Because your sins are so many and your hostility so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired person a maniac. (Hosea 9)
Yes, I’m sorry, but we have another chunk of text where God reels off his case against his people. Hang in there – the good news is coming. But again we must consider the sins of Israel and Judah. They were unfaithful on a grand scale, for they turned God’s feast days into syncretistic celebrations of the Lord and Baal – the false god from whom they sought a fruitful harvest. What had originally been a pleasing festival of worship to the true and living God descended into a time of debauchery, marked with drunkenness and sexual misconduct. The Lord was not pleased.
Such was the prevailing stench of disobedience that God’s people took the prophet for a madman. No longer did they listen to his words of warning. Nor did they repent in sorrow for their sins. Though Hosea was God’s appointed person to watch over them, they greeted him with snares and hostility. At this despicable behavior, Hosea despairs. As does God. The prophet asks God to reject those who were his people; to make them wanderers among the nations.
But however much betrayed, the Lord never gives up. He even thinks back to the good times, such as when he first discovered them, “it was like finding grapes in the desert” (v.10). Then their vitality was an unexpected surprise in an atmosphere void of freshness and life.
For us it’s another lesson in God’s faithfulness amid our sometimes wandering hearts and flighty lack of commitment. And a deeper reason to give thanks to the God who has saved us through his Son’s death on the cross and who fills us with his Spirit’s presence. We have the gift of the triune God living in us, making all things new. Thank you, Lord!
Prayer: Father God, help me learn from the sins of those who have gone before me. Through your power living in me, help me renounce the ways I don’t follow you.