Week 3, Tuesday: God will intervene against Israel
God had been patient with the people of Israel, but now His patience had run out. He was coming to judge the nation, and He would send Hosea to reproach and reprove them. At the same time, Hosea will call the people to return to the Lord and be restored in Him when judgment has run its course.
Read Hosea 2
Meditate on Hosea 2.6-8
1. It’s interesting to contemplate the verbs God uses in announcing the judgment that is coming upon His people. How should we understand each of the following?
- “hedge up your way with thorns”:
- “wall her in”:
- “cannot find her paths”:
- “chase” “but not overtake”:
- “seek, but not find”:
2. What do these various verbs imply? What is God going to do? What kind of “national mood” would these actions have been likely to bring about? How would you describe the “national mood” of our nation today?
3. In verse 8, God says that His people took the daily blessings He provided for them (recall Deut. 28.1-14) and made them offerings (“prepared”) for Baal. What did He mean by that, or what did Israel actually do with God’s blessings?
4. How could it be that Israel “did not know” (v. 8) that her daily blessings came from the Lord? Whose fault was that? How does it come about that a people forgets to thank God for His many blessings?
5. According to the last part of verse 7, what would be the effect of God’s judgment on Israel? Compare the language of this part of verse 7 with that of the middle of verse 5. How can you tell that Israel’s motivation in this is not quite what it should be? How can we tell when our own motivations are of this nature?
God’s judgment does not always come in violent ways. Violence was certainly the last stage of the judgment of God against Israel, but the verbs in verses 6 and 7 suggest a drawn-out process that involved frustration, disappointment, disillusionment, uncertainty, setback, and so forth. In fact, God’s judgment can be kicking in even as He continues to bless His people. What does this suggest about the discipline of the Lord, and how should we apply this to ourselves?
Hear my prayer, O LORD,
And let my cry come to You.
Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble;
Incline Your ear to me;
In the day that I call, answer me speedily.
For my days are consumed like smoke,
And my bones are burned like a hearth.
My heart is stricken and withered like grass,
So that I forget to eat my bread.
Because of the sound of my groaning
My bones cling to my skin.
I am like a pelican of the wilderness;
I am like an owl of the desert.
I lie awake,
And am like a sparrow alone on the housetop.
My enemies reproach me all day long;
Those who deride me swear an oath against me.
For I have eaten ashes like bread,
And mingled my drink with weeping,
Because of Your indignation and Your wrath;
For You have lifted me up and cast me away.
My days are like a shadow that lengthens,
And I wither away like grass.
But You, O LORD, shall endure forever,
And the remembrance of Your name to all generations.
T. M. Moore
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A primary theme of the book of Hosea is Israel’s failure to keep covenant with the Lord. God’s covenant is a central theme and provides the organizing motif for all of Scripture. Learn more about God’s covenant by ordering a copy of T. M.’s book, I Will Be Your God, from our online store (click here).
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.