Israel is our example of a nation that drifted away from God. They were busy in commerce and the affairs of life. Soon they took to themselves the gods of the surrounding nations. We can apply this to ourselves, for our nation has sought the god of prosperity and self. Many have turned away from the God of our founding fathers to idols of their own desires. Hosea delivers this unpopular message to Israel.
Hosea 9:1 Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor.
Hosea 9:2 The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her.
Hos 4:12 My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.
Do not rejoice Israel, because you have acted as a spiritual whore, giving your idols credit for your harvest. Your increase was as a harlots wages because you worshipped fertility gods instead of the God of Israel. Your idols will fail you.
Hos 2:9 Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness.
Hosea 9:3 They shall not dwell in the LORD'S land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria.
They will be taken into slavery, because they did not serve their God. They will be taken captive into Egypt and into Assyria, where they will be fed food that is unclean to them.
Daniel and his three young friends were in Assyria or Babylon and they refused to eat the king's diet. God honored them by giving them good health from their vegetable diet.
Dan 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Although most of Israel were into idolatry, they still followed the form of their religion. A remnant were very devout, as was Daniel.
Hosea 9:4 They shall not offer wine offerings to the LORD, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread for their soul shall not come into the house of the LORD.
Hosea 9:5 What will ye do in the solemn day, and in the day of the feast of the LORD?
Hosea 9:6 For, lo, they are gone because of destruction: Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them: the pleasant places for their silver, nettles shall possess them: thorns shall be in their tabernacles.
The LORD will not accept their unholy offerings.
Hos 8:13 They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.
Memphis was south of Cairo. They had a large burial place there. Their homes and precious things will be overgrown with nettles, the ground shall bring forth cursed thorns. All they prized will be as a junk heap.
I see a picture of destruction, like the tornados that come and destroy everything swiftly. All the comforts and possessions are destroyed.
Isa 5:6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
Hosea 9:7 The days of visitation are come, the days of recompense are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.
They had prophets and preachers preaching prosperity and ease, but this was not what God was saying. They were foolish and as madmen. Often they treated the truth spoken with contempt. Because of their iniquity they hated the messengers of God.
Isa 44:25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;
Eze 13:7 Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken?
Hosea 9:8 The watchman of Ephraim was with my God: but the prophet is a snare of a fowler in all his ways, and hatred in the house of his God.
The true watchmen, the prophets who warn the people, are hated, even in the house of God.
Hosea 9:9 They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins.
The false prophets by going along with the ways of the world, encouraged the people to go deeper into sin and adultery, as in the time of Gibeah when a Levites mistress was raped and murdered by the homosexual men of Gibeah.
Hos 10:9 O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them.
Hosea 9:10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.
The LORD gave Israel special favors and covenants, but they turned to worship the false god baal.
Psa 106:28 They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.
They became an abomination like that which they loved. I see those who love drug use, falling apart, looking very old before their time. I see pagan things taught in schools, their religion is loved and honored, though an abomination to the LORD.
Hosea 9:11 As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception.
Hosea 9:12 Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them!
Hosea 9:13 Ephraim, as I saw Tyrus, is planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer.
Hosea 9:14 Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.
Hosea 9:15 All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.
Hosea 9:16 Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.
God will judge the fruit of Ephraim, much as our people destroy their unborn. They are given over to their lusts and become unfruitful. It is painful to see our nation as Ephraim, given over to selfish desires and seeing the blessings of God being removed.
Hos 5:9 Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be.
Deu 31:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. Deu 31:17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?
Deu 31:18 And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.
Hosea 9:17 My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.
Hos 7:13 Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.
They were given the same judgment given to Cain.
Gen 4:12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
I see people away from the Lord who wander aimlessly without purpose from place to place. We are not to be as these. We are to be rooted and grounded in the word of God. We are to dig deep into the word of God, we are to pray without ceasing and follow the will of God. We are to be firmly planted and fruitful in the work of the LORD. Our life is not in things, but in the Love of God. He has his hand on us and we prosper in him.
3Jn 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
LORD help us to keep our hearts upon you. May you be our highest desire and praise. May we not think too highly of ourselves or too low that we cannot serve you. Thank you for your word and may your hand be with us in all that we do. In Jesus I pray, Amen