Church Education Trust

Church and the Bible

TMP028/8 Exposition CH.8

B. Isreal's Punishment.

(chapter 8:1-10:15).

Verse 1.

Hosea sounds out a warning, "the eagle was ready to come down" on the "house of the Lord", because there was no temple in the northern kingdom this prophecy must apply to the children of Isreal. Isreal were God's temple, the place where He dwelt and the place He longed to dwell in power. (Ch.9:5, Num.12:7, Jer.12:7, Zech 9:8).

Verse 2/3.

Although in this verse Isreal cry out to God, their cry is one of desperation and not one based in faith. Because of that God allows their punishment. Without faith no man can please God. Isreal was faithless and would be devoured by their enemies.

Verse 4.

Israel's kings and general leadership at that time had been chosen without the conscent of Yahweh. Because there was no continuing dynasty, political struggle for the leadership of Israel was the norm and because of that there was no less than nine different dynasties that cane to power in Israel.

We also see for this verse that the children of Israel used their Gold and Silver to make idols especially the golden cows which came to be worshipped in Bethel and in Dan. In the warning about coming Judgement, idol-making is linked to Israel's destruction.

Verse 5.

God hated Israel's worship of the Golden calf, "zanah `eglek"  is used to describe how God really felt, these two words can be literally translated, "your calf stinks." Their worship through the cow to God was unacceptable and more than that there could never be a time when that type of worship could be acceptable.

Verse 6.

This sixth verse is closely linked with God's attitude in the last verse towards the "golden cow". God hated those cows simply because they were man made, there could never be any place in God's economy for shuch idol worship. Although the calves were placed in Bethel and Dan, Samaria is used in this verse simply because it was the capatol city of the Nothern Kingdom of Isreal.

Verse 7.

The "wind" speaks of the emptiness of Isreal's sin, the "wirlwind" speaks of the coming destruction of Isreal by God because of their sin. It would seem that judgement and destruction had already begun for Isreal for "the stalks" were not producing grain and so there was no flour. It would also seem that the rain had been withheld.This verse is in proverbial form, which is of course often used when describing something that is difficult to describe. (chapter 10:12-13, Job`4:8, Prov.22:8, Gal.6:7).

Verse 8.

Isreal had lost her God given identity and was swallowed up by the surrounding nations as something worthless.

Verse 9.

Isreal was seeking help from pagan Assyria, Isreal was likened to a "stubborn donkey" insisting on having her own way no matter the outcome. She was selling herself to foreign nations like a prostitute.

Verse 10.

Isreal would be gathered to gather and made to bow the knee before a heathen nation.(Assyria)This would be their punishment and many would die at the hands of the Assyrians.

Verse 11.

God had ordained that there was only one alter acceptable to Him and that was the Holy place of Jerusalem. Even though the nation was divided into two and even though idols had been set up in Bethel and Dan by Jeroboam for the sake of religious testimony.God only acknowledged the place that He had willed and sanctified,all other places were regarded as places of sin and evil.

Verse 12.

The Isrealites were without excuse for they had recieved the law in abundance. "Many things" could be better translated "ten thousands or myriad".(Ribbo).The idea is given that the law was given in such detail that there was no excuse for failure to know God's will and perfect way.

Verse 13.

In this verse Hosea points out that the children of Isreal used sacrifices that belonged to God to sacrifice on heathern alters.This was a grave and punishable sin. As well as that it would seem that the people disregarded the law concerning "foods offered to idols and ate it all".Again God said that Isreal would have to return to Egypt for Egypt symbolised Assayria the place of punishment.

Verse 14.

In this verse Hosea points out yet another sin that had been committed by Isreal, Isreal had forgotten their maker and had put their confidence in fine palaces, foreign kings and leaders. On the other hand Judah had fortified her cities to try and hinder the wrath of God's punishment through the mighty Assyrian armies.But their defences would be completely destroyed by the Assyrian invaders.

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