Hosea Chapter Five
Written By: Timothy Fish Published: 10/17/2008
In Hosea 5, the prophet begins to speak more to the leaders of the people. He specifically mentions the priests and the king, as well as the house of Israel. He tells them that judgment is against them for their sin. They have sinned, the Lord has rebuked them, but they refused to repent.
Because of their sin, Israel, Ephraim and also Judah would fall. In verse six, they would go with their flocks and herd to seek the Lord, but they wouldnít find him because he had withdrawn. They would sacrifice and attempt to approach God, but their sin would stand between them and God. Without repentance, we cannot approach God.
Verse ten refers to the princes of Judah as being like people who remove landmarks. Under Godís law, the land stayed in the family. At the year of Jubilee, the land that had been sold would all go back to the family. The only way for someone to get and keep more land would be for that person to move the landmarks so people didnít know where the boundaries were. The leaders of Judah were changing Godís law to suit their own purposes. It wasnít like they were just disobeying the law, they were making the claim that the law said something it didnít. We see that today with people who are not happy with what the Bible has to say about various things.
Because they removed the spiritual landmarks, God would our out his wrath upon them like water. It displeased God that they handled the truth with such contempt and he would
Even among sinful people, God appears to have degrees of punishment. Ephraim wasnít doing what it should have been doing, but it was different from what Judah had done. The princes of Judah removed the landmark and Ephraim willingly walked after the commandment. This seems to say that Judah initiated the problem, but Ephraim didnít oppose it, so both would be punished, but in different degrees. God would be like a moth to Ephraim and as rottenness to Judah.
Moths can be pesky creatures when your clothing is made from the wool of sheep. The eat holes in things, but you can keep after them and patch the holes. Your clothes wonít look great, but they will provide covering. Rottenness is a different problem. If your clothes rot, there is little you can do except throw them away.
To Ephraim, God would be as a lion. To the house of Judah, God would be as a young lion. Any lion is a dangerous beast, but a young lion is much more dangerous because he is trying to make his place in the world and he has the strength of youth. We must be careful with how we handle the word of God, but especially in what we teach others about the word of God.
In the last verse of the chapter, God declare that he wonít be as actively present in their lives until they acknowledge their offense, until they repent and seek his face. Then he makes the statement that they would seek him early in their affliction. On one hand, this seems like a good thing, but in the next chapter we will see that it isnít. How often do we quickly word a pray of confession and then five minutes later we are doing the thing we repented of? This is how they would seek him early.
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