God’s Controversy With His People 3
This will be the final study for chapter 4.
“Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.
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.” Hosea 4:11-12 (KJV)
The Amplified Bible says of verse eleven, “Harlotry and wine and new wine take away the heart and the mind and the spiritual understanding.” The Living Bible paraphrases, “Wine, women and song have robbed My people of her brains.”
Does anything ever really change? It does not seem so. The problem of Israel is a problem within the United States of America today. Alcohol and the use of alcohol; maybe I should say abuse of alcohol; drug consumption. The over active, perverse and uncontrolled sex drives of humanity; along with the abuse of alcohol and other drugs robbing the mind of control, influencing the decision making process, having people doing things they would not normally do. With a clear mind – clear of drugs at least – one can be expected to make rational decisions. Under the influence of beverage alcohol no one wants to take responsibility; and no one wants to point out the blame, or take blame for their actions.
This is how verse twelve reads in The Living Bible, “For they are asking a piece of wood to tell them what to do. ‘Divine Truth’ comes to them through tea leaves! Longing after idols has made them foolish. For they have played the harlot, serving other gods, deserting Me.”
Instead of taking their heart ache to God they seek a bottle. Instead of a lasting, fulfilling, and meaningful relationship through marriage (One man, one woman), God’s way they follow their own lust, and go to destruction. It is not only destruction of the person, it destroys the family, the State, the Nation and the World.
“They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery. I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall.” Hosea 4:13-14
Men need to learn that their wives and children soon follow their example. In this way wives and daughters of Israel became polluted. The fathers had not taken their God-given leadership roles in leading their families to righteousness; instead they led them to perversion, and their immorality would be their judgment.
“Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, ‘The LORD liveth.’ For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place. Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone. Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love, ‘Give ye.’ The wind hath bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.” Hosea 4:15-19
“Listen up Judah.” Hosea probably sees some of the Judeans in the crowd at the gates, and warns them of the plight of Israel. For clarity “Ephraim” is another name for the Northern kingdom of Israel.
Bethel is now called “Bethaven”. The place had gone from “The house of God”, to the decadence of “The house of deception”. Gilgal and Bethaven were places of calf worship. To go to these places of idolatry, and declare, “The LORD liveth” was an evil act of hypocrisy, and was despised by God.
They loved their shame rather than the glory of God. Their glory is God. They refuse the way of God, thus, they incur the wrath of God upon themselves.
Paul the apostle writes to Timothy; a young pastor, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” Let those today who claim “I am a disciple of Christ” or “I am a Christian” depart from this iniquitous society. How can we do that? By not participating in the wicked, mind killing, mind stealing acts of the world and society.
If you have been in this way of life there is hope for all who will trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross – His death, His burial and His resurrection. He has promised also to come again.
-Tim A. Blankenship