Week 5, Thursday: God’s covenant rejected
God’s covenant is His grace toward undeserving people. He showed His grace consistently throughout Israel’s history, but now the people have shown that they despise His grace and want nothing to do with Him.
Reluctantly, God will give them what they’ve been seeking.
Read Hosea 6
Meditate on Hosea 6.7-11
1. This passage has some very strong language in it, which we need to consider carefully. How did the people of Israel “transgress” God’s covenant? Is this kind of behavior still a transgression today?
2. What does “treacherously” mean? In what ways were Israel and Judah “treacherous” toward God? Do we ever act in any way like this? Unfaithfulness leads to transgression and treachery. How can a person check the tendency to “drift” into unfaithfulness (Heb. 2.1)?
3. Murder, robbery, lewdness, harlotry: Thus God charges Israel (“Gilead”), their “priests” leading the way. What warning or counsel is implicit in this passage for church leaders today? What can believers do to help ensure their church leaders don’t lead them into unfaithfulness, transgression, and treachery?
4. Verse 11 sounds conciliatory, as though God is backing away from His attitude in verses 4ff. Judah would not come under the judgment of God at the same time as Israel, but later. What kind of “harvest” does God seem to have in mind here?
5. Should churches take stock of themselves from time to time, to make sure they’re not straying from God’s covenant or dealing treacherously with Him? What might this look like? That is, how could a church actually do this?
God takes His covenant seriously. It is the measure of His love for His people. When they spurn His love and transgress His Law, they are dealing treacherously with Him. God must be faithful to His Word, even though His people are not faithful to Him (v. 4). What’s the message here for the people of God today?
Give ear, O my people, to my law;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD,
And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.
For He established a testimony in Jacob,
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers,
That they should make them known to their children;
That the generation to come might know them,
The children who would be born,
That they may arise and declare them to their children,
That they may set their hope in God,
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments;
And may not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not set its heart aright,
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.
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.