“Therefore you shall stumble in the day; The prophet also shall stumble with you in the night; And I will destroy your mother. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
“The more they increased, The more they sinned against Me; will change their glory into shame. They eat up the sin of My people; They set their heart on their iniquity. And it shall be: like people, like priest. So I will punish them for their ways, And reward them for their deeds. For they shall eat, but not have enough; They shall commit harlotry, but not increase; Because they have ceased obeying the Lord.” Hosea 4: 5-10 NKJV
This opening passage is a lot to think about.
Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is from the book of Hosea, chapters 1-7 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). Hosea was a prophet who acted out the Lords prophesies as well as proclaimed them – with much pain and sorrow as He married an unfaithful women who broke his heart repeatedly. (Ezekiel was another one who performed object lessons for Israel – acting it out so the people could understand.)
I have experienced an unfaithful lover a time or two in my life. It is painful and heart wrenching and there are a million lessons in today’s reading in relation to that which we could discuss. AND as frequently as this occurs in modern society (and is even accepted) I am sure I could find lots of way to relate it back to our unfaithfulness to God. BUT… Let us instead focus on this opening passage from today’s reading.
I used to be a paralegal, people would come into our office and say they got a speeding ticket, but they didn’t know what the speed limit was on that road, or that they didn’t know this state has a hands-free law (meaning you can only operate an electronic devise without your hands, must have voice commands, and if you touch the devise and get caught, then you get a ticket). I know that understanding the nuances of each law everywhere you go isn’t easy.
I once had a person ask me why we have different laws in each city and town and then also different state to state in the nation. It is so confusing that a term was once coined a long time ago: Ignorance of the law is no defense. It’s a true saying. You cannot go into a court of law and say, but I didn’t know. Your lack of knowledge on the law will bring down the same (if not greater) consequences. Essentially you are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Some people would come into our office and be truly repentant and that isn’t something you can fake – we would watch as the court’s natural reaction was to pour out mercy. Some people would come in and be irate that they didn’t know and truly thought they could not be held responsible for something they didn’t know – – but they can be, because road signs tell you when the driving rules change on the roads. If you missed it, it is your own fault. You have the means to know – if you choose not to look, or pull over and look it up on the internet or research the law where you are traveling to ahead of time then it is your own fault. You have the means to know therefore it is your responsibility and job to know. You cannot use ignorance as your excuse. These people who try, their hearts are hardened. They are miserable in their stubborn ways. Read the whole passage today and you’ll see them clearly. In our physical world they are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Then, we should talk about the spiritual world. Sin increases and the prophets stumble with sin as well. These are the days we live in – we live in a time when the gentiles have reached this point that the Israelites had reached with God. We play the Harlot. We are playing with principles (or spiritual laws) of sin we do not understand. We think we can pray, and repent in the morning and be gracefully restored; daily – while nightly we continue in sin. We have a Bible but do not read it. We have the ability to pray and turn our hearts to God, but we only bow our heads when the pastor says let’s pray and we cannot even soften our hearts enough to compromise and at the least agree with the pastor in prayer.
Did you know this “destroyed for lack of knowledge” isn’t about being smart or knowing things!! Just like the law isn’t about knowing it. It is ALWAYS about your response to it. Why do I talk about humility as much as I talk about grace? Because look at this passage – it is about the people humbling themselves not about them going to school or a library to learn.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV
You see, God’s ways are beyond our ways, anyway – so even the more intelligent, even the Bible scholar, even the one with the gift of knowledge doesn’t know all that we should. We all lack knowledge. Let us learn what we can though, so we do not lack the pieces that will save us and not lead us to destruction.
The bottom line and in summary – the conclusion is always the same: choose to believe this and humble yourself before God, read His word, pray or talk back to Him, develop a relationship with Him and let Him change you, lead you, and be an active part of your life. And be saved from this distruction.
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
MEMORY WORK: James 4:7
NKJV – “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
NAS – “Submit therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
ESV – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
NLT – “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
NIV – “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READING: Hosea 1-7 NKJV
Hosea’s Unfaithful Wife
1 The word of the Lord that came to Hosea the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
The Family of Hosea
2 When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea:
“Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry
And children of harlotry,
For the land has committed great [a]harlotry
By departing from the Lord.”
3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4 Then the Lord said to him:
“Call his name Jezreel,
For in a little while
I will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu,
And bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.
