By Joe Slater
Hosea wrote during a low point in Israel’s history. While the
nation prospered materially, the people’s spiritual condition was
deplorable. Hmmm. .. sound familiar?
Despite everything the Lord had done for Israel for centuries,
the unthankful nation was “bent on backsliding from Me” (Hosea
11:7). They actually believed their prosperity came not from the
Lord, but from their alliances with pagan trading partners. “For
she did not know that I gave her grain, new wine, and oil, and
multiplied her silver and gold – which they prepared for Baal”
God repeatedly warned His wayward people that He would
take away their blessings and they would suffer (2:9-13).
Because of their false swearing, lying, killing, and adultery,
therefore the land will mourn, and everyone who dwells there
will waste away” (4:2-3). In addition, Israel’s idolatry (spiritual
harlotry against God) would result in severe punishment:
“Therefore people who do not understand will be trampled”
In loving mercy, the Lord pleaded with Israel to return to Him.
“Come, and let us return to the Lord (6:1). “O Israel, return to
the Lord your God” (14:1). *But they do not return to the Lord
their God, nor seek Him for all of this” (7:10). “They return, but
not to the Most High” (7:16).
Does this sound like horrible news? Only for those unwilling
to repent and returm to God! “I will heal their backsliding and
love them freely” (14:4). Jesus cures us from the fatal disease of
sin: “(He) bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we,
having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose
stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
Via Bulletin Gold