V. 1. Notice the Lord here doesn't exempt anyone. Priest, common people and civil leaders. They have all gone out of the right way and He is going to judge them all.
He has warned, rebuked and tried to correct them but they just would not.
They said in their heart, "the Lord doesn't see us," or even "the Lord doesn't care, as long as we are doing 'his' work," as they continue on in their refusal to glorify God as God. It looks like Rom. 1:21, is the root of all sin. Because that, when they knew God they glorified him not as God and this would be especially true of God's people.
So following this thought through. When God's people refuse to glorify Him as God this is spiritual adultery just as sure as when a woman refuses to honour, recognize her husband as her husband.
V. 4. The Lord hath a controversy with His people. The controversy is that they have turned from obedience of His law-word. As we said back in 4:1. This controversy gives the Lord a legal claim against His people.
He warns them but they will not turn unto their God. The same as Hosea's wife went from him into adultery and refused to return.
Again here, the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them. Their desire is to another source of protection and provision.
V. 5. The pride which God's people have prevent their admitting their sin. Their pride prevents their return to their God therefore their sin will force Him to separate Himself from them. The result will be they will fall.
V. 6. They fall then they (the priests) will seek the Lord to rescue them and their people, but he will have withdrawn from them.
Notice here, they seem to be trying to seek him in their calamity without repenting of their sin which caused Him to separate Himself from them.
Is this not what I see today? God's people and especially the leaders (priests) calling on HIS people to seek the Lord, yet they are still in the spirit of whoredoms. They refuse to glorify God as God, Lord over His church as they cry out for the people to seek Him.
Really though, God has not withdrawn Himself, it's his people who have separated themselves from their God. His hand is still stretched out if they will only return to Him, Isa. 9:12, 13, etc.
--they shall not find Him-- no matter how hard they look or how big of tears they weep, until they return to glorifying Him as God over their lives and over the church.
V. 7. Strange children-- this goes back to 2:4, 5. This is a hard passage and I will not understand it until I see him.
Gen. 18:19, "I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.
Now, mother here applies to the church.
The legitimate children would be the ones born of the proper relationship with the Lord.
The strange children would be the ones born of the proper relationship with the Lord.
The strange children would be the ones born out of the adulterous relationship. As 'mom' yielded herself to the authority of another husband other than the Lord God.
What are we going to say of the children of the forbidden union between the church and civil government?
How can the 'priests' command these children to keep the way of the Lord when they refuse to recognize Him as Lord over His people (church).
What 'spirit' will be passed on to these 'children'.
Will it be the spirit of the Lord God or will it be the spirit of their father in the adulterous affair?
As I said, this is a hard question and one I will not know the answer to until we see our LORD and KING.
V. 8. cornet, trumpet of warning of coming judgment. Desolation is coming. The Lord has made known what is shall surely be.
The princes, civil authorities have ignored the bounds of God's law and done what they feel is best. They are controlled by covetousness not godliness, and God's wrath is going to be poured out against the spirit of whoredoms. The spirit of "everyone do what he feels is best in his own heart."
wrath like water-- His mercy held His wrath, judgment back like a dam holds back water but finally it overflows and everyone is swept away in the resulting flood.
V. 11. willingly walked after the commandment, I Ki. 12:28, 32, 33.
This would be the command of Jeroboam. (See my notes back there.)
Jeroboam commanded that Israel worship God before the calves and Israel willingly did it.
"Here is the way you can worship the Lord just as well as going up to Jerusalem in His way," and they took it.
From here on Jeroboam was known as the one who made Israel to sin. Israel never returned to the proper worship of the Lord even though He sent prophet after prophet to them. It was to convenient to change.
Barnes' says here (pg. 61), "For this sin, God judged justly, even though the unjust judgment of man. God mostly punishes through their own choice, those who choose against His (choice).
The Jews said, we have no king but Caesar, and Caesar destroyed them.
This is exactly what we see happening today as those who claim to be His say we have no king but Caesar (render unto Caesar whatever Caesar wants) and Caesar is getting ready to destroy them completely.
V. 12. math rottenness. Notice neither of these bring a swift destruction but a slow eating away and because it is so slow those being eaten away at don't realize it.
V. 13. Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound. They saw how they were losing their power with God and strength, yet instead of returning to the Lord they turned to an heathen. They could do them no good.
V. 14. Because they turned to the worlds means of survival God became a lion to them and tore them away.
V. 15. The call is to acknowledge their offence and seek his face.
Here we have an excellent picture of God's people today. They have turned from Him. The priests have denied his Lordship, authority over them (his church).
They are slowly losing their power over society and are becoming a paper tiger.
They still will not admit that they have turned from their HUSBAND to a lover, they are seeking their protection and provision elsewhere, therefore, God is going to become like a lion and tare them. He uses the very thing they have rejected him for.
He will go and return to HIS place and wait for them to repent. Confess and turn back to HIM.
Will they? We just don't know and won't until we get to heaven or until we get there.
His people rejected Him for Assyria and he used Assyria to
chastise them. His people today have rejected him for civil authority
and that is what he is going to use to chastise them with. (Sad
to say, usually the godly with the ungodly.)