Thursday, January 14, 2016

Don’t Let Others Pull You Down

Hosea 5:1-15

“Hear ye this, O priests; and hearken, ye house of Israel; and give ye ear, O house of the king; for judgment is toward you, because ye have been a snare on Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor.  And the revolters are profound to make slaughter, though I have been a rebuker of them all.” (Hosea 5:1-2)

The nation of Israel needed to listen to what god said, and especially her king.  They were facing God’s judgment because from the time of their separation from Judah, they had worked constantly to drag Judah into their idolatry, from the idols at Mizpeh, on the very border of Judah, to the camp meetings on mount Tabor.  They had been determined to destroy Judah and their worship of God despite his repeated warnings to both nations.

“I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled.  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.” (Hosea 5:3-4)

God knew exactly what Ephraim and the nation of Israel were doing.  Their efforts to fool him by making a show of their love were wasted.  The tribe of Ephraim led and the entire Nation had turned away, refusing to follow God.  They had a rebellious and unfaithful attitude and had no clue about God’s love for them. 

“And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them.  They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them.  They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions.” (Hosea 5:5-7)

They still bragged about being God’s chosen people but he was so frustrated with their attitude he would testify against them openly, knowing it result in their destruction.  The worst part was that Judah would be pulled down with them.  They would Go with Israel to seek the Lord but not find him because he has withdrawn from them like a husband who refuses to go toe the bar where his wife is flirting or making out with other men.   They have betrayed their God and taught their children to worship other gods, and their destruction is only a short time away. 

“Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Bethaven, after thee, O Benjamin.  Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be.  The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water. “ (Hosea 5:8-10)

The tribe of Benjamin had stayed with Judah and followed God to some degree, but they were next to Israel.  A cornet was similar to the hunting horn with a loud piercing sound that could be heard for a long ways.  God said they were to blow the cornet in Gibeah and the trumpet in Ramah, and shout the warnings in Bethaven, warning Benjamin that Ephraim and Israel were going to be destroyed as God had warned them   The leaders of Judah had paid no attention and were liked people who tear down other people’s fences.  God was going to punish them like a flood washing away a pile of sand. 

“Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment.  Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness.  When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.  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.  I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.” (Hosea 5:11-15)

Ephraim willingly agreed to follow God’s commandments, but they’d broken that promise.   As a result, God would flit around like moth, doing nothing to save them.  To Judah, he would be as beneficial as a rotten piece of wood, giving away just when they needed him worst.  God was upset that, instead of turning to him for help when they got in trouble, both Judah and Israel turned to the Assyrians for help, even though the Assyrians could not solve what was wrong.  Their actions had turned God against both Judah and Israel and he would attack them like a lion, leaving some badly hurt and dragging others into slavery.   He will not again come to them or try to work thing out until they admit they were wrong asd begin to want to reunite with him.  When it gets bad enough they will come back.  

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