Lesson 8: Chapter 7
In Hosea 6 we saw a false repentance taking place in Israel. They called to the Lord but were not truly ready to change their ways and God is extremely displeased with their fickle ways. Hosea 7 will expand on this concept and show how it directly affects God in a very personal way.
The first 2 verses of Hosea 7 are absolutely heartbreaking. The Lord is ready and willing to heal and forgive an adulterous nation; however when he comes to them and uncovers them they are still engaged in the same sinful behaviors. They continue on thinking that He cannot see them even though they are directly in front of His face.
Put yourself in God’s shoes for a minute in this situation. You find out that your husband has been having an affair; he assures you that he is done with that behavior and that his true loyalty is to you. You forgive him and are ready to take him back when you come home to find him with another woman in your own home. When I think of this analogy sometimes it causes me to tear up and other times it causes me to be sick to my stomach. Understand that this is exactly how God feels when we engage in the sins that we have assured Him we will leave behind. This concept should absolutely bring us to our knees. We are in no way worthy of God’s love!
The nation of Israel has fallen into a time of extreme depravity. Not only are they disobeying the commandments of the Lord, but their ruling houses are filled with corruption. The king is actually glad to see the wickedness that abounds. In the Hosea 7:5-7 we get a glimpse into a palace celebration that the king has thrown. The princes that attend are carousing with him publicly and are scheming and plotting behind his back.
For a nation that was so entrenched in wickedness, there was no turning back. They had trained themselves to be evil from the ruling class on down through the common people. God longed for their love, but they would not give it to them until they were broken and forced into captivity.
This has been at the root of many of their problems as a nation. They disobeyed God’s command and intermarried with the surrounding nations.
Our relationships with worldly people, even if they are “good” worldly people will have an impact on our spiritual life. We must be careful who we allow to have influence on us. Whether it is marriage or even just a close friendship, remember: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
This is a tough question to think about, but is tremendously important to our spiritual well-being. What people are in your life at this moment that are damaging to your spiritual walk ? Remember, these may be “good people” but anyone who is causing you to step backwards or not continue forward in your spiritual walk will fall into this category.
Because of these relationships with people from other nations, Israel has become a “cake not turned.” They are burned by worldliness on the bottom and are underdeveloped in their relationship with God. Their pride will not allow them to return and seek the Lord.
God takes another step in making this message personal in this section. Notice how many times the words “Me” or “My” are used in this section. God is the one affected by their sin and He is the one who would seek justice. If you are a Bible-marker, mark each occurrence of one of these words. If you don’t like to write in your Bible, that is fine, simply list the verses to the side on this paper.
If they had been studying their history, the concept of God fighting on the side of the enemy should have been particularly terrifying. There are countless examples of God actually intervening in Old Testament battles to sway the outcome.
Yep, you read that right, God fought with hailstones! Not only that but it says more people died from the hailstones than by the swords of the Israelites. It is accounts like these that should have made the people have an extreme reverence and fear for the Lord and His awesome power.
Israel is going back and forth between other nations like a “silly dove,” thinking that some military alliance would save them from destruction; however, no one could possibly stand a chance against God when He decides to spread His net over the sky to bring them down.
God longs for the hearts of the Israelites to return to Him, but they would not. Instead they continue in their sin even though it is causing them great distress (Hosea 7:14). Even when they are weeping on their beds, they put material concerns before the spiritual and turn away from God.
As you go about your week, be sure to keep in mind God’s awesome power. He can the cause of our greatest joy and happiness in life if we truly know Him and obey His commandments; however, if we do not He will snare us with His net and we will spend an eternity without Him in hell. Remember God desires you to choose the first path. He longs for your whole heart, but ultimately it is your choice to make.
By Kristy Huntsman
Kristy is CFYC’s Finer Grounds Editor and all-around right-hand-gal. She and her husband, Lance serve with the Southwest church of Christ in Ada, OK where Lance is the family minister. Kristy is a stay-at-home-mom to their two daughters Taylor and Makayla.