Summary: Israel prospered under King Jeroboam’s leadership by gaining military and economic strength. However the more prosperous the nation became the more they used their income for building more altars for idol worship (v.1). It is often the same today. More we
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst;
He promises honor and pays with disgrace;
He promises pleasure and pays with pain;
He promises profit and pays with loss;
He promises life and pays with death.
(Donnie Martin - Sermon Central)
Israel prospered under King Jeroboam’s leadership by gaining military and economic strength. However the more prosperous the nation became the more they used their income for building more altars for idol worship (v.1). It is often the same today. More wealth means more worship of things and less worship of God. It seems that the more God gives to us, the more we spend on our idols. We want bigger houses, better cars and more clothes. It was Hosea’s responsibility to inform his people that their guilt would be discovered and their altars of shame would be broken down (v. 2).
God was angry with the people of Israel for their insincere promises (v. 4). While judgment was tightening its grip on Samaria, her first concern was for the capture of the calf of Beth-aven (v. 5). Beth-aven means “house of wickedness” and it refers to where false worship took place. With her God in the hands of the enemy, “Ephraim shall receive shame” (v. 6). Finally it seems that she realizes her error in heading the council of Jeroboam to establish calf worship at Bethel (I Kings 12:29). From this Israel would learn that she is powerless. Hosea states that Israel’s failure to listen to the warnings of God will result in her being cut off and becoming like a stick floundering helplessly at the mercy of the tides (v. 7). God’s judgement will create a state of terror in which the people of Israel will cry out for the mountains to cover them, and for the hills to fall upon them (v. 8). The only thing that can prevent God’s judgement from falling is repentance. Israel however, did not seek the Lord and consequently, reaped destruction when Shalmaneser devastated it (vv. 14-15).
Am I remaining true to my promises to other people and to God? I need to be careful about the promises I make. I should never make a promise unless I’m sure I can keep it.