V. 1. Following on the heels of 5:15. He is prophesying during the reign of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, as well as Jeroboam. So the people are still in the land. Hosea is the last prophet to Israel before they go into captivity.
God was like a wild beast to them. He tore them out of the land and Hosea is warning them of this tearing which is about to take place and why. They ignore his pleading of chps. 1-5. Therefore God accomplishes his promised judgment as he sends God hating Assyria against them.
He tore them out of the land in judgment. He had every legal right to do this (4:1, see my notes). He then returned to His place. The ten tribes were NEVER reinstated into their land. They were lost forever.
The NT religious Jews (Pharisees and Sadducees), thought that because they were the seed of Abraham provable by the linage that God would show them special mercy, Matt. 3:9.
Did they read the OT prophecies and say, "Because we are the physical seed of Abraham God is going to show us a special mercy and reestablish us regardless of what we do or how we live."
This is the teaching today, God is going to reestablish Abraham's physical seed.
If we take these prophecies separate from Christ then this is what you have. God working according to race, not grace, and this is exactly what John the Baptist blasted in Matthew.
These religious leaders believed God would work according to their race. John says, "And he did, does, Jer. 32:38-40; Ezek. 11:19, 20.
God takes a heart of stone and by HIS grace transforms it into a child of Abraham.
6:1-2. Come, and let us return unto the Lord-- Here is the prophecy that all of the returning is built on. The rebuilding of the 'nation of Israel' is all built on this foundation of raising on the third day with Christ, Jn. 11:25; Eph. 2:4-6; Col. 3:1.
The old ten tribes and two of Judah never received the favor of God again based on their physical heritage. They only received judgment against their rejection of the one this verse speaks of.
All blessings of our day are only through Jesus Christ our Lord. Our identification with His death, burial and resurrection. We only live in his sight through the spirit that gives life, the Holy Spirit.
The OT physical seed of Abraham, Israel, was blind to this, and because they could not see that life was only through faith in Christ, this life was passed on to WHOSOEVER WILL.
V. 3. Then shall we know-- This is referring back to 4:6, destroyed for lack of knowledge. As we pointed out there, this is referring to a failure to act on the word of God. Not a lack of knowing what to do but a lack of doing it.
Therefore, v. 3, here is referring to grace which is the result of v. 2, the identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
The grace of God working in HIS people to give the desire and the power to please Him, thereby, avoiding the destruction which Israel faced. They had the law of God, but not the grace to obey, keep it. This grace came with Christ.
But there are many ways this grace can be resisted in our day.
*Speculation for me:
I really wonder, grace today. The hardness of mens hearts in these last days, even among His people. Can grace be resisted: Can man resist almighty God? I have seen what seems to be the mighty hand of God on some mighty carnal people.
What is preventing God from moving by his grace in the hearts of those who claim to be his and separating them from their sins. Even those who have believed a lie concerning salvation. What is keeping His grace from revealing the truth?
These are hard questions. Why is society being allowed by God to destroy itself if only His grace can turn it around? What is the only thing which can?
Why doesn't he shine his light into the hearts of all of His people so they can see how they have and are denying Him?
I guess there are a couple of reasons:
1.) His ways are above our ways as high as the heavens over the earth.
2.) Some how in his plan it fits in that there will be a great falling away first in the final days. In fact, this falling away will be caused by the strong delusion, II Thess. 2.
So why is his grace revealed to some and to others it is not? Maybe--
3.) He desires to show Himself strong so his grace is only revealed to a very small number, called a raiment.
Then at his appointed time he will work through this small number to do His will here on this earth.
Maybe Gideon is a good example. The thousands which were sent home were just as much God's people as were the 300 chosen to fight.
Who chose them? God did. He knew (and probably caused them to do it), who would meet the conditions he laid down.
So then by his grace that 300 was chosen to stand against the multitude of the enemy.
Could this be the reason for the en-time falling away, apostasy? God "sending home" the vast majority of even his people as he prepares a small group of '300' to absolutely confound everyone? So that everyone will know who worked the miracle.
If everyone who claimed to be His in the USA today would live true to their claim the enemy would not stand a chance because of the large number which would be involved.
But they don't they are blinded to it and only the grace of God can open their eyes. Is the blindness from the Lord just as sure as he sent home the thousands in Gideon's time?
Only he knows. Again, speculation which we will not know the answer to until we see him. But we need to keep in mind, God has never worked through the strength of numbers and on top of that, David was judged for numbering the people. This showed unbelief in God as he wanted to know the physical strength of numbers he had for battle.
Again, our strength is not in numbers, it is in the Lord and man has a problem even when doing the "Lord's work," if he has large numbers he believes that by the might of his own hand he accomplished the victory.
Is God 'trimming away' so many that when he does work and there is victory then EVERYONE must acknowledge the HE alone preformed it?
Again, our hope lies in him and only in HIM.
Is this why so few can see the issues? Is this why so few of His people will stand up for Him? Is this why society is going downhill so fast? Is this why its so hard to arouse His people? Is this why we do not see His hand working more? Is this why so many of His people are even blind to the teachings of Scripture?
ONLY HE KNOWS, we must do the BEST we can to further HIS kingdom, His cause here on earth.
then shall we know-- (see Rev. 7:17), as we follow on we will know more of him and He will reveal more of Himself.
--what shall I do etc-- Isa. 5:1-7, corresponds to this. The Lord planted the very best of vineyards in the best of soils. He fenced it in, prepared the soil, put a watchtower in it, built a wine press to process the good fruit. He did all he could to cause it to bring forth the best fruit. Yet it brought forth wild grapes.
Because the vineyard refused to honor him as its Lord (bring forth fruit met for the masters use), he took away all protection, no longer pruned it, allowed the weeds and thorns to take it over, permitted the wild beasts to trod it down and commanded the rain to stay away.
Notice what he told His people here. What could have been done more to my vineyard? To get you to produce fruit for my honor and glory?
This is exactly what he says to his people in Hosea 6:4, "What more could I have done to get you to honor me?"
He gave them the law, he gave them protection and power over their enemies. He gave promises in Christ, he sent prophets to them, prophets to warn them of the results of their idolatry, pride, indifference.
In His mercy and goodness He pleaded and pleaded for them to turn from their sin back to Him and promised them His pardon. Then he sent judgment and chastisement.
Yet it was all in vain. All the way from prosperity to judgment. His people were (are) determined to got heir own way, Jer. 6:17; 8:7-10; 44:13-23), and He pleads with them; "Tell me, what more could I have done to get you to return to me?"
What can I do Ephraim to get you to return to me? You also Judah, what does it take to get you to honor, glorify me as God?
for your goodness, etc-- His people would return to him for just a short time. About as long as the morning cloud or as the early dew lasted then it was gone as though it were never there.
How typical of His people today. Their 'goodness' lasts until the water gets hot then it is gone. Never long enough to bear the fruit which He desires.
Also, the warnings. Again, how typical. He pleads through His word, through His men, through circumstances, through prosperity and even through chastisement, yet they seem to completely ignore His ways as their heart is determined that their way is best. The result can be read and studied in Isa. 5, as well as here in Hosea 6.
hewed-- As a stone cutter would hew a stone, the people of God refused to allow God to mold their hearts into the image which Adam was created in, the image of God.
He sent prophets speaking His word to them, yet they refused to allow His word to mold and shape them. The same word which was meant to hew, shape them, then became a hammer which broke them (Jer. 23:29), and a sword which cut them asunder, Heb. 4:12.
Now compare this with Ezek. 11:19; 36:29, (check the context), the indication is that even His people can retain the strong, unyielding heart which only results in judgment.
For us today. Look around at even those who claim to be His. Look at the hardness and refusal to allow the word of God to mold them into the image of God as seen in Christ, His word. The word then becomes a judgment of a hammer, sword and fire against His people.
Only His grace can change the strong heart to a heart of flesh. Change it from an unyielding heart to a yielding heart. So then our prayer should be, "Lord, create a new heart within me, a heart which is sensitive and yielding to your desires."
His judgments against sin will be as clear as light through a dark cloud. There will be no doubt nor excuse.
**Put in here: This is typed in with prospective Mo, (knowledge of God, knowing and doing)
Now he lays out His charge against them. His desire was to heal His people not to judge them.
Micah 7:18, he delighteth in mercy not in judgment and vengeance. He delights in His people turning from their sin and to Him so he can "shower" his mercy upon them.
He would have healed his people but the iniquity, wickedness, false hood, theft, all prevented the healing.
2. He says, "Why don't they understand, I know what goes on in secret," see Ezek. 8:3-12.
Remember the context, 6:6. It looks like they kept up the outward show of piety. They kept up the sacrifices and burnt offerings as they did in Christ's day. (The very thing he did away with they would not give up. The things he did not do away with they wouldn't do, the moral code.)
How like man today. Human nature is just upside down.
They kept up the outward show of spirituality. They knew what to do, they had the head knowledge, yet the inside was full of dead mens bones. Destroyed for lack of knowledge. Not a lack of knowing what to do but a lack of connecting the two. Knowing and doing.
The Lord knows the secret of the heart. He knows what goes on in private when no one else is watching. The public worship is not what impresses Him. It is private worship which gains His mercy and grace.
He desired to show mercy to them but then he remembered their private motives, actions and gods. These prevented His mercy and instead, reaped as they sowed, Gal. 6.
3. Rom. 1:32, here civil authority is finding pleasure in wickedness. Right is no longer good. Good is no longer rewarded and exalted. Protection of the good man is corrupted.
Now, evil is exalted. The lawbreaker is protected and the good man ignored.
The civil authority rejoices in iniquity rather than being grieved over it.
They think God doesn't see them or doesn't care. Good is bad and bad is called good. Good is punished and evil is protected, Isa. 10:1; 5:20, and even rewarded.
4. He continues on. The corruption is from the leaders down. Adultery are out of control. Both spiritual, turning from God and physical, both go together. As society turns from God then adultery goes rampant.
oven heated-- lust and lewdness burns out of control everywhere.
There is no place you can look without being confronted with
lust and lewdness.
Remember, the controversy isn't with the heathens but with God's people. They see nothing wrong with lewdness, with taking off their clothes in public, with exposing their bodies and arousing sensual desires in others.
The lust is burning as a fire and the civil authority, rather than doing what it can to put out the fire, is joining hands with those who have the fire.
Ungodliness and wickedness of all kinds is burning in their hearts. They keep up their outward show of piety but inside their hearts burn in lusts of all kinds.
Verses 5-7. This burning will not remain under control but it will (has) burst forth and has consumed everyone, even the judges. The very ones who are to keep this corruption under control are controlled by it.
Rather than those ordained by God to keep this corruption under control (the kings, princes, judges and yes, even the priests), keep it covered up and behind closed doors, but God knows what lies behind the outward motions of "piety."
They are all hot as an oven and rather than society working to put out this devastating fire they are throwing more fuel upon it.
There is none among them that calleth unto me. Everyone is caught in this. The prophet warns them but no one listens or believers him.
"We keep up our formal worship, v. 3. God doesn't care how I act or dress on my own time."
Sort of like the military. On duty expected to be totally loyal to the cause. Off duty kind of go your own way.
We are to be "on duty" at all times.
For us: God expose, show, deal with, your people about:
1. Their inconsistent lives.
2. That you are just as concerned with "piety" away from public worship as you are at public worship.