Hosea 5-7

The Charges

The Consequences

As we study these chapters today we can see what has taken place in the nation that was supposed to bring the Law of God to the world as they lived it. The kings of Israel along with their hired priests had corrupted the people to the point that they did not know the God who had delivered them from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land.  Mizpah  and Tabor were places where Israel had victories and revival during the period of the Judges but now tradition tells us that the king stationed men in these places to capture anyone who was trying to go to Jerusalem and worship God.

Israel is starting to be called Ephraim now. This is because the Lord allowed portions of Israel to be taken by Syria and later Assyria because of King Jehu’s unfaithfulness to trust the Lord. Ephraim and the surrounding area is all that remains of Israel now. Hosea also directs his prophesy to Judah. Under King Ahaz the temple door will be nailed shut. He will have an altar built according to the design of one he saw in Damascus and have the altar Solomon built according to God’s plan set aside. Outlying cities in Judah will be taken as well.

As things deteriorate the nations of Israel and Judah turn to Assyria for help. Both nations will find that the enemy of their enemy will become their worst enemy. In Chapter 6 Hosea calls on the people to return to the Lord but they are unwilling.

One of the more sobering verses in the Bible to me is the last part of Hosea 6:11 and  7:1. “When I restore the fortunes of my people. When I would heal Israel, The iniquity of Ephraim is uncovered, And the evil deeds of Samaria, For they deal falsely; The thief enters in, Bandits raid outside.” NASB

Prosperity fuels pride and funds the sin nature. God sent Jonah to counsel Jeroboam 2 and as a result the nation experienced a time of peace and prosperity. However, rather than turn to God  and enjoy the blessing God had given them, they ended up turning away from God and the blessing exposed the sin nature of the leadership and the people. Solomon describes this attitude in Ecclesiastes 10:16-19

The result is weakness and immaturity. It feeds laziness and the people are ruled by their passions. What they have will soon be consumed by others and they will find themselves trapped and enslaved.

Could it be that these same conditions exist in our nation today?

Pastor Dave