Hosea 4

Hosea 4:1-9
4:1 [God summoned the nation to court and outlined His case against the inhabitants of the land] Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites, because the LORD has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: [sins of omission] “There is no faithfulness [the people had not sustained or remained true to their covenant relationship with God], no love [the people demonstrated no loyalty or love to God or to their fellowman], no acknowledgment of God in the land [God gave the land of Israel to the people as a place where they might live out their covenant obligations and grow in their knowledge of Him; Israel’s rebellion and idolatry made her a squatter deserving of eviction].

Practical Consideration: When God does not govern our lives they are ruined by sin.
The people of Israel neglected the most fundamental aspects of their relationship with God: faithfulness, kindness, and an intimate walk with Him. As a result, they fell into gross sin and violations of God’s commandments. Lives not governed by God are easily ruined by sin. Only an intimate walk with God and a proper understanding of His Word can keep people from becoming ruined and ravaged by sin.

4:2 [sins of commission: these were the result of Israel’s sins of omission or their rebellion against the covenant of God as described in 4:1b] There is only cursing [violation of the third commandment], lying [violation of the ninth commandment] and murder [violation of the sixth commandment], stealing [violation of the eighth commandment] and adultery [violation of the seventh commandment]; they break all bounds [perhaps means that the sins listed were breaking out in the land or that the people were breaking all bounds with their sins], and bloodshed follows bloodshed [the land was so filled with violence and evil that one violent crime followed another].

4:3 Because of this [indicates far-reaching impact of Israel’s sins (4:1-2)] [1] the land mourns [result of drought and famine], [2] and all who live in it waste away; [3] the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the fish of the sea are dying [even nature itself suffered because of Israel’s sin].

4:4 “But let no man bring a charge, let no man accuse another [God would not allow the people to deny His charges against them], for your people are like those who bring charges against a priest.

4:5 You stumble [means that the Israelites would have a difficult time as they walked through life] day and night, and the prophets [shared responsibility in bringing about this miserable existence] stumble with you. So I will destroy your mother [likely refers to the nation]

4:6 [note three harsh consequences of sin…] my people [term of covenant relationship] are [1] destroyed from lack of knowledge [the people lacked real knowledge of God]. “Because you have rejected knowledge [the people had failed to acknowledge Him as their God], I also [2] reject you [the nation as a whole] as my priests [God’s people were to give witness of the knowledge of God to the world (cf. Ex. 19:6)]; because you have ignored [disobeyed] the law of your God, I also will [3] ignore your children.

4:7 The more the priests increased, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their Glory [honor] for something disgraceful.

4:8 They [the Levitical priests] feed on the sins of my people [the offerings the people brought when they worshiped at their pagan shrines] and relish [to have an appetite for] their wickedness.

4:9 And it will be: Like people, like priests. I will punish both of them [the unfaithful priests and the unfaithful people] for their ways and repay them for their deeds [no one can sin with impunity].

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