September, 18 - Daily Devotions
September scripture portion: Ezekiel 12 - Malachi (including the Books of Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi)
As we continue our reading in the Book of Hosea, we see that this great man of God was a master preacher. He pictures the spiritual condition of the people as a morning cloud (chapter 6:4); here one minute and gone the next. He then pictures their spiritual condition as a half-baked cake (chapter 7:8), for their religion had not gotten deep into their lives. Rather, it was a surface thing. In chapter 7:11 they are pictured as a silly dove--unstable, always flying from one thing to another. Then, in verse 16, their spirituality is pictured as a deceitful bow, one that cannot be depended upon. Israel was a backslidden nation; she had broken her vows with the Lord and had gotten completely away from Him.
God was still the God of the nation, but because the people had turned their backs on Him, they had lost their joy, their power, and their usefulness. Now God was going to judge them. In chapter 8 Hosea sees Assyria coming to chasten the nation by delivering it into slavery. He pictures this judgment as the coming of an eagle (verse 1), the wrath of the whirlwind (verse 7), and the burning of a fire (verse 14). The nation will be scattered (verse 8). Chapter 10:12-15 says they will reap more than they have sown. Paul says, in Galatians 6:7, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.".
Why did God permit Israel to be judged by the wicked Assyrians? Because He loved His people, and this was the only way they would listen. They had to be shown, and God's chastening hand of love fell upon them. As we will see in our readings, the people did repent.