Summary: In these verses we find that the people did not understand the depth of their sins. They did not turn from their idols, regret their sins or pledge to make changes (vv. l-2). It seems that they thought God’s wrath would only last for a few days. Little di
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
In the washroom of his London club, British newspaper publisher and politician William Beverbrook happened to meet Edward Heath, then a young member of Parliament, about whom Beverbrook had printed an insulting editorial a few days earlier. “My dear chap,” said the publisher, embarrassed by the encounter. “I’ve been thinking it over, and I was wrong. Here and now, I wish to apologize.” “Very well,” grunted Heath. “But the next time, I wish you’d insult me in the washroom and apologize in your newspaper.” (Today in the Word, October 1, 1993)
In these verses we find that the people did not understand the depth of their sins. They did not turn from their idols, regret their sins or pledge to make changes (vv. l-2). It seems that they thought God’s wrath would only last for a few days. Little did they know that they would soon be taken into exile. Israel was interested in God only for the material benefits they hoped to receive and did not value the eternal benefits that come from worshiping Him. God had shown His faithfulness to Israel many times. Because of this they knew that if they sought to know Him and His ways, He would reveal Himself to them. The problem was that they were so deep in sin, they did not really want to know Him. The truth is that they wanted the benefits but not His discipline or guidance (v. 3).
Confession of sin can help people understand God and bring them into a closer relationship with Him. However, confession is helpful only if it is carried out with an attitude of love for and obedience to God (v. 6). If a person’s heart is far from God, confession will become empty mockery. God didn’t want the Israelites rituals; He wanted their hearts. One of Hosea’s key themes in this book is that Israel had broken the covenant God had made with them at Mt. Sinai (Ex. l9:20). The sad thing is that the people broke their agreement and continued in their unfaithfulness to God. Sacrifices and offerings made to God without a desire to love Him or know Him more are worthless. It is so easy for Christians to sing “I Surrender All” on Sunday morning, knowing full well that they will dedicate the rest of the week to fulfilling their own self-centered interests.
It easy for me to make a confession for sin in my life and appear to be committed to God without deep and sincere loyalty to Him. If I make a confession to God I need to back it up with my actions.