Hosea 4: Israel's sins, all guilty
Comment: Moving away from his family being
used to convey prophetic truths about Israel, the word now comes
directly to Israel about their unfaithfulness [v.1], and the awful
state of the nation [v.2] and how this has brought judgment on
the land itself [v.3]. The Lord charges prophets, priests and
the people with being equally guilty [v.4,5] and this has come
about because the priests have failed to teach the people [v.6]
and had, in fact, become as bad as the people [v.7-9]. Their idolatry
would never satisfy them [v.10,11], an idolatry that was blatant
and obvious throughout the land [v.12,13] that will bring God's
punishment down on them [v.14]. Judah are warned not to go the
way of Israel [v.15] for that stubbornly idolatrous people will
be judged and removed [v.16-19]
The Sin of Israel
The Lord charges Israel with unfaithfulness to Him
the word of the Lord, you Israelites,
because the Lord has a charge to bring
against you who live in the land:
‘There is no faithfulness, no love,
no acknowledgment of God in the land.
As a result, all sorts of wrong behaviour abounds
is only cursing, lying and murder,
stealing and adultery;
they break all bounds,
and bloodshed follows bloodshed.
The Lord confronts Israel with their sin and the state
of their lives as a people.]
The Effect on the Land
Drought or famine is often a sign of God's judgment
of this the land dries up,
and all who live in it waste away;
the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
and the fish in the sea are swept away.
The state of the Land should speak volumes about them
They're all the same, priests & people
Don't blame one another, you're all as bad
let no one bring a charge,
let no one accuse another,
for your people are like those
who bring charges against a priest.
stumble day and night,
and the prophets stumble with you.
The priests failed to teach the people, so they are being destroyed
for their sin
I will destroy your mother –
people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
you have rejected knowledge,
I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law of your God,
I also will ignore your children.
The priests who should have led, followed the people into sin
more priests there were,
the more they sinned against me;
they exchanged their glorious God for
feed on the sins of my people
and relish their wickedness.
it will be: like people, like priests.
I will punish both of them for their ways
and repay them for their deeds.
The priesthood should have led the people, teaching
righteous adherence to the Law, but they not only failed to do
that, when the people ran amok with sin, they joined in and were
Israel's Prostitution – Idolatry
Their false religions will always leave them needy
will eat but not have enough;
they will engage in prostitution but not
because they have deserted the Lord
to give themselves to prostitution;
old wine and new wine
take away their understanding.
Their sin is clear and obvious - idolatry
people consult a wooden idol,
and a diviner's rod speaks to them.
A spirit of prostitution leads them astray;
they are unfaithful to their God.
sacrifice on the mountaintops
and burn offerings on the hills,
under oak, poplar and terebinth,
where the shade is pleasant.
Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution
and your daughters-in-law to adultery.
It was the priests who led them astray, they are the most guilty
will not punish your daughters
when they turn to prostitution,
nor your daughters-in-law
when they commit adultery,
because the men themselves consort with harlots
and sacrifice with shrine-prostitutes –
a people without understanding will come
Judah, don't follow the example of Israel
you, Israel, commit adultery,
do not let Judah become guilty.
not go to Gilgal;
do not go up to Beth Aven.
And do not swear, “As surely as the Lord
Israel are stubbornly set in idolatry so they will be judged and
Israelites are stubborn,
like a stubborn heifer.
How then can the Lord pasture them
like lambs in a meadow?
is joined to idols;
leave him alone!
when their drinks are gone,
they continue their prostitution;
their rulers dearly love shameful ways.
whirlwind will sweep them away,
and their sacrifices will bring them shame.
Because the priests had failed in their role of teaching
and acting as an example, constantly drawing people to God, the
people had turned to the idols of other nations and entered whole
heartedly into a life of idolatry. The result of this ongoing,
stubborn replacing the Lord with idols will be destruction.]
to Chapter 5