Hosea 10 Divided Hearts.
The more Israel prospered the more they