Hosea 7 Devotional
by Pastor Mark Hudson
This great prophet, who is a master of the written word (and we can imagine the spoken as well), is not eloquent for the sake of eloquence. Hosea longs to communicate the need of repentance and the overwhelming beauty of the grace of God. While it may be difficult to ascertain the exact meaning of his phrases and comparisons, we can certainly understand the spirituality in the nation of Israel.
This is important for any reader of the Bible. You do not want to think, believe, and act like these people. So as you read, use this chapter as a warning or as a buoy that “says” stay clear! We don’t ever want God to describe us like Hosea described his contemporaries.
Notice verse 2. This is one of the many verses in the Bible that states God knows everything, “their deeds surround them; they are before my face.” How terrible to think that evil we do is before God’s face. The worst part of this ungodly nation is both kings and princes are happy about sin v. 3.
In verse 4-7, their lust is compared to a heated – even over-heated – oven. Their heat is the lust of adultery in verse 4 but in v. 6 the hearts are full of anger. They forget God v. 2; they are spiritually lost from the king to the peasant v. 3; are adulterers v. 4, drunkards v. 3, 5; they turn on their leaders v. 7, they turn away from God to one foreign county and then another v. 11; they express active hostility to God v. 13; they are proud v. 10; they do not cry out to God but they do cry out to other gods v.14; they actually devise evil against God v. 15 as if that could ever succeed.
As you read this, you have to wonder how this came about. I remember when I was going to class at Trinity the director of our program would tell us about a new pastor that fell – it seemed every time we meet. He reminded us that we were not hearing about blow outs but slow leaks. This evil does not happen overnight.
So, turning to us, read this and ask what happened to this nation that was described in such unflattering terms? Let’s reflect on our role. Rottenness begins in the heart and mind. We are called to love our Lord Jesus Christ. Well, do you? Do you love Him with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind? If we are honest, we will answer no. But are you doing what you can to love Him? Are you stirring up your heart to seek God or are you giving God a half effort? Are you pursuing Him or stagnant?
Assuming we all want to prevent such a sad spiritual state that we witness in Hosea 7, allow God’s Spirit to speak through others to challenge you and rebuke you. If people exhort you to study, memorize, pray, and exert yourself, do you balk? Do you resist? Be honest. Most of you do not want more of God. You and I want just a little, enough that we can control God. We prefer enough of God to put Him in our pocket and be able to pull Him out when it is safe for us. But small enough that we can put God back in our pocket when He is no longer needed.
Sadly, people who are sliding back away from God rarely see it in themselves. That is why you have to be diligent and on your guard. Watch over your heart with all diligence for from it flows the issues of life according to Prov 4:23. You have to constantly watch over your desires. Are they pleasing to God? Am I seeking my own will? Am I listening to others?
You also have to preach the gospel to yourself. Seek God’s grace in Jesus Christ. Run to Him for forgiveness. Don’t be satisfied with your level of spirituality. Keep seeking Him. Keep seeking His heart to be more tender and soft toward God.