Read 172.) Hosea 4:1 thru 9:17. Hosea, fifth of the Minor Writing Prophets, can be identified as having served the Lord from, perhaps not much earlier than 760 BC, and no later than 700 BC. We learn this from the time clue given us in 1:1. Today’s reading will be a difficult one, if only because there are so few words of good news and hope.
Beginning with chapter 4, we learn of the Lord’s charge against Israel, particularly with verse 2. They have broken, and continue to break, the 3rd, 9th, 6th, 8th and 7th Commandments against one another. And, with verse 1, they are guilty of breaking the 1st and 2nd Commandments against the Lord, Himself. What? They’re not guilty of breaking the 4th and 5th Commandments? We’ll continue to read, and see! Throughout the chapter, Israel is chastised of the Lord for their desertion of God, and their attachment to idols.. He makes a distinction between Israel to the north, and Judah to the south with verse 15. This will become more apparent in the near future. Then, with chapter 5, and verse 5, we see, that in actuality, Judah is also hip-deep in sin, just as Israel is! From here, He goes back and forth, between the two kingdoms; first Judah with verses 5 thru 8, then Israel with verse 9, back to Judah in verse 10, Israel again with verse 11… then to both kingdoms in verses 12, 13 and 14. Verse 14 pronounces to both their judgment: Exile, and the fulfillment of the 5th Prophecy concerning ancient Israel found in the Old Testament, and given unto Moses! The passage, 5:15 thru 6:3, then expresses the true repentance of the Jews, that they will engage in at the very end of the Tribulation and beginning of the Millennium.
From 6:4, the complaint against the people of God resumes, as does His threat of judgment upon them. We go to chapter 7. Verse 7, in particular is especially meaningful, as Israel will go through 7 kings during the period of his ministry! We’ll soon read of how and why that was so! Chapter 8 continues the Lord’s diatribe against His people. Verse 7 was famous in time gone past, “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.” Concluding with chapter 9, and further words of condemnation and of judgment, it is easy to see the problem, and the solution. The problem is that His people have forgotten Him. They have ignored their God, and turned to idols. They have become altogether corrupt, and are fit only for destruction; which will be soon coming. The solution is just as clear; a true repentance, and a turning back to the Lord. This would please Him, and he would rejoice, welcome them, and bless them. But, they would have none of it, and so their end draws very near. We shall read of it soon. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell