Week 4, Tuesday: The wages of sin
The people of Israel preferred the life of sin to living according to God’s holy and righteous and good Law. Thus they chose to come under the curses of God’s covenant, rather to enjoy the promised and abundant blessings of His favor. Now the time had come for a people who had worked so hard at sinning to receive the wages they were due.
Read Hosea 4
Meditate on Hosea 4.7-10
1. Sin is like compound interest – it mounts up daily, generation by generation, compounding and multiplying and corrupting everything. How can you see that in this passage?
2. God is not merely looking at the outward lives of the people of Israel. His focus goes deeper, as we see in verse 8. What’s the difference between setting one’s heart on iniquity and setting it on the Law and Word of God (Ps. 119.112)?
3. What was Israel’s “glory” (v. 7)? What would it mean for this to be changed to “shame”?
4. For generations, the people of Israel have been “working” for the “good life.” Now they were about to receive their reward: shame, punishment, want, decline. Is this what they were hoping to receive? What does the plight of Israel suggest about the blinding power of sin? How would you counsel a fellow believer to avoid this snare
5. There is no true faith without works of obedience (v. 10, cf. Jms. 2.26). Does this mean God was expecting Israel to save themselves by their works? What is the place of obedience and works in the life of faith?
Israel’s sin and rebellion against God had been compounding and multiplying for generations. The people were largely blind to their wickedness, because they had become so accustomed to it. Their hearts, which should have been devoted to God and His Law, were devoted to their own happiness, defined in terms other than those outlined in God’s Word. Now the reward of their labors was about to be visited upon them. How do you define the “good life”?
Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners.
The LORD opens the eyes of the blind;
The LORD raises those who are bowed down;
The LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
The LORD shall reign forever—
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the LORD!
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.