1. When God would have healed Israel, what did Israel not consider?
They did not consider that their doings were known to God: “(1) When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood; and the thief cometh in, and the troop of robbers spoileth without. (2) And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face” (Hosea 7:1-2).
- God wanted to bring about the spiritual well-being of His people (Ezekiel 18:30-32).
- What He wanted and what they wanted was not aligned (Luke 13:34-35).
- Their iniquity was discovered (Isaiah 28:1, and Hosea 4:17; 12:1; 13:1-2).
- The wickedness of Samaria (Isaiah 9:8-9, Jeremiah 23:13, and Hosea 8:5-6).
- Falsehood (Micah 7:1-7).
- Robbers, as discussed in the previous chapter (Hosea 6:9).
- There was a long history of not considering things in Israel (Deuteronomy 32:28-29, Isaiah 47:7, and Jeremiah 5:31).
- What they were not considering is that God remembered their wickedness (Jeremiah 14:10). He also remembered the other side (Jeremiah 31:20).
- They needed to know that God knew what was going on (Proverbs 5:21, Proverbs 15:3, Isaiah 29:15-16, Jeremiah 16:17, Jeremiah 17:10, Jeremiah 23:24, and Hebrews 4:13).
2. How did they make the king glad?
Their wickedness: “They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies” (Hosea 7:3).
- The king of Israel, at this time (Hosea 1:1), was evil. Therefore, no surprise here (II Kings 14:23-24).
3. In regard to Israel, what did the Lord say they all were?
Adulterers: “They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened” (Hosea 7:4).
- Their spiritual adultery (Jeremiah 3:6-8) was inflamed as the oven of a baker (Hosea 7:6-7).
4. What do we learn about the princes in Israel in this context?
They were predators not looking to the Lord: “(5) In the day of our king the princes have made him sick with bottles of wine; he stretched out his hand with scorners. (6) For they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait: their baker sleepeth all the night; in the morning it burneth as a flaming fire. (7) They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calleth unto me” (Hosea 7:5-7).
- The day of the king may have been some feast day (I Samuel 25:36).
- We can see what was going on a bit more through the pen of Isaiah (Isaiah 5:11-12).
- Think about the error of the princes (Habakkuk 2:15-16) and the king (Proverbs 31:4-5).
- Of course, we are aware of all the problems with alcohol in general (Proverbs 20:1, Proverbs 21:17, Proverbs 23:20-21, Proverbs 23:29-35, Isaiah 5:22, Hosea 4:11, Matthew 26:41, Luke 21:33-34, Galatians 5:16-21, I Thessalonians 5:6, Titus 2:1-14, I Peter 1:13-16, and I Peter 4:1-5).
- Their predatorily nature is exposed here (Proverbs 4:14-17, Jeremiah 5:26-27, and Micah 2:1).
- None called unto God (Isaiah 9:13, Isaiah 43:22, Isaiah 64:7, and Jeremiah 23:14) as a result of their pride as the context reveals (Hosea 7:10).
5. What happened as a result from Ephraim mixing himself among the people?
Strangers devoured his strength: “(8) Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned. (9) Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not” (Hosea 7:8-9).
- God originally intended His people to be separated from others (Deuteronomy 7:1-14).
- They did not hearken to that at this point or even after Babylonian captivity (Ezra 9:1-2 and Nehemiah 13:23-27) and here we see the result. They needed to repent of this (Ezra 10:1-17).
- Older men should have been wise (Job 321-8).
6. What testified to the face of Israel?
Their pride: “And the pride of Israel testifieth to his face: and they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him for all this” (Hosea 7:10).
- Their pride testified to His face (Hosea 5:5).
- They revolted more and more (Isaiah 1:5).
- When pride cometh… Shame and destruction (Proverbs 11:2 and Proverbs 16:18).
- To his face, personal, and will receive just recompense (Deuteronomy 7:10, Deuteronomy 32:35, and Isaiah 59:18).
7. Was it helpful for God’s people to turn to Assyria and Egypt for help?
No: “(11) Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria. (12) When they shall go, I will spread my net upon them; I will bring them down as the fowls of the heaven; I will chastise them, as their congregation hath heard. (13) Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me. (14) And they have not cried unto me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds: they assemble themselves for corn and wine, and they rebel against me. (15) Though I have bound and strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against me. (16) They return, but not to the most High: they are like a deceitful bow: their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue: this shall be their derision in the land of Egypt” (Hosea 7:11-16).
- In summary, here is a message we see throughout the Old Testament. They VAINLY turn to someone for help, just not to God (II Kings 18:21, Isaiah 30:1-7, Isaiah 31:1-3, Isaiah 36:1-6, Jeremiah 37:5-10).
- Erringly, they trusted in the strength of men rather than of God (Psalms 118:8-9, Proverbs 21:30-31, Isaiah 2:22, and Jeremiah 2:18; 36).
© 2020 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.