Week 5, Friday: Israel’s sin was an open wound
The depths of Israel’s sins are revealed. God stood ready to deliver His people throughout the course of their rebellion. Now, however, the depths of their sins have become clear, and the wound can no longer be healed. Their hearts are as sick as their rulers, and no one calls upon the Lord. God has no other choice but to judge.
Read Hosea 7
Meditate on Hosea 7.1-7
1. In addition to the imagery of adultery, God uses a mixture of metaphors to describe the transgressions and rebellion of His people. What does each of these suggest?
- iniquity uncovered:
- committed fraud:
- took spoil:
- made sick:
- inflamed with wine:
- hot like an oven:
2. The problem exists first of all in the hearts of the people (vv. 2, 6). What is the heart, and why is it the “heart of the matter” where God is concerned (cf. Prov. 4.23)?
3. The condition of the people was pleasing to the kings, princes, and judges of the land (vv. 3, 5, 7). What should the leaders of Israel have done, rather than what is suggested in these verses?
4. Their hearts, God says, were like ovens that were not properly attended (vv. 6, 7). What would you suggest as the proper way of keeping one’s heart “with all vigilance”?
5. The people’s “over-heated” hearts ultimately consumed even those who ruled them (v. 7). What does this mean to describe? What would a nation or people look like who were calling on the Name of the Lord?
Israel had plenty of opportunities to return to the Lord. He called them by prophets over and over, but they were so in love with their sin and overheated with rebellion that they would not listen to them. From the hearts of the people to the heads of the nation, wickedness and rebellion were an open sore. Only the most serious of “surgeries” – judgment – could remedy this situation. What admonition does this text hold out to us?
How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.
Blessed are You, O LORD!
Teach me Your statutes.
T. M. Moore
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.