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The Scriptorium

Dead in Sin

Sin became a death-grip for Israel.

Hosea 13

Week 8, Monday: Israel cannot help but sin
While Israel may have reluctantly embarked upon a course of worshiping pagan no-gods, now that she has begun, she cannot help herself. The more the people worship and serve false deities, the more they feel compelled to worship and serve them. They believe theirs to be the way of permanence and blessing, but it is the path of judgment and destruction.

Read Hosea 13

Meditate on Hosea 13.1-3

1.  The idea of Israel “trembling” (v. 1) as she embarked on the course of idol-worship indicates a measure of uncertainty about the choice. At the beginning, when Jereboam I led the people away from the Davidic king, it might still have been possible to preserve them for the Lord (cf. 1 Kgs. 11.26-39). If you had been an advisor to Jereboam as Israel “trembled” away from Judah, what would you have said to him?

2.  Instead of continuing to seek the Lord, Israel “exalted” itself (v. 1). The people put their own thoughts, desires, plans, and programs above the Lord and His Word. Are churches sometimes guilty of this same thing? Explain.

3.  Once Israel turned to idols, the nation “died” (v. 1). As a result, the people could only sin more and more. What does this suggest about the power of unconfessed sin in a believer’s life?

4.  Idolatry in all its forms has a tendency to pull a person deeper into it, the more he engages in it. How can you see that in verse 2? What does this suggest, for example, about the idolatry of materialism today?

5.  Those who commit to idolatry have no permanence in their relationship with God (v. 3). What do you suppose that might look like today?

Israel’s choice to turn away from God to the convenient gods of paganism ultimately led to her complete unraveling. It didn’t have to be this way; it never does. Believers must at all times pay careful attention to the truth as they have it in Jesus, because it’s just too easy to be lured away by false teaching and other enticements (Heb. 2.1-3).

Closing Prayer
Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And I will glorify Your name forevermore.
For great is Your mercy toward me,
And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

Psalm 86.11-13

T. M. Moore

The Week, T. M.’s daily print and audio offering of worldview insights, musings, and reflections, is now available for a free subscription. You can subscribe to The Week  by going to, and, when the pop-up appears, put in your email, click on The Week, then click to update your subscriptions. You’ll be sent an email allowing you to add The Week  to your list of subscriptions.

Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For all available studies in Hosea, click here.

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.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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