Hosea 4

Israel Charged 

Hosea bought his wife back, called her to repentance, and explained the symbolism behind these actions. From this point forward, the book of Hosea is prophetic poetry. Hosea calls for the people to hear the word of the Lord. The Lord indicts the children of Israel. God's covenant people were faithless, unloving, and embracing false worship. During this arraignment, the charges were listed: swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery. The people violated boundaries and were violent. The whole of the land was suffering including wildlife. The Lord was contentious toward the priests. The priesthood was corrupt, and there was no knowledge of God in the land. The people were being destroyed, and the priests had rejected God's word so that God would reject them as priests. These priests disregarded the law of God, and the result would be that God would forget their children. The priests sinned greatly, and during the reign of Jeroboam, they grew in prosperity and power. It seems that the priests were greedy and abused their rights to sin offerings. These corrupt priests would not escape the punishment of the people of Israel. Sin will never satisfy, and when the people abandoned the Lord, they were unfaithful to the covenant like an adulteress wife. They sought divine revelation from sources that could not provide it. Immorality spread like an infectious disease throughout Israel. While the men were visiting temple prostitutes, their daughters and daughters-in-law were committing adultery. A real knowledge of God includes an understanding of sexual ethics. Sexual impurity leads to national ruin. The Lord desires that Judah keep free of the sins of Israel, who are like stubborn heifers.  Hosea warned Judah not to follow in the footsteps of Israel. The consequences of their sin would soon arrive as the violence with which the conqueror would sweep Israel, here represented as a woman, into exile. They would be ashamed of their hypocrisy in offering sacrifices to idols. 

Things To Consider:

  • Where is your lack of faithfulness?
  • Do you see any of your struggles in the list?
  • Do you see creation suffering because of man's sin today? In what way?
  • How do religious leaders mislead people today?
  • How do you know?
  • How have we forgotten God's law?
  • How do religious leaders feed on people today?
  • Why is the prosperity gospel movement particularly guilty?
  • Why can't sin satisfy us?
  • What idols are we joined to?