5 It shall come to pass in that day
That I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.”
6 And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him:
“Call her name [b]Lo-Ruhamah,
For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel,
[c]But I will utterly take them away.
7 Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah,
Will save them by the Lord their God,
And will not save them by bow,
Nor by sword or battle,
By horses or horsemen.”
8 Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. 9 Then God said:
“Call his name [d]Lo-Ammi,
For you are not My people,
And I will not be your God.
The Restoration of Israel
10 “Yet the number of the children of Israel
Shall be as the sand of the sea,
Which cannot be measured or numbered.
And it shall come to pass
In the place where it was said to them,
‘You are [e]not My people,’
There it shall be said to them,
‘You are sons of the living God.’
11 Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel
Shall be gathered together,
And appoint for themselves one head;
And they shall come up out of the land,
For great will be the day of Jezreel!
The Lord’s Love for His Unfaithful People
God’s Unfaithful People
2 “Bring[h] charges against your mother, [i]bring charges;
For she is not My wife, nor am I her Husband!
Let her put away her harlotries from her sight,
And her adulteries from between her breasts;
3 Lest I strip her naked
And expose her, as in the day she was born,
And make her like a wilderness,
And set her like a dry land,
And slay her with thirst.
4 “I will not have mercy on her children,
For they are the children of harlotry.
5 For their mother has played the harlot;
She who conceived them has behaved shamefully.
For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
Who give me my bread and my water,
My wool and my linen,
My oil and my drink.’
6 “Therefore, behold,
I will hedge up your way with thorns,
And [j]wall her in,
So that she cannot find her paths.
7 She will [k]chase her lovers,
But not overtake them;
Yes, she will seek them, but not find them.
Then she will say,
‘I will go and return to my first husband,
For then it was better for me than now.’
8 For she did not know
That I gave her grain, new wine, and oil,
And multiplied her silver and gold—
Which they prepared for Baal.
9 “Therefore I will return and take away
My grain in its time
And My new wine in its season,
And will take back My wool and My linen,
Given to cover her nakedness.
10 Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers,
And no one shall deliver her from My hand.
11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease,
Her feast days,
Her New Moons,
All her appointed feasts.
12 “And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees,
Of which she has said,
‘These are my wages that my lovers have given me.’
So I will make them a forest,
And the beasts of the field shall eat them.
13 I will punish her
For the days of the Baals to which she burned incense.
She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry,
And went after her lovers;
But Me she forgot,” says the Lord.
God’s Mercy on His People
14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak [l]comfort to her.
15 I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
16 “And it shall be, in that day,”
Says the Lord,
“That you will call Me [m]‘My Husband,’
And no longer call Me [n]‘My Master,’
17 For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals,
And they shall be remembered by their name no more.
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them
With the beasts of the field,
With the birds of the air,
And with the creeping things of the ground.
Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth,
To make them lie down safely.
19 “I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the Lord.
21 “It shall come to pass in that day
That I will answer,” says the Lord;
“I will answer the heavens,
And they shall answer the earth.
22 The earth shall answer
With new wine,
And with oil;
They shall answer [o]Jezreel.
23 Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth,
And I will have mercy on her who had [p]not obtained mercy;
Then I will say to those who were [q]not My people,
‘You are [r]My people!’
And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’ ”
Israel Will Return to God
3 Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover[s] and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.”
2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley. 3 And I said to her, “You shall stay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man—so, too, will I be toward you.”
4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. 5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.
God’s Charge Against Israel
4 Hear the word of the Lord,
You children of Israel,
For the Lord brings a charge[t] against the inhabitants of the land:
“There is no truth or mercy
Or knowledge of God in the land.
2 By swearing and lying,
Killing and stealing and committing adultery,
They break all restraint,
With bloodshed [u]upon bloodshed.
3 Therefore the land will mourn;
And everyone who dwells there will waste away
With the beasts of the field
And the birds of the air;
Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.
4 “Now let no man contend, or rebuke another;
For your people are like those who contend with the priest.
5 Therefore you shall stumble in the day;
The prophet also shall stumble with you in the night;
And I will destroy your mother.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.
7 “The more they increased,
The more they sinned against Me;
I[v] will change [w]their glory into shame.
8 They eat up the sin of My people;
They set their [x]heart on their iniquity.
9 And it shall be: like people, like priest.
So I will punish them for their ways,
And [y]reward them for their deeds.
