Hosea 7

Hosea 7:13-16
7:13 Woe [a sorrowful announcement of doom] to them, because [reason for woe and destruction] [1] they have [deliberate transgression] strayed [wandered away and embraced idolatrous practices] from me [God]! Destruction to them [indicates national scope of destruction], because they have rebelled against me! I long to redeem [to obtain release by payment of a price] them [expressed the Lord’s tender heart] but [2] they speak lies [perhaps theological lies that misled people from true worship of God; perhaps by trusting in alliances with other nations and thereby testifying that the Lord could not protect them] against me.

7:14 [3] They do not cry out to me [failure to look to the Lord for help] from their hearts but wail upon their beds [perhaps refers to sexual aspects of Baal worship; trusted false gods]. [4] They gather together [not for solemn assemblies] for [indicates true purpose for their assemblies] grain and new wine but turn away from me.

7:15 [5] I trained them and strengthened them, but they plot evil against me [by making treaties with foreign powers].

7:16 [6] They do not turn to [look in every direction for help but to the Lord] the Most High [proclaimed God’s exalted position]; they are like a faulty [treacherous or slack] bow [they were unreliable and habitually missed the target; their worship looked good but had no power (like a slack bow); cf. Ps. 78:57]. [7] Their leaders will fall by the sword [killed in warfare/coming destruction of the nation] because of their insolent words [against God and His prophets]. For this they will be ridiculed [the subject of jokes] in the land of Egypt [of no help to Israel].

Note: “Like their fathers they were disloyal and faithless, as unreliable as a faulty bow” (Ps. 78:57).
Consider three characteristics of a faulty (treacherous, slack) bow:
• First, a treacherous or slack bow is without power and unresponsive to the archer’s aim.
• Second, a treacherous bow is without purpose. An archer has no use for a treacherous bow because it is unreliable, uncontrollable, and unpredictable.
• Third, a treacherous bow gives no pleasure to the archer because it is a defective and dangerous instrument.

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