V. 10. Israel, God's people, thought they could protect themselves from any danger by hiring these heathen nations for their protection. She should have been getting right with her God rather than trying to persuade these nations to protect her. Now, the nations she paid to protect here are going to be called together by God to destroy her. The implication here is that these nations would not have even noticed her, if she hadn't called their attention to herself in her desire to seek their protection.
Once again, to close to avoid. God's people today (the 'church'), have called the heathens attention to herself by seeking their protection. In fact, even paying for their protection ($10.00 a year).
I heard of a church in Texas that was running a goodly number in attendance, with several staff members. When the forms came out to sign (8427) a lawyer within the church advised that they fill the form out and file it. The result was that the I.R.S. got back with them a 'thank you' note for letting them know they were there. With the 'thank you' note was a back tax bill for something like $35,000 on the pastor, $20,000 on the associate pastor and on down, as well as, back taxes on the church, etc.
These of course, were only estimates but you would have a hard time convincing them differently. For one thing, I find it hard to imagine a fundamental pastor making enough to owe a total of $35,000.00 taxes in a life time.
Some time ago, a local pastor (Al Thompson, 6/10/86) called me after he got another form from the I.R.S., along with a threatening letter. He asked, "why?" Then he said, "Now what do we do?"
What happened? He called the attention of the heathen to himself with, "Here I am, please protect me." Now rather than protect they desire to lay claim to the treasures of the house of God, the things which have been dedicated to HIM, (tithes and offerings).
God's people sought protection from the heathen (Isa. 10:1-8, Assyria), this caused HIS anger to build, treasuring (string up) up unto themselves wrath by their hardness and impenitent heart (Rom.2:1-6), to where it could be contained no longer and it burst forth as water bursting a dam.
The tribulation and anguish came (is promised to come) upon every soul of man that doeth evil (Rom. 2:9), whether they are His chosen people or whether they are heathen. God is no respecter of persons and He will render to every man according to his deeds.
Of course the great problem Christ faced as well as the apostles in the early church was the idea, "We are God's special, chosen people. He wouldn't allow that to happen to us," Jn. 8:33-39.
Charles Hodges wrote in 1835, in his commentary on Romans:
"It is obvious that the Jews regarded circumcision as in some way securing their salvation. That they did so regard it, may be proved not only from such passages of the New Testament where the sentiment is implied, but also by the direct assertion of their own writers. Such assertions have been gathered in abundance from their works by Eisenmenger, Schoettgen, and others. For example, the Rabbi Menachem, in his Commentary on the Books of Moses, Fol. 43, col. 3, says, "Our Rabbins have said, that no circumcised man will see hell." In the Jalkut Rubeni, num, 1. it is taught, "Circumcision saves from hell." In the Medrasch Tillim, fol. 7, col 2, it is said, "God swore to Abraham, that no one who was circumcised should be sent to hell." In the book Akedath Jizehak, fol. 54, col. 2, it is taught that "Abraham sits before the gate of hell, and does not allow that any circumcised Israelite should enter there." The apostle considers circumcision under two different aspects. First, as a rite supposed to possess some inherent virtue or merit of its own; and secondly, as a sign and seal of God's covenant.(pg.63.)"
In another book, The Midrash (which gives the traditional
teaching of the Jews on the O.T.), vol.I, pg. 396, we find a man
rescued from an attack by his enemies because he had just been
Thus, we see that to these false teachers circumcision guaranteed their place in heaven as well as their protection in time of need. To these teachers, salvation did not change this requirement.
It is all too obvious that baptism (along with many other religious rituals of all kinds) has taken the place of circumcision in the minds of many, as their assurance of saving faith.
The thought goes on today with, "He will remove us before the dam holding back his wrath breaks. We are special, we being Abraham's seed," Jn. 8:39.
Rom 2:11, God is no respecter of persons. The belief that He is a respector of persons and that He will overlook the refusal to glorify Him as God, is probably one of the most destructive of heresies of our day, Rom. 1:21.
We see here in Hosea that God's people sought protection in worldly means, and then the very ones they sought protection form, destroyed them, II Ki. 15:19, 20.
V. 11. Following through, His people made (make) a great pretense of serving God when actually they have forsaken Him.
God gave the only acceptable way of service to Him. They were to go to Jerusalem, yet, in their self-will they found a more convenient way in which Jeroboam made his altars. They sought to worship God in the way they felt was best and it only brought a promise of judgment, I Ki. 12:30-13:34.
The implication here is this: His people sought a way to worship Him other than in accordance to His law, v. 12. They made (make) a great pretense of how much they love the Lord and are serving Him when all the time they are walking in their own way contrary to His revealed law.
He promises judgment against the disobedience to His principles of life, yet His mercy holds it back as a dam holding back the flood waters, Rom.2:4.
(Ecc. 8:11, Because sentence (the promised judgment), against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the hearts of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Compare this with Rom. 2:4, where we see that His mercy which withholds this sentence is in the hope of His people repenting. When the sentence is withheld they think all is okay and proceed on in their refusal to glorify Him as God).
Now, as His people continue on in their own self-will, His judgment against their sin starts to seep through. As it starts to seep through, His people start seeking the world's means of protection rather than returning to HIM and HIS law-word. They return to Egypt, v. 13.
But it cannot be avoided. The very thing they seek their protection, provision in will be the thing which destroys them. A good example would be found in the introduction here of Hosea. God's people have sought protection in education and, all to often, in godless education (secular). The result is that the God denying, Christ hating system will consume Christianity as the Christian's children are trained to deny God.
Another example would be social programs. If you will think a few minutes you will come up with several things which God's people have sought protection in, protection from the results of their failure to glorify God as God; money, jobs, etc.
V. 12 God has given His people clear instructions for every area of life. To ignore these instruction is to forget his maker, (II Tim. 3:16) and is identified as a departure from the faith (I Tim. 4:1).
The call here is Hosea is for His people to depart from iniquity (II Tim. 2:19), or the vessel will become a vessel unto dishonour (II Tim. 2:19-26) and a victim of the enemy.
The plea and warning here is that no matter how high the defenses may be against the result of refusing to depart from the iniquity (as identified by HIS word, I Jn. 3:4; Heb. 2:1-3), or against the results of refusing to glorify Him as God; no matter what precautions may be taken, how much money may be invested in worldly means, no matter how many sacrifices and offerings may be made (Hosea 6:6), all of these things apart from repentance and obedience according to Prov. 28:13, 14, will not stop the fire He will send and it shall devour the palaces thereof, (v. 14).
The high places where shelter is sought are useless. THERE IS NO SAFETY BUT OF HIM, Ps. 127:1; Prov. 21:31. He will accept NOTHING except a turning to Him with the whole heart. Keep in mind we are not talking of loosing our salvation but of the physical results of ignoring His requirements of every area of life.
Lord help us to recognize where we have displeased and are displeasing you. Give us the grace to glorify you once again in that area of life before the hardness sets into our heart and the "dam breaks".
One more thing here to good for us to pass up.
I think we can pray and expect God to hear us because he delights in mercy, Jonah 4:2; Micah 7:18, etc.
I believe we can pray that God would hold back the 'dam' for just a while longer as we try to return ourselves, others as well as society back to Him.
I believe God is willing to withhold the promised sentence if enough people will cry out to Him for a chance to try to return to Him and warn others to once again glorify Him as God over everything; from the individuals life, the family, the church and society. And there seems to be different men being raised up calling back different areas.
God have mercy and pour out your spirit of grace, which is our only hope in this troubled day.
Our responsibility then is to do all we can to influence those we can. We will not be responsible for the 'whole world' as such. (This is not underplaying missions), but we will be responsible for those we come into contact with.
It is pure folly to make a great show of being 'religious,' spiritual or of great devotion to Him, yet not submit our will to Him and try to influence others to return to Him.
Example: I know of people who claim the name of Christ. Their actions look like they are devoted to Him, yet when it comes down to the 'nitty'gritty' when their will or ideas conflict with the word of God, they will dismiss the word of God with, "I don't see it that way."
Our Lord says this is the action of a fool, Matt. 7:24-26; Jn. 13:17.
These can make many altars, sacrifices which may deceive those around them and even themselves, but they are not deceiving God who will render to every man according to his deeds, whether they be good or bad.
V. 12, They are counted as a strange thing by them. What is? My law. God's people (the Christians) now say, "We should not take God's law so seriously or so literally; the gospel isn't as strict as the law; we have the grace of the gospel now. The liberty of the gospel is freedom, not from sin, but from duty." (As Pusey says, Barnes' Notes, Minor Prophets I, pg. 86).
