Judgment, Sentencing, and PunishmentOctober 3, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Posted in Hosea | Leave a comment
Tags: closing argument, commentary on Hosea, Hosea 5, Hosea 6, Hosea 7, Hosea 8, idolatry, Jesus the Advocate, Sunday School lessons on Hosea
In Hosea Chapter 4 God listed the charges against the people, and presented evidence of their idolatry. In Chapter 5 He makes His summation or “closing argument.”
They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the Lord.
God had withdrawn His Spirit from among them. It didn’t matter how Godly they sounded in their protests or professions, nor how fervently they celebrated in their feasts. They would show up at a festival ostensibly to honor God, and then behave like pagans, allowing their daughters to engage in pagan fertility rites and fornication.
Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Bethaven, after thee, O Benjamin.
With the term “Bethaven” God used Hosea to make a very effective legal argument. Bethel – where they were supposed to worship – meant “house of God.” The pun on the word “Bethaven” meant “house of evil” or “house of deceit.”
Then God had Hosea read the penalty attached to the crimes of which the people had now been convicted.
Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness.
Moths eat away from the inside, and turn objects into rot.
For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him.
Moths work secretly for a long time before the destruction they cause is revealed, but Lions attack suddenly from the outside, and the damage they cause is quickly and obviously apparent.
In Chapter 6 the people attempted an appeal of their conviction and sentencing.
Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
However, their appeal was a false repentance, and it was rejected and denied.
O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.
The Lord had no use for a half-baked cake.
They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened. In the day of our king the princes have made him sick with bottles of wine; he stretched out his hand with scorners. For they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait: their baker sleepeth all the night; in the morning it burneth as a flaming fire. They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calleth unto me. Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.
They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.
These people would be cut off, and we all face a judgment in which God would be justified in cutting us off forever from His benevolence, kindness, and favor. However, for those of us who are in Christ Jesus – who have received His salvation – Jesus Himself stands as our Advocate. On the Cross of Calvary He was cut off from God so that we may be accepted.
Here are some previous highlights from Hosea: