Hosea 8

Those who sow to the flesh must reap corruption.
All the hopes of sinners are cheats, and their gains are snares.
Those who break friendship with God make themselves an easy prey to all about them.

1 Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.

2 Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee.

3 Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him.

4 They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.

5 ¶ Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency?

6 For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces.

7 For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.

8 Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.

9 For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.

10 Yea, though they have hired among the nations, now will I gather them, and they shall sorrow a little for the burden of the king of princes.

11 Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin.

12 I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.

13 They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.

14 For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.

Hosea 8 – ​Reaping the Whirlwind.

   A conqueror was at hand who should subdue and punish the whole nation for taking its own course, irrespective of God (vs. 4-8); for seeking foreign alliances which could bring only oppression in their train (vs. 9-10); and for multiplying altars and fortresses which were destined to be destroyed (vs. 11, 14). The circumstances referred to in this chapter seem to point to the reigns of Menahem and Uzziah (2 Kings 15:19; 2 Chronicles 26:6-15).
   The 5th verse is very striking. Israel had renounced Jehovah for the likeness of a calf, and now in the misfortunes which had overtaken them, their calf had cast them off. What is it that you are putting in the place of God? Power, wealth, the help of influential friends? Sooner or later it will fail you. How different is the One who perpetually encourages us, saying, “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (Joshua 1:5), and who promises to carry us to hoar hairs. The persistence with which Israel turned to other lovers left God no option but to put them back into a furnace such as Egypt had been, which would finally burn out their apostasy. Only when we walk before God with a perfect heart are we strong and happy. Once entangle yourself with expedients and alliances, and you lay yourself open to many sorrows. (Meyer)

Hosea 8:7 – The story runs, that, as Abdallah lingered over his morning repast, a little fly alighted on his goblet, took a sip, and was gone. It came again and again; increased its charms; became bolder and bolder; grew in size till it presented the likeness of a man; consumed Abdallah’s meat, so that he grew thin and weak while his guest became great and strong. Then contention arose between them, and the youth smote the demon, so that he departed; and the youth rejoiced at his deliverance. But the demon soon came again, charmingly arrayed, and was restored to favor. On the morrow, the youth came not to his teacher. The mufti, searching, found him in his chamber lying dead upon his divan. His visage was black and swollen; and on his throat was the pressure of a finger, broader than the palm of a mighty man. His treasures were gone. In the garden, the mufti discovered the footprints of a giant, one of which measured six cubits. Such is the Oriental protrayal of the growth and power of habit. (Moody)

Hosea 8:12—I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.

​   God’s will is so all-sided and far-reaching in its scope, that it cannot be contained in one precept. It needs thousands of precepts to set forth its heights, and lengths, and breadths, and to cover all the circumstances of our lives. But how thoughtful God is in anticipating our thousands of difficulties, perplexities, and questions; and in directing us how He would wish us to act. Anticipating all the steps of our life, God has written thousands of precepts to guide us.
   But what great things have been unfolded to us in the Law of God—using that term to cover the entire compass of revelation! Mysteries which pass the conception of angels have been placed within the reach of men. Our Father has beckoned us to share with Him the sublimest secrets of his government.
   Let us not count them as strange things. We often say to one another: “Do not treat me as a stranger.” And is not this the sense in which we may get estranged from the word and thought of God—keeping them only for special times; giving them courtly entertainment; but refusing to admit them to the familiarity of daily intercourse? Nothing hurts God more than this! Never perform your daily duties as though God must be shut out from them. If you keep one day sacred, it is that all time may be sanctified: if you keep one place private for prayer and worship, it is that the light which shines there may irradiate all the places of your daily occupation; if you keep one meal for special meditation on the love of Jesus, it is that whether ye eat or drink, or whatever ye do, all should be done for Him. (Meyer)