Hosea 4:7-13 (NIV)
“The more priests there were,
the more they sinned against me;
they exchanged their glorious God for something disgraceful.
They feed on the sins of my people
and relish their wickedness.
And it will be: Like people, like priests.
I will punish both of them for their ways
and repay them for their deeds.
“They will eat but not have enough;
they will engage in prostitution but not flourish,
because they have deserted the LORD
to give themselves to prostitution;
old wine and new wine
take away their understanding.
My people consult a wooden idol,
and a diviner’s rod speaks to them.
A spirit of prostitution leads them astray;
they are unfaithful to their God.
They sacrifice on the mountaintops
and burn offerings on the hills,
under oak, poplar and terebinth,
where the shade is pleasant.
Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution
and your daughters-in-law to adultery.”
Just watch this fish rot from the head first. God begins by noting the priests feeding on the sins of my people. They eat the sin offerings brought to the temple. Thus, they relish their wickedness.
Next the LORD explains where this leads. Lacking guidance, the people lose discernment; old wine and new wine take away their understanding. Their senses dulled, they slip into sorcery and hedonism.
My people consult a wooden idol, and a diviner’s rod speaks to them. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray.
It’s all fun and games, as long as none of the nastiness hits too close to home.
Fat chance. Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution and your daughters-in-law to adultery.
The chickens are about to come home to roost.
This is strong stuff. The message is sure to be met with skepticism.
But when the prophesy if fulfilled, the people will recoil in horror—and remember. Hopefully, they’ll also remember that this isn’t really about prostitution; it’s about offending God with their unfaithfulness.
One of the principle themes of the Old Testament is that we are amazingly slow learners. Notice all the “psychological tricks” that God has been using in Hosea. First, He sets up the analogy of Israel’s unfaithfulness to Him and Gomer’s unfaithfulness to Hosea.
Next, He has Hosea buy her out of slavery and take her home, rescuing her. Then, He generalizes the lesson with the prophesy that Israel’s daughters will turn to prostitution. Could He get any clearer?
The point, unfortunately, is that Israel still won’t learn.
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