"Riches for the early Christians were dangerous, but everyone has them now so the danger is over," I Tim. 6:9, 17; Ja. 5:1-6. "The world at one time was a great enemy with all of its amusements, philosophies, vice, priorities, standards of conduct and dress, its loves and its lusts. But today it is different. Rather than being an enemy to be hated and avoided at all cost, it loves us now and we get along just fine." Rom. 12:2; Col. 2:8, 20; II Tim. 4:10; 2:12; Ja. 1:27.
"Maybe at one time the friends of the world were enemies of God but that time is long past. God doesn't really care if we link up with the world today just as long as we don't deny that Christ is the Son of God," Ja. 4:4. "We believe that today it is a little old fashion to say that if anyone loves the world or the things of the world that the love of God is not in Him. We are enlightened today. That is, 'Archaic' and no longer applies", (I Jn. 2:15, 16).
"Maybe at one time the world hated Christians but today there has been a compromise made and they really don't hate us now." I Jn. 3:13; 4:5.
"The world isn't completely controlled by the wicked one and we have wisdom and knowledge to be able to see what part is and what part isn't. Why, we are as God, we can detirmine these things for ourselves without a diligent search of His word, I Jn. 5:19.
We might point out that "the things of the world" would be the things which they emphasize. You can rest assure that the world WILL NOT under any circumstances nor conditions, emphasize the things of God. When a child of God emphasizes or holds in importance the same things that the world does then God says this person hates God. Check the contexts of the references above.
We are living in a day when the law of God is counted as a strange thing by HIS PEOPLE. (The heathen have always reguarded His law strange.) Not only the OT law, but even the requirements of the NT. Note the excellent treatment of this by R. J. Rushdoony in Chalcedon Position Paper #74 (copy enclosed).
He makes an excellent (as well as very true) point that any "New Testament Christianity" which down-grades the OT in any way is not Christianity at all, but a heresy.
The wonderful works of God (Acts 2:11), were the OT works. The manifold wisdom of God (Eph. 3:10), was the truths hidden in the OT. What He spoke in times past (Heb. 1:1), was the message of the OT.
The Scripture which is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness is the OT, (II Tim. 3:16). This was what furnished the man of God unto all good works, v. 17.
The iniquity of II Tim. 2:19 would have been as identified in the OT law because there was no NT at that time.
In fact, as the NT is read, we need to keep in mind that at the time that it was written there was no NT books as we have them. Every NT references to the scriptures must be seen as a reference to the OT in the context. Now, they apply to the NT, but the context speaks of the OT.
So we see here that in Hosea 8:12, God's redeemed people counted His law as a strange thing.
V. 13. Here they do the very things which His law expressly forbids and they see nothing wrong with it. His mercy postpones His physical judgment, I Cor. 5; Heb. 12. Therefore, they think that He has accepted them or that He has forgotten, but He hasn't. He remembers.
Also as we try to do right and live by His word and see other professing Christians seemingly 'getting away with murder' we need to remember that God is keeping a record. He as not forgotten even though it seems as He has.
return-- We are expressly forbidden to return to Egypt, Deut. 17:16, yet every time things became difficult, His people want to return. In actuality, difficulties came because they refused His law, authority, refused to glorify Him as God. His people return, situations become more difficult, then they think that they have not returned enough.
Jer. 42, 43. God's people did go back to seek safety there, but there was none. Nor is there any today for His people who seek to go back to the old ways when things don't go right, or when it looks better back there, than it does serving God.
V. 14. To forget His law, to count it as a strange thing to forget Him. To build apart from obedience is to build on the sand. Matt. 7, and it is sure to fall.
I will-- and He did. He sent Sennacherib against Judah and He sent Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem, II Ki. 18:13; 25:8, 9.
Men burned the cities some twelve years after the death of Hosea. God sent these wicked heathen rulers to accomplish what He said would take place when His people refused to glorify Him as God even though they knew Him and what He expected of them.
They sought protection from everywhere as they attempted to avoid the results as well as ignore the warnings. But when the time came, God had spoken and it came to pass.
For us and this is the continuing message all through these prophecies. There is hope right up to the day that the 'city' falls. Right up to the day that the 'wall crumbles.'
Our responsibility is to see Him and this hope in Him as well as obey and try to influence all we can others to turn back and glorify Him as God, Lord of heaven and earth