Lesson 9: Chapter 8
“Listen to the word of the Lord” (Hosea 4:1). “Hear this…Give heed…Listen!”(Hosea 5:1) “Blow the horn…Sound an alarm!” (Hosea 5:8) “Put the trumpet to your lips!” (Hosea 8:1) So far the Lord has gone to great lengths to grab the attention of this ignorant bunch. He wants to make sure they are aware of what is about to overtake them.
Israel’s destruction would be complete and extremely violent. They were warned time and time again, yet they did not heed the warning. They paid lip service to God, but it was in vain. They cried out to Him, but their actions did not match what they were cries.
We are often guilty of the same thing. We praise God on Sunday’s but our actions throughout the week don’t always match up. We can believe there is a God and even cry out to Him, but that is not enough. True faith is backed up by actions.
One of the most sobering verses in scripture is James 2:19. Merely believing in God is not enough. Am I willing to do more than simply say I believe in God and show up to worship on Sunday morning? Do my actions truly prove that I am a Christian?
God will not stand for empty words. He longs for our heartfelt actions and adoring worship. Israel did not truly love Him which led to an awful chain reaction. Their lack of love led to a complacency in which they no longer cared about writing God’s law on their hearts. Once they forgot His law, the lines between right and wrong were completely erased. They were so confused that they were worshiping idols they had created with their own hands.
As you read this section, think back to the imagery from Hosea 3 of Gomer. She had left her loving husband for lovers who promised her extravagant riches; the next glimpse we get of her is standing at the slave auction, humbled, used up and discarded. This is where we see Israel in chapter 8; they have been swallowed up and those alliances that they thought would save them are going to be their very undoing. This is a disheartening picture, but one we must vividly see: Israel is the used up harlot standing at the auction with a price on her head that is less than that of a wounded slave.
He isn’t saying that He literally wrote 10,000 precepts for them; His point is that He was extremely detailed and specific about what He wanted. They have absolutely no excuse for their behavior!
God wanted to be sure that they knew His word inside and out. They were ordered to constantly have it on the front of their mind. It was meant to permeate their life in a deep way. More importantly they were to teach it diligently to their children.
Unfortunately, this is one area I feel that we sometimes fall short. We send our children to Bible class every week and they sit with us in worship. Do you realize that if you calculate the hours spent in Bible class, (assuming a child starts when they are born and attends every Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening) and compare it to the time spent in school, our children will graduate high school with the equivalent of about a second-grade Biblical education if they receive no outside instruction. We must be teaching the law of God to our children at home. Every word and action that our children see from us should help lead them to Christ.
It only takes one generation for wickedness to take root and this is exactly what happened in the nation of Israel. They had forgotten to teach their children and their children and grandchildren would suffer severe consequences.
As we close Hosea 8, we see the depiction of Israel returning to “Egypt” or into bondage. Israel had forgotten the very God who created them. Throughout the week be sure to keep your eyes open for opportunities to teach others (especially your children) God’s word. Nothing on this earth is more important than an intimate knowledge of God; behave in a way that other’s will see that you believe this is true!
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.