“The days of punishment have come; the days of recompense have come. Israel knows! The prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is insane, because of the greatness of your iniquity and great enmity.” Punishment is quickly approaching but Israel thinks Hosea is foolish and insane for declaring their destruction. Hosea rebukes them and says it is bc of their great sin that they can’t see truth.
Hosea compares Israel to 4 things:
1) Grapes in the wilderness – they had potential, like the firstfruits on a fig tree, but spoiled themselves with their idolatry so they will bear no more fruit.
2) A vine that bears fruit for itself – they lived by their own rules and standards and not the Lord’s.
3) A trained heifer that loves to thresh grain – God will harness it and make it sow righteousness and reap mercy.
4) A child – the Lord brought them out of Egypt, taught them to walk, and fed them but they turned from Him. “And out of Egypt I called My son” is also a future prophesy of Jesus, who as a Child will be taken to Egypt to escape the evil King Herod but will be called back once Herod dies. (Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:15)
Hosea says the Lord also brings a charge against Judah, descendants of Jacob; who wrestled with his brother, Esau, in the womb. Jacob prevailed in the womb by taking his brother by the heel and later when he wrestled with the Lord and sought favor from Him. Hosea encourages Jacob’s descendants, God’s chosen people, to return to the Lord, “observe mercy and justice, and wait on your God continually”.
Hosea says that it is by the prophet of the Lord (whom they think is foolish and insane) that God helps His people. “By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet he was preserved”. But after they were brought out, “They were filled and their heart was exalted; therefore they forgot Me”. As a result, judgement is now upon them and it isn’t going to be pretty bc “Pity is hidden from My eyes”.
However, Hosea leaves the people with a word of hope! 🙌 “O Israel, return to the Lord your God…I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely…They shall be revived like grain, and grow like a vine…For the ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them”.
Tomorrow the Assyrians invade Israel and Isaiah tells the people to stop acting like babies just weaned from the breasts. Keep reading to see why.