Israel Will Reap the Whirlwind
8 Set the trumpet to your lips!
One like a vulture is over the house of the LORD,
because they have transgressed my covenant
and rebelled against my law.
To me they cry,
“My God, we—Israel—know you.”
Israel has spurned the good;
the enemy shall pursue him.
They made kings, but not through me.
They set up princes, but I knew it not.
With their silver and gold they made idols
for their own destruction.
I have spurned your calf, O Samaria.
My anger burns against them.
How long will they be incapable of innocence?
For it is from Israel;
a craftsman made it;
it is not God.
The calf of Samaria
shall be broken to pieces.
For they sow the wind,
and they shall reap the whirlwind.
The standing grain has no heads;
it shall yield no flour;
if it were to yield,
strangers would devour it.
Israel is swallowed up;
already they are among the nations
as a useless vessel.
For they have gone up to Assyria,
a wild donkey wandering alone;
Ephraim has hired lovers.
Though they hire allies among the nations,
I will soon gather them up.
And the king and princes shall soon writhe
because of the tribute.
Because Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning,
they have become to him altars for sinning.
Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands,
they would be regarded as a strange thing.
As for my sacrificial offerings,
they sacrifice meat and eat it,
but the LORD does not accept them.
Now he will remember their iniquity
and punish their sins;
they shall return to Egypt.
For Israel has forgotten his Maker
and built palaces,
and Judah has multiplied fortified cities;
so I will send a fire upon his cities,
and it shall devour her strongholds.
Hosea 8 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“Israel has rejected the good; how long will they be incapable of innocence? For they sow the wind and they reap the whirlwind. Israel has forgotten his Maker”Hosea 8:3,5,7,14
Funny how short term memory is overwhelmingly prevalent. We struggle through a hardship, strain toward some kind of hope in a situation and when answers come, we move on. Many times in our own strength and thought, we’ve figured it out even and acted in accordance to our own wisdom.
This was the case on so many levels for Israel. There was a way of which God was leading and they chose to do things in their own thought. As political storm clouds were gathering, they sought alliances with other nations not part of God’s design. Adding insult to injury, they’d embraced the religious practices of these pagan nations as their own. By all means and as this chapter states, they’d rejected the good of God, sought after things completely contrary to His ways, and forgotten who they were as His people. Their short-term memory of His past goodness all but laid aside.
Yet, God continued to call His people to repentance over and over again through the prophets and the message was always the same. His tenacity in still attempting to woo them back through words of rebuke and repentance and yes even words of hope if they would turn, is continual. It shows His relentless heart for His people. But it also shows they would never be able to claim their own innocence in the matter. They could never say they were ignorant of what God had asked.
Much the same with us, way too many times we forge ahead with our own thoughts and pursue what we want. Even though God many times throws up roadblocks, we drive around them, driven toward what we want. The short-term memory of His goodness sidelined in the pursuit of selfish gain or will. Chasing the wind, something that is so unattainable to grasp, the whirlwind that develops will bring more heartache and emptiness.
As the call to the people of Israel went out over and over, the same happens to us today. When we sideline the voice of God, when we fail to repent of our failures and mistakes, when we neglect humbly coming before Him each day our own mind becomes darkened, our choices destructive. We reject the good, chase things that in light of eternity don’t matter and forget our Maker.
Hosea 8 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Here we see the consequences and punishments of Israel. It was one compromise after another as they decided to bring idol worship and pagan rituals into their lives. They said they knew God with their lips, but denied him with their lifestyles, choosing to do whatever they wanted.
Many times we look at consequences as such a negative response. God’s desire is not to make the people of Israel miserable with consequences. His motive is to show them the error of their lifestyle so they can repent and live life to it’s fullest. It is in God’s love that he disciplines. Repentance was always on his mind.
“…properly understood, biblical truths are guardrails that protect us from plunging off the cliff. A smart traveler doesn’t curse the guardrails. He doesn’t whine, “That guardrail dented my fender!” He looks over the cliff, sees demolished autos below, and is grateful for guardrails. The guardrails of truth are there not to punish, but to protect us.”Randy Alcorn, The Grace and Truth Paradox
However, when we want what we desire, we often abandon all logic to get there. We don’t think about the hardship or consequences on the back end. And this is where Israel found themselves. Just as a loving mother or father would not let their toddler play in the street, God wants the best for His people. He wants them to experience the life He designed specifically for them. And so in order to do that, there must be consequences and struggle. In the end, that “tough love” is what develops character and humility in the lives of God’s children.