Today's Scripture Meaning
Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Hosea
Date Penned: BC 715 (Covering Events BC 753-715)
Overview: God's Wayward People (c 4-14)
Theme: Israel's Punishment (c 6-14)
Message: Israel will Reap the Whirlwind (v 1-14)
Hosea: Chapter 8 Commentary
(8:1-4) "He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord" refers to Assyria coming to attack Israel and take the people into captivity (2 Kings 15). The people will call to God, but it will be too late because they stubbornly refused to give up their idols. We, like Israel, often call upon the Lord to ease our pain without wanting him to change our behavior. And we , like Israel, may repent after it is too late to avoid the painful consequences of sin.
(8:5) Samaria was the capital of the Northern Kingdom and sometimes it stands for the whole kingdom , Jeroboam had set up worship of calf idols at Bethel and Dan and had encouraged the people to worship them (1 Kings 12) Thus the people were worshiping the image of a created animal rather than the creator.
(8:7) Crop yield is the result of good seed planted in good soil and given the proper proportions of sunlight , moisture, and fertilizer. A single seed can produce multiple fruits in good conditions. Israel however, had sown its spiritual seed to the wind. They had invested themselves in activities without substance. Like the wind that comes and goes, its idolatry and foreign alliances offered no protection. In seeking self-preservation apart from God, it brought about its own destruction. Like a forceful whirlwind, God's judgement would come upon Israel by means of the Assyrians. When we seek security in anything besides God, we expose ourselves to great danger. Without the Lord there is no lasting security.
(8:12) The Israelites applied God's Laws to others and not to themselves. Jesus will later make an illustration in Matthew chapter 7 about removing the beam from your own eye to see the speck in your brother's eye to show us the importance of self examination of one's sin.
(8:13) The people's sacrifices became a mere ritual and God refused to accept them. Today, we too, can make our service to the Lord a ritual that can lead to self righteousness instead of a true expression of worship. True worship will always put the Lord first instead of our self gratification. Back in Egypt, the Israelites had been slaves (Exodus 1) The people would not literally return to Egypt, but they would return to slavery, this time scattered throughout the Assyrian Empire.
(8:14) Israel put its confidence in military strength, strong defenses, and economic stability, just as nations do today. But because of the people's inner moral decay, their apparent sources of strength were inadequate. There is a tendency in may nations toward removing all traces of God from daily life. But if a nation forgets its Maker, its strengths may prove worthless when put to the test.