10 Israel is a luxuriant vine
that yields its fruit.
The more his fruit increased,
the more altars he built;
as his country improved,
he improved his pillars.
Their heart is false;
now they must bear their guilt.
The LORD will break down their altars
and destroy their pillars.
For now they will say:
“We have no king,
for we do not fear the LORD;
and a king—what could he do for us?”
They utter mere words;
with empty oaths they make covenants;
so judgment springs up like poisonous weeds
in the furrows of the field.
The inhabitants of Samaria tremble
for the calf of Beth-aven.
Its people mourn for it, and so do its idolatrous priests—
those who rejoiced over it and over its glory—
for it has departed from them.
The thing itself shall be carried to Assyria
as tribute to the great king.
Ephraim shall be put to shame,
and Israel shall be ashamed of his idol.
Samaria’s king shall perish
like a twig on the face of the waters.
The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel,
shall be destroyed.
Thorn and thistle shall grow up
on their altars,
and they shall say to the mountains, “Cover us,”
and to the hills, “Fall on us.”
From the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, O Israel;
there they have continued.
Shall not the war against the unjust overtake them in Gibeah?
When I please, I will discipline them,
and nations shall be gathered against them
when they are bound up for their double iniquity.
Ephraim was a trained calf
that loved to thresh,
and I spared her fair neck;
but I will put Ephraim to the yoke;
Judah must plow;
Jacob must harrow for himself.
Sow for yourselves righteousness;
reap steadfast love;
break up your fallow ground,
for it is the time to seek the LORD,
that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.
You have plowed iniquity;
you have reaped injustice;
you have eaten the fruit of lies.
Because you have trusted in your own way
and in the multitude of your warriors,
therefore the tumult of war shall arise among your people,
and all your fortresses shall be destroyed,
as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle;
mothers were dashed in pieces with their children.
Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel,
because of your great evil.
At dawn the king of Israel
shall be utterly cut off.
Hosea 10 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Scripture has a lot to say about vines and bearing fruit. From the Old to the New Testaments, it is a sign usually of what is produced by faithfulness. There are those instances however where it references fruit that isn’t good. Think of Jesus cursing the tree that had no figs, the passages where there’s bad fruit that’s not completely developed among others examples. It’s a tangible analogy people can see that growth one way or the other produces a wonderful crop or something less than desired.
The reality is we all produce fruit of some kind. It’s the outward sign of what we’re investing in; the results of some kind of growth.
Pause and consider even this concept. There’s growth in every area of our life – but that doesn’t mean it’s always good. Dependent upon what we’re tending to – it grows. So if we’re investing in Kingdom values, in Kingdom work – there is growth there that shows itself. It is inspiring, refreshing and even challenging to the onlookers of our lives and decisions. It’s what people recognize even in us. But if we’re talking of bad fruit or fruit not worthy, that shows itself too. Whatever we’ve poured ourselves into, have become the main thing of our focus that grows as well. The focus of our lives produces fruit. What’s more interesting is by the world’s standards, it may be looked upon as fantastic. Meaning, that fat bank account, the large house, the corporate ladder of which we’ve scaled every rung is not the kind of Kingdom fruit. In the eyes of God, it is faulty or undeveloped. It is rotten in comparison to His Kingdom that has been planted within each Believer.
It’s interesting what we consider to be the pinnacle of success or fruit of our labors may indeed by rotten and reek of self-indulgence, self-satisfaction and revolt God.
“Israel is a luxuriant vine; He produces fruit for himself. The more his fruit, the more altars he made; the richer his land, the better he made the sacred pillars. Their heart is faithless; now they must bear their guilt.”Hosea 10:1,2
God’s condemnation for the self-serving children of His is called out once again. Hosea faithfully brings these words in challenge to the fact yes, they have fruit but it’s not the kind God desires. In fact, it’s the type that repels His blessing. As with any of the words the prophets brought there are those caveats of truth of how to change direction, how to switch their course.
“Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you.”Hosea 10:12
Look at these challenging words and realize on some levels it’s about perspective. It’s about what we view as important. For what we truly believe in our heart of hearts is where our investment goes. If our eyesight is on the things of this world, we will continue to pursue the things that benefit us. Things that in the end that we can’t take with us when we’re gone. Yet, if our view is on the eternal, if this is a perspective we continue to draw our mind and eyesight toward, our goals will be set on Kingdom values, the fruit of our lives will grow.
Jesus had some words about this.
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”John 15:2,5-6,11
When our focus is on the things that matter, when we’re abiding in Him, the fruit of our lives is lush and for purpose. The remarkable thing Jesus says is His joy, yes the very joy found only in Him is found in us. What a promise.
May the Holy Spirit speak to our hearts and reveal the fruit of our lives we are producing. May we see what we are producing and even monitor if we have the true joy of Him living within us.
Hosea 10 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Their hearts were faithless, devious, and deceitful. The KJV and Jewish Bible translate verse 2 using a different word.
Their heart is divided; now they will bear their guilt. He will break down their altars and destroy their standing-stones.Hosea 10:2 CJB
Consider what this meant. The people had one foot in and one foot out. They weren’t sold out to evil but they weren’t sold out to God either. In fact, many of them would go to Jerusalem for the feast days to join in worshiping God. But, when they journeyed back home, material objects became the source of their worship.
I think we can correlate this with Sunday morning church or even journeying away for several days to a Christian conference. While we are there, it’s all about God, and we get swept up in the emotional experience. It’s not difficult to worship God when everyone around you is doing the same. It’s difficult when you come back home to the struggle of your job, your home responsibilities, and your temptations. Your faith is assaulted, and this is where the rubber meets the road.
A sincere heart praises God in all situations. A divided heart is like a chameleon, blending in seamlessly with the environment.
For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.James 1:7-8 ESV
I think a double-minded person struggles to believe God is with them in the storm… so they compromise. They teeter back and forth between the world and God depending on the situation and what suits them best.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.James 1:12 ESV
Jesus rejects double-minded followers. True faith is the ability to remain steadfast even under scrutiny and temptation. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to remain faithful to Jesus even when our lives are being threatened! Let us be people of integrity who have a single-minded focus in our commitment to Jesus no matter what.