10 For they shall eat, but not have enough;
They shall commit harlotry, but not increase;
Because they have ceased obeying the Lord.
The Idolatry of Israel
11 “Harlotry, wine, and new wine enslave the heart.
12 My people ask counsel from their wooden idols,
And their [z]staff informs them.
For the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray,
And they have played the harlot against their God.
13 They offer sacrifices on the mountaintops,
And burn incense on the hills,
Under oaks, poplars, and terebinths,
Because their shade is good.
Therefore your daughters commit harlotry,
And your brides commit adultery.
14 “I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry,
Nor your brides when they commit adultery;
For the men themselves go apart with harlots,
And offer sacrifices with a ritual harlot.
Therefore people who do not understand will be trampled.
15 “Though you, Israel, play the harlot,
Let not Judah offend.
Do not come up to Gilgal,
Nor go up to Beth[aa] Aven,
Nor swear an oath, saying, ‘As the Lord lives’—
16 “For Israel is stubborn
Like a stubborn calf;
Now the Lord will let them forage
Like a lamb in [ab]open country.
17 “Ephraim is joined to idols,
Let him alone.
18 Their drink [ac]is rebellion,
They commit harlotry continually.
Her [ad]rulers [ae]dearly love dishonor.
19 The wind has wrapped her up in its wings,
And they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.
Impending Judgment on Israel and Judah
5 “Hear this, O priests!
Take heed, O house of Israel!
Give ear, O house of the king!
For [af]yours is the judgment,
Because you have been a snare to Mizpah
And a net spread on Tabor.
2 The revolters are deeply involved in slaughter,
Though I rebuke them all.
3 I know Ephraim,
And Israel is not hidden from Me;
For now, O Ephraim, you commit harlotry;
Israel is defiled.
4 “They[ag] do not direct their deeds
Toward turning to their God,
For the spirit of harlotry is in their midst,
And they do not know the Lord.
5 The pride of Israel testifies to his face;
Therefore Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity;
Judah also stumbles with them.
6 “With their flocks and herds
They shall go to seek the Lord,
But they will not find Him;
He has withdrawn Himself from them.
7 They have dealt treacherously with the Lord,
For they have begotten [ah]pagan children.
Now a New Moon shall devour them and their heritage.
8 “Blow the ram’s horn in Gibeah,
The trumpet in Ramah!
Cry aloud at Beth Aven,
‘Look behind you, O Benjamin!’
9 Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke;
Among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure.
10 “The princes of Judah are like those who remove a landmark;
I will pour out My wrath on them like water.
11 Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment,
Because he willingly walked by human precept.
12 Therefore I will be to Ephraim like a moth,
And to the house of Judah like rottenness.
13 “When Ephraim saw his sickness,
And Judah saw his wound,
Then Ephraim went to Assyria
And sent to King Jareb;
Yet he cannot cure you,
Nor heal you of your wound.
14 For I will be like a lion to Ephraim,
And like a young lion to the house of Judah.
I, even I, will tear them and go away;
I will take them away, and no one shall rescue.
15 I will return again to My place
Till they [ai]acknowledge their offense.
Then they will seek My face;
In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”
A Call to Repentance
6 Come, and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will [aj]bind us up.
2 After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
3 Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth.
Impenitence of Israel and Judah
4 “O Ephraim, what shall I do to you?
O Judah, what shall I do to you?
For your faithfulness is like a morning cloud,
And like the early dew it goes away.
5 Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets,
I have slain them by the words of My mouth;
And [ak]your judgments are like light that goes forth.
6 For I desire mercy[al] and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
7 “But like [am]men they transgressed the covenant;
There they dealt treacherously with Me.
8 Gilead is a city of evildoers
And [an]defiled with blood.
9 As bands of robbers lie in wait for a man,
So the company of priests murder on the way to Shechem;
Surely they commit lewdness.
10 I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel:
There is the [ao]harlotry of Ephraim;
Israel is defiled.
11 Also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed for you,
When I return the captives of My people.
Israel Has Rebelled Against God
7 “When I would have healed Israel,
Then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered,
And the wickedness of Samaria.
For they have committed fraud;
A thief comes in;
A band of robbers [ap]takes spoil outside.
2 They [aq]do not consider in their hearts
That I remember all their wickedness;
Now their own deeds have surrounded them;
They are before My face.
3 They make a king glad with their wickedness,
And princes with their lies.
