Daily Thought

Today’s Daily Thought –

Hosea 5. 8-14

Hosea’s ministry was primarily directed to the northern king­dom of Israel, to which he often refers as ‘Ephraim’, the most powerful and eminent of the tribes. But, not infrequently, as here, his message reaches out also to the southern kingdom of Judah. In verses 10 and 11, Hosea pointed to the underlying sins of both kingdoms. For their part, the leaders of Judah were ‘like them that remove the bound’. The picture is that of men who move the boundary stones which separate their property from their neighbour’s, effectively stealing from their neigh­bour. Judah’s leaders were ‘like’ such in that they were shifting the spiritual boundary lines established by the Lord - the lines between right and wrong, between the living God and dead idols, between true worship and false religion. For its part, the northern kingdom was guilty of wilfully walking ‘after the com­mandment’, in all likelihood a reference to Jeroboam’s insistence that his people worship the gold calves at Dan and Beth-el as a substitute for the worship of Jehovah at Jerusalem.

The prophet speaks of the Lord ‘therefore’ becoming ‘as a moth’ to Ephraim and as ‘rottenness’ to Judah. The word trans­lated ‘rottenness’ may refer to the decaying of a man’s bones or to wood rot of some kind. But, whatever the precise reference, both images (‘a moth’ and ‘rottenness’) graphically depict inward destructive activity, cf. Job 13. 28.

Both ‘the moth’ and ‘rottenness’ have in common that they work silently, slowly and imperceptibly. When the pagan world turned its back on the true God and sank itself in idolatry, God ‘gave them up’ to all forms of moral corruption, Rom. 1. 19-32. In similar fashion, He spoke here of bringing on both sections of His apostate and idolatrous nation a judgement slow but sure. For, before Hosea pictures in verse 14 the Lord as a lion which would tear both kingdoms to pieces, carrying them away in the judgement of the exile, he first portrays Him as bringing about internal disintegration which would sap the moral and spiritual fibre of the apostate kingdoms. All of which, of course, formed part of His discipline and chastisement of the people He loved deeply and whose eventual restoration He purposed.

Yesterday’s Daily Thought –

Hosea 4. 15-19
The words translated ‘sliding back’ and ‘backsliding’ in verse 16 speak properly of stubbornness and rebellion. Indeed, Hosea himself uses the root word later to describe the leaders in Israel who ‘revolt’ against God and His word, 9. 15. The opening expres­sion of verse 16 is therefore more accurately rendered, ‘Israel is stubborn (rebellious), like a stubborn (rebellious) heifer’. A heifer is a young cow, in particular one which has never had a calf. Such are notoriously obstinate and difficul…
2024 DAILY THOUGHTS ARE TAKEN FROM DAY BY DAY PICTURES AND PARABLES

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