD, who stood in the relation of a husband to them in covenant, by committing spiritual adultery (idolatry). Dealt treacherously: (Hos.6:7; Isa.48:8; 59:13; Jer.3:20; 5:11).
They have begotten strange children . . . either of strange women, the daughters of idolatrous Heathens they married, or their natural children, though born of Jewish parents, yet being raised by them in an idolatrous way, teaching the same evils the parents were guilty of. They are said to be "strange children" to the LORD, alienated from Him and His worship. Strange children: (Neh.13:23-24; Ps.144:7,11; Mal.2:11-15).
Now shall a month devour them with their portions . . . the Jews understand this literally of the month Tammuz, in which the city was broken up, and the month Ab, in which it was destroyed. This refers to the time of Jerusalem's destruction, and it means a short time (Zec.11:8). Some think it means every month; and means the continual desolation that would be made, until they were utterly destroyed. Still others interpret it as their new moon, or first day of the month, which they observed in a religious way, by offering sacrifice, and on which they depended.
Because of the idolatry committed within them, they provoked the LORD'S wrath and He would destroy them on account of their sin; including their farms, fields and vineyards, which were their portions and inheritances (Isa.1:13-14). "With their portions" . . . not only the persons, but their goods are exposed to speedy spoiling and speedy anguish.
"For they have begotten strange children" . . . they did not bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the LORD, in the discipline and instruction of the LORD. In the Book of Deuteronomy, God told His people that they were to be continually teaching His Word to their children. They were to put it on the doorposts and teach it as they sat in their homes and as they walked together and even when they were going to bed at night (Deut.11:18-21). But here God says, You have begotten strange children . . . they don't even know Me! SO true in today’s world!
Hosea 6:4 O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. (KJV)
Israel is here again called "Ephraim." The LORD now enters into a discussion with both Israel and Judah, all of which were His people, but were froward and ungovernable (Isa.5:3-6; Mic.6:3,5). The LORD wanted to know what He could do to make them become holy, just and wise, and what more could He do to save them from ruin. Did they want Him to stop being God, so they could stay with their idols? Did they want Him to repeal His laws, which were only for their good . . . and let them perform their idols' rites and rituals? Or did they really want to stay with Satan, the wicked one (Mat.13:38; 1 Jn.5:18), who had deceived and seduced their kings, prophets, priests and people, whom they were worshipping in their idols. Did they really want God to bless them in this?
For your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth way . . . their love is like a morning cloud, and like the dew that disappears early with no benefit at all. The LORD would do anything that could be done to reclaim and reform them, for they are just like disrespectful adulteresses, who will not be honest and faithful to their reconciled husband. Their goodness, kindness and love for God, His honor, law and worship, and their promises of faithfulness and loyalty, is as a morning cloud or early dew that vanishes completely without any result. They were deceitful, they were hypocrites (Mat.23), they were invalid signs of goodness, piety and obedience. Their hypocrisy and unfaithfulness renders them unable of willing obedience.
God is frustrated. He is saying, "What shall I do with you? I love you, but you continue to sin, so I must judge you!" Judgment is the strange work of God. He does NOT want to judge you . . . He wants to save you! BUT . . . when people insist on turning away from Him, He must judge them.
The people of Israel were religious, but they had no knowledge of God and were far from Him. Today, people have much religion. Consider the following: Religious = faithful devotion to a reality or deity; devoted to beliefs or observances; scrupulously and conscientiously faithful to something, could be anything! Religion = cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith. Many people turn to religion for comfort in a time of crisis. There are many religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, etc. Hockey is a religion in Canada. Politics are a religion. Football is religion to millions. Food can be a religion.
Religion is man's attempt to reach God through his own efforts. To gain eternal life in Heaven, we must forget about "religion" and turn to Jesus Christ, the Light of the world.
See our article on Religion? or Christ? . . . http://www.hisservants.org/religion_or_christ_h_s.htm
The Israelites were religious, but their goodness was like a morning cloud . . . just form and ritual and ceremony."As the early dew it goeth awa" . . . that is all their religion amounted to, as well as billions of people world-wide today! Many people wear religion like a jacket, putting it on and off at any time. God condemned these people because they were religious, but they did NOT know Him, and they had never had a life-changing, experience with Him. A person MUST believe God and accept His Son!
John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (KJV)
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (KJV)
John 3:35-36 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (KJV)
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (KJV)
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. (KJV)
John 14:6-7 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. (KJV)
1 John 5:11-12 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (KJV)
Hosea 6:7 But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me. (KJV)
But they, like men, have transgressed the covenant . . . the LORD had clearly told them by His prophets what He required of them by the covenant, but He could not obtain it, for they did NOT listen (hearken) to what He said. Like men . . . like Adam. There are those who refer this to the first man, and his breaking the covenant. The covenant (Deut.4:13), that God had made with this nation; the law of their God, which directed and encouraged their obedience, and which threatened their disobedience, and cursed it. Divine Curse: (Gen.3:14,17; 4:11; 5:29; Deut.11:28; 27:15-26; 28:16-68; 29:20-27; 30:7; Josh.6:26; 8:30-34; Judg.5:23; 2 Chron.34:24; Ps.119:21; Pro.3:33; Isa.24:6; 65:20; Jer.11:3; Lam.3:65; Dan.9:11; Zec.5:3; Mal.1:14; 3:9; 4:6; Mat.21:19; Mk.11:14; Rom.5:16; 8:22; Gal.3:10; Rev.22:3).
There have they dealt treacherously against me . . . there . . . in the very place where God gave them the covenant, they broke His covenant. Dealt treacherously against me . . . they were froward, wilfully perverting God's law; they were habitually inclined to disobedience and opposition, headstrong, self-willed, disobedient, not obeying or complying with commands of the LORD. They were disobedient children. God wanted obedience, not sacrifice; but there was no obedience, just the offering of many sacrifices. They were openly rebellious, like millions today!
Hosea 6:9 And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness. (KJV)
Just like a gang of greedy, evil men hide and lie in wait, for a man they know will come by that way, who has money, so they can rob him.
So the company of priests murder in the way by consent . . . these priests have turned into highway-men and murderers. They not only encourage murderers, and commit murders within the city, but go out together in a body on the highway, and there commit murders and robberies and divide the spoil among them . . . all this they did as a group, being agreed, being brethren in iniquity. As good people passed by Gilead to Jerusalem, to worship there at the solemn feasts, they lay in wait for them, and murdered them; because they did not contribute to the idolatrous worship of the calves at Dan and Bethel.
For they commit lewdness . . . purposely committing corrupt, evil and vulgar crimes, carefully devising and contriving them.
These priests, in refusing to give the people the Water of Life and the Bread of Life actually committed murder. Any pastor who stands in the pulpit and does NOT give out the TRUTH in the Word of God is just as guilty.
Hosea 7:13 Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me. (KJV)
Woe unto them . . . the prophet had foretold their miseries. They have fled from me . . . they flew from away from God, as birds on the wing. Their sin is apostasy; they fled from the LORD, from His worship, from obedience to Him, and from serving Him. Just as an animal leaves its young to fend for itself, so they had deserted the Temple at Jerusalem, and forsaken the service of the sanctuary. They had set up idol calves at Dan and Bethel (2 Ki.10:29; 17:16), and worshipped them. Instead of fleeing TO God for help in time of trouble, they ran further away from Him, running to Egypt or Assyria for help. This resulted in nothing but ruin; adding more sorrow to their weeping and woes.
Destruction unto them, because they have transgressed against me . . . because they have transgressed against God, and in rebellion cast off His law and government, both in state and more so in church matters, oppressors in one, idolaters in the other, and persistent in both . . . great woes that always end in destruction.
Though I have redeemed them . . . first out of Egypt, then out of the hands of the Moabites, Ammonites, Philistines, and others in the times of the judges; and then in the times of Joash and Jeroboam the second, who recovered many cities out of the hands of the Syrians. God redeemed them partly by Joash (2 Ki.18:1-37), but more fully by Jeroboam the Second (2 Ki.14:1-29). He would have completed this deliverance, but they by their sins hindered it.
Yet they have spoken lies against me . . . against the laws that God gave them. They were NOT to set up idols, and worship them. Then they committed murder, adultery, thefts and robberies, with which they are charged in the first part of this chapter. They brazenly transgressed both tables of the law, bringing destruction down upon themselves, which was very near at hand, and would come. Although they promised themselves peace, and expected assistance from neighboring nations, all was in vain, for they had made the LORD their enemy, by breaking His laws. The first table of the law states our duty to God (Ex.20:3-11). The second table of the law regards our duty to man (Ex.20:12-17).
Israel fled to idols, worshipped them, and prayed to them, as if God was not willing or able to help them. They ascribed all praise of the good they enjoyed to their idols (Hos.2:5-7). They acted as if they thought God's corrections did not apply to them, as if they did not deserve them. They thought that the good that was done, was too little, and it was not done by God, but by their idol.
Hosea 8:14 For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof. KJV)
Israel is the ten revolted idolatrous tribes. Hath forgotten his Maker (Hos.2:5; 4:1,6). This could be either remembers not at all, or without love, thankfulness and consideration that certainly is due Him.
And buildeth temples . . . to idols, to the calves at Dan and Bethel, at which places, as there were altars set up, and priests appointed, so temples and houses of high places were built to worship in (1 Ki.12:31). Their idol temples were magnificent, so that they might boast of them. They were strong like towers, that they might fortify them, and trust in their strength in a day of war and trouble.
And Judah hath multiplied fenced cities . . . to protect them from their enemies, which was not unlawful . . . but they should NOT put their trust and confidence in them, and not in the LORD their God, which was their sin. When Judah saw the ten tribes carried captive by the Assyrians, they thought it necessary to turn to such methods for their security, but were not careful to avoid those sins which brought ruin upon Israel.
But I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof . . . God would bring an enemy upon them that would besiege them and burn their cities. This took place when Nebuchadnezzar and his armies came about one 130 years later. It shall devour the palaces . . . the stately palaces of their princes and nobles in their cities would be burnt too (Jer.52:13-14). Judah had imitated Israel in sin, and God would bring upon them like sufferings. The Creator and Preserver of all of them, who had raised them up to a kingdom, and had made them great and rich, and populated them, bestowing many favors and blessings on them . . . but they forgot Him, gave Him NO glory, and did NOT serve and worship Him.
It is a grievous sin to corrupt the worship of the Almighty God, and shall be charged as sin to all who do such things, no matter how many foolish excuses they make. The LORD God had written His law for them, to reveal what He expected of His own, but they did NOT want to know it, nor would they obey it. God is GOOD (Ps.52:1; Rom.2:4; 11:22), and He wants nothing but good for Israel and us, but when a person or a nation forgets God, casting Him away and hardening their heart against Him, the anger of the LORD rises and He will bring down judgment! As long as men despise the truths and precepts of God's Holy Word, and the ordinances of His worship, all the observances and offerings of their own devising, will be unto them SIN! For the only sacrifices and services that are acceptable to God, are those which are done according to God's Word, and that is through Christ, the one and "only begotten Son of God" (Jn.1:18; 3:16-18,36; Heb.11:17; 1 Jn.4:9).
Hosea 10:13-14 Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men. (KJV)
Ye have ploughed wickedness . . . they took a great pains to commit their evils; sowing it everywhere, which then sprung up in a bountiful crop. This could mean their first sins, from which all the others arose, such as their lack of faith and infidelity, their apostasy from God, their idolatry and contempt of His Word and His prophets. Israel had "ploughed wickedness." Instead of repentance and a life of righteousness, they had lived in wickedness, broadcasting it everywhere. They had increased all manner of wickedness, thus abusing and perverting God's awesome love and goodness. All Hosea's warnings were vain and fruitless. Oh! that people today would take note of this!
Ye have reaped iniquity . . . the wickedness they had sown had sprung up, ripened into a great harvest of iniquity, they had received a recompense worthy of their labor. God had punished them for their wickedness.
Ye have eaten the fruit of lies . . . not a sweet morsel, but instead bread of deceit, which could not, nor would not profit them, nor give them the pleasure it promised them, and that they had hoped for from it. They fed themselves with vain hopes, and maintained themselves in a carnal, sinful confidence. They forsook "the fountain of living waters" (Jer.2:13; 17:13).
Because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men . . . they trusted in their idols, worshipping them, and seeking those ridiculous idols instead of seeking the LORD, the Almighty God. Their "way" was their idolatry committed with the calves . . . and in their alliances with neighboring nations, and promising themselves great prosperity and happiness from these things.
