Hosea continues to speak God’s judgment against the people, and he’s not mincing words. The situation is dire. Using poetic language, Hosea describes how foreign armies are going to invade their land and destroy their altars and idols. But even with this dire warning, the people of Israel still put their faith in their own strength and alliances with other nations instead of turning back to God. It’s a tough spot to be in, and Hosea is doing his best to get them to see the error of their ways before it’s too late.
The book of Hosea is a love story with a twist. It tells how God commanded Hosea, a prophet, to marry Gomer, a wife who would be unfaithful to him. God wanted Hosea to feel firsthand the pain of betrayal as he sent him out to prophesy to the people of Israel how they had been unfaithful to God. Hosea still loved Gomer and pursued her and restored her as his wife. This was a picture of how God pursued Israel despite their sin and rebellion and offered them grace and mercy if they would return to Him.
Thy Strong Word, hosted by Rev. Dr. Phil Booe, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church of Luverne, MN, reveals the light of our salvation in Christ through study of God’s Word, breaking our darkness with His redeeming light. Each weekday, two pastors fix our eyes on Jesus by considering Holy Scripture, verse by verse, in order to be strengthened in the Word and be equipped to faithfully serve in our daily vocations.
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Israel Will Reap the Whirlwind
8 Set the trumpet to your lips!
One like a vulture is over the house of the Lord,
because they have transgressed my covenant
and rebelled against my law.
2 To me they cry,
“My God, we—Israel—know you.”
3 Israel has spurned the good;
the enemy shall pursue him.
4 They made kings, but not through me.
They set up princes, but I knew it not.
With their silver and gold they made idols
for their own destruction.
5 I have[a] spurned your calf, O Samaria.
My anger burns against them.
How long will they be incapable of innocence?
6 For it is from Israel;
a craftsman made it;
it is not God.
The calf of Samaria
shall be broken to pieces.[b]
7 For they sow the wind,
and they shall reap the whirlwind.
The standing grain has no heads;
it shall yield no flour;
if it were to yield,
strangers would devour it.
8 Israel is swallowed up;
already they are among the nations
as a useless vessel.
9 For they have gone up to Assyria,
a wild donkey wandering alone;
Ephraim has hired lovers.
10 Though they hire allies among the nations,
I will soon gather them up.
And the king and princes shall soon writhe
because of the tribute.
11 Because Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning,
they have become to him altars for sinning.
12 Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands,
they would be regarded as a strange thing.
13 As for my sacrificial offerings,
they sacrifice meat and eat it,
but the Lord does not accept them.
Now he will remember their iniquity
and punish their sins;
they shall return to Egypt.
14 For Israel has forgotten his Maker
and built palaces,
and Judah has multiplied fortified cities;
so I will send a fire upon his cities,
and it shall devour her strongholds.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org