Hosea Chapter Five
Read Hosea 5:1-7 – Judgment Against Priests and Kings
v.1 “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.”
In any society, culture or organization it is the leadership that will bear the greatest burden of responsibility for whatever they are or what they become. This is true in congregations of the Lord’s church today relative to its elders, preachers and teachers and it was true of the priests, prophets, princes and kings of Judah and Israel.
I Chronicles 6:67-68 “And they gave unto them, of the cities of refuge, Shechem in mount Ephraim with her suburbs; they gave also Gezer with her suburbs, 68And Jokmeam with her suburbs, and Bethhoron with her suburbs,”
All but one of the cities listed, just in
these two verses, are in the northern kingdom.
all know the purpose of snares and nets.
They are used to catch and trap the unwary, the
same is true in the spiritual realm as well as the physical.
Exodus “They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.”
But they ignored that warning and now their priests and kings have led them into the trap of idolatry from which they would not escape.
v.2 “And the revolters are profound to make slaughter, though I have been a rebuker of them all.”
as it was in the days of
“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” Galatians 4:16
More often than not the answer to this question is a resounding YES. But today rather than the slaughter of people we have the slaughter of character, reputation, and influence among brethren. Rather than debate and reason from the scriptures of their false doctrines our apostate brethren when pushed will attack their antagonist personally instead. They apparently have learned this from watching our politicians in action.
God had indeed been a “REBUKER OF THEM ALL”, literally from the days of the Judges to the days of this prophets record; admonishing, correcting, turning them from evil and then watching them turn back again. Each time they became more difficult to influence because as the wise man records for us:
Proverbs 29:1 “HE, THAT BEING OFTEN REPROVED HARDENETH his NECK, SHALL SUDDENLY BE DESTROYED, AND THAT WITHOUT REMEDY.”
We’re told that not only with those who have reproved repeatedly will stiffen their necks, bow their backs and harden their hearts not to hear but that this will lead them to their own ultimate destruction.
v.3 “I know Ephraim,
Just as Amos had warned
before; God knows
Amos “For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.”
They had defiled their own bodies with fleshly lusts, they had defiled their souls with their worship of idols and God was a witness. Their shame and degradation is complete in his sight. They are, as Amos also writes, like fruit ripe for picking.
v.4 “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.”
Just as Hosea wrote in
the previous chapter; “MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FOR A LACK OF KNOWLEDGE”.
II Chronicles “And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.”
v.5 “And the pride of Israel doth testify to his
face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their
Not only had the
Israelites rejected God and the knowledge of God, they were arrogant and
insolent in their attitude toward God and Gods messengers. They are like a man who has so much pride
that he refuses to hear any warning of spiritual danger. The wisdom of the Proverbs, writings that
were available even at this time to
Proverbs “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” (see also Proverbs 6:17)
It brings shame to those who are too proud:
Proverbs 11:2 “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.”
It breeds contention and contentious people:
Proverbs “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.”
It brings destruction and those who worship it will fall:
Proverbs “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
v.6 “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.”
All throughout their
Isaiah “And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.”
And also through the weeping prophet, Jeremiah:
Jeremiah “When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.”
Their lives are an affront to God, their worship is an abomination, their prayers are no longer heard, their sacrifices are no longer accepted. God has abandoned them and will not allow them to find him again in this generation nor for many generations to come.
v.7 “They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions.
They are like the Gomer that God instructed Hosea to marry. They have borne children as a result of their
adultery, strange children that their spiritual father does not recognize. The message is the same as would later be
Isaiah “Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.”
They were going through the motions of worshiping God but indeed their hearts were far from Him. This to God is treachery and deceitfulness. They were living a life of hypocrisy, professing to follow God but in reality following their own wants, wishes, desires and lusts.
Read Hosea 5:8-15 – God Urges
v.8 “Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Bethaven, after thee, O Benjamin.”
This warning is also
addressed to the
Numbers 10:4 “And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.”
Judges 3:27 “And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.”
This time the cornet or trumpet was to be sounded to call
v.9 “9Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be.”
Now God emphasizes the
Isaiah 28:1-4 “Woe to the crown of
pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!
2Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying
storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth
with the hand. 3The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall
be trodden under feet: 4And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the
v.10 “The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water.”
Now he turns to
Deuteronomy 27:17 “Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.”
What would be the spiritual parallel and the parallel that we would apply today? Jeremiah characterized it this way:
Jeremiah “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”
Jesus said that the way to life is narrow and many will not find it.
Matthew “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
But how would one move the landmarks, or boundary markers for the narrow way today? By teaching false doctrines, professing and turning people to knowledge that did not come from God.
Galatians 1:8-9 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
v.11-12 “Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly
walked after the commandment. 12Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of
the people followed that law, not only in a blind implicit obedience of their
king’s authority, but they also willingly followed it, not objecting to the
worship of idols and abandoning
God’s punishments will be mild at first, silent, not obvious unless someone is really aware. Both Hosea and Isaiah compare these judgments to moths and worms, not what we would equate with a major punishment:
Isaiah 51:8 “8For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.”
v.13 “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.”
the northern kingdom of
“Ephraim also is like a silly dove without
heart: they call to
II Kings 18:21 “21Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt unto all that trust on him.”
Consequently she became little more than a
II Kings 24:7 “7And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.”
v.14 “For I will be unto Ephraim
as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of
God uses the analogy of the fierceness of a young lion, killing in the frenzy of blood lust, because while powerful and physically mature he has not yet matured enough to learn not to kill just for fun. We find the same analogy:
Psalms 7:1-2 “O LORD MY GOD, IN THEE DO I PUT MY TRUST: SAVE ME FROM ALL THEM THAT PERSECUTE ME, AND DELIVER ME: LEST HE TEAR MY SOUL LIKE A LION, RENDING it IN PIECES, WHILE there is NONE TO DELIVER.”
Micah 5:8 “And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.”
v.15 “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.”
God will “GO and RETURN TO MY PLACE”, God will abandon them to their folly and their affliction. He will not rescue them from harm as he has done so many times before during their history as a people. Like a husband of an unfaithful wife they shall be estranged and he will have nothing to do with them until such time as their sin is acknowledged and the forgiveness of God is sought.
The punishment that God will bring upon them will cause them to “SEEK ME EARLY”, that is diligently and earnestly. Just as a wayward child, who under the conviction of sin against his father and under the rod of correction, is very quick to promise that he will do as has been expected of him and plead for his chastisement to end. This is the advice of the Holy Spirit:
James “IS ANY AMONG YOU AFFLICTED? LET HIM PRAY…”
William L. Schwegler, Sunset