4 “They are all adulterers.
Like an oven heated by a baker—
He ceases stirring the fire after kneading the dough,
Until it is leavened.
5 In the day of our king
Princes have made him sick, [ar]inflamed with wine;
He stretched out his hand with scoffers.
6 They prepare their heart like an oven,
While they lie in wait;
[as]Their baker sleeps all night;
In the morning it burns like a flaming fire.
7 They are all hot, like an oven,
And have devoured their judges;
All their kings have fallen.
None among them calls upon Me.
8 “Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples;
Ephraim is a cake unturned.
9 Aliens have devoured his strength,
But he does not know it;
Yes, gray hairs are here and there on him,
Yet he does not know it.
10 And the pride of Israel testifies to his face,
But they do not return to the Lord their God,
Nor seek Him for all this.
Futile Reliance on the Nations
11 “Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without [at]sense—
They call to Egypt,
They go to Assyria.
12 Wherever they go, I will spread My net on them;
I will bring them down like birds of the air;
I will chastise them
According to what their congregation has heard.
13 “Woe to them, for they have fled from Me!
Destruction to them,
Because they have transgressed against Me!
Though I redeemed them,
Yet they have spoken lies against Me.
14 They did not cry out to Me with their heart
When they wailed upon their beds.
“They [au]assemble together for grain and new wine,
[av]They rebel against Me;
15 Though I disciplined and strengthened their arms,
Yet they devise evil against Me;
16 They return, but not [aw]to the Most High;
They are like a treacherous bow.
Their princes shall fall by the sword
For the cursings of their tongue.
This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.
- Hosea 1:2 Spiritual adultery
- Hosea 1:6 Lit. No-Mercy
- Hosea 1:6 Or That I may forgive them at all
- Hosea 1:9 Lit. Not-My-People
- Hosea 1:10 Heb. lo-ammi, v. 9
- Hosea 2:1 Heb. Ammi, Hos. 1:9, 10
- Hosea 2:1 Heb. Ruhamah, Hos. 1:6
- Hosea 2:2 Or Contend with
- Hosea 2:2 Or contend
- Hosea 2:6 Lit. wall up her wall
- Hosea 2:7 Or pursue
- Hosea 2:14 Lit. to her heart
- Hosea 2:16 Heb. Ishi
- Hosea 2:16 Heb. Baali
- Hosea 2:22 Lit. God Will Sow
- Hosea 2:23 Heb. lo-ruhamah
- Hosea 2:23 Heb. lo-ammi
- Hosea 2:23 Heb. ammi
- Hosea 3:1 Lit. friend or husband
- Hosea 4:1 A legal complaint
- Hosea 4:2 Lit. touching
- Hosea 4:7 So with MT, LXX, Vg.; scribal tradition, Syr., Tg. They will change
- Hosea 4:7 So with MT, LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg.; scribal tradition My glory
- Hosea 4:8 Desires
- Hosea 4:9 repay
- Hosea 4:12 Diviner’s rod
- Hosea 4:15 Lit. House of Idolatry or Wickedness
- Hosea 4:16 Lit. a large place
- Hosea 4:18 Or has turned aside
- Hosea 4:18 Lit. shields
- Hosea 4:18 Heb. difficult; a Jewish tradition shamefully love, ‘Give!’
- Hosea 5:1 Or to you
- Hosea 5:4 Or Their deeds will not allow them to turn
- Hosea 5:7 Lit. strange
- Hosea 5:15 Lit. become guilty or bear punishment
- Hosea 6:1 Bandage
- Hosea 6:5 Or the judgments on you
- Hosea 6:6 Or faithfulness or loyalty
- Hosea 6:7 Or Adam
- Hosea 6:8 Lit. foot-tracked
- Hosea 6:10 Spiritual adultery
- Hosea 7:1 plunders
- Hosea 7:2 Lit. do not say to
- Hosea 7:5 Lit. with the heat of
- Hosea 7:6 So with MT, Vg.; Syr., Tg. Their anger; LXX Ephraim
- Hosea 7:11 Lit. heart
- Hosea 7:14 So with MT, Tg.; Vg. thought upon; LXX slashed themselves for (cf. 1 Kin. 18:28)
- Hosea 7:14 So with MT, Syr., Tg.; LXX omits They rebel against Me; Vg. They departed from Me
- Hosea 7:16 Or upward