Hosea 10:14 Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children. (KJV)
Because of their wickedness and vain confidence, the Assyrian army would invade them at God's command. A tumult shall arise; discontentment, murmuring and an outcry as of men afraid, not knowing what road to take when the alarm is given, and the news comes that Shalmaneser comes with his army against the kingdom of Israel. Among thy people . . . the Israelites, among all kinds of people among all the ten tribes of the kingdom.
And all thy fortresses shall be spoiled . . . every one of their strong holds, those impregnable fortifications on which they had put their confidence for safety . . . everyone of these would be taken and demolished by the enemy, in every part of the kingdom; so that there would be no place left to flee unto, or retreat.
As Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle . . . Shalman seems to be Shalmaneser king of Assyria (2 Ki.17:3-6; 18:9-11), his name being abbreviated, as Bethaven is called Aven (Hos.10:8), although some say it was not Shalmaneser, but Shallum (2 Ki.15:10,13-15).
The city of Betharbel is mentioned only once in the Bible (Hos.10:14) as a city destroyed by Shalman. Opinions vary both as to the location of the place and as to the identification of Shalman. "In the day of battle" . . . it seems there was a battle here, although it is difficult to identify in history just which incident is being referred to in this verse. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/3198-beth-arbel
The mother was dashed in pieces with her children . . . women big with child, or those having their children in their arms, had no mercy shown to them, but were utterly destroyed by torturous attacks. This horrendous method was used not only by Assyria, but also later by Babylon. This was mentioned by the Israelites as they wept in Babylon (Ps.137:8-9). Those people used brutal and uncivilized methods of destruction in war. Why were they so uncivilized? What about today? There are some horrendous things being done by those in the drug racket, by Mexicans, by Muslims, by homosexuals, by demon worshipers and by the so called new morality of our day. Was dashing the heads of babies against rocks any worse than the horrific and outrageous things that are done today? Absolutely not!
Hosea 13:6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me. (KJV)
When they came into Canaan, that land of springs, brooks and rivers, that land of wheat, barley, vines, olives, and figs (Deut.8:7-10); they had an abundance of all things for their delight, as well as for needed sustenance. When God brought them into this rich pasture, after the barrenness of the wilderness, they were like hungry animals. They gorged themselves with sweet wines and delicious food. Can you imagine yourself in their place? All they had, day after day was manna (Ex.16:4-15, 31). I can see them pigging out.
They were filled, and their hearts were exalted . . . they were elated with all their plenty (Deut.32:13-15). They grew proud and haughty, and attributed all their fullness NOT to the goodness of God, but to their own merit; placing their trust and confidence in their affluence, NOT in the LORD. They thought themselves safe and secure, and out of all danger, and figured it would never different.
Their heart was exalted . . . they grew proud, thought high thoughts of their worthiness and righteousness above other people. They thought of God as a man, that would proportion His blessings to what good was found in those that He did good to.
Therefore have they forgotten me . . . they forgot God! They forgot the Father of their mercies (Neh.9:27-28), and God of all their comforts (Ps.94:17-19; 119:76; Isa.66:13; Rom.15:5; 2 Cor.1:3; 2 Thes.2:16-17). They forgot to give Him praise and glory for their abundance; they forgot to place their trust in Him and depend upon Him. They forgot to obey and serve Him. They forgot to reverence and worship Him. All this forgetfulness was the result of their luxury and pride.
They forgot God and scandalously made them gods and worshipped them, sacrilegiously being unthankful for all that God had done for them. They gave honor and praise for all God did for them, to dumb idols, although He had warned them of it beforehand (Deut.6:11-15; 8:10-14).
Abundant possessions made Israel feel self-sufficient. Israel forgot all the goodness of God, turning its back on Him. Self-sufficiency is just as destructive today as it was in Hosea's time. Do you see your continual need of God's Presence and help, or do you say? "I can do it myself." We must NEVER forget God! We must learn to rely on Him in good times and bad. BEWARE!!! . . . if you are traveling on a smooth and easy path right now, there is danger lurking ever so close! Old Satan will tempt you to forget God!
Do NOT Mess With Israel!
Israel, Things About
Israel, Beginning of
Israel, God's Chosen People
Israel, Hatred of Israel is a Sin
These Bones Shall Live
Israel, Hosea Prophecies
Israel, Joel Prophecies
Israel, Obadiah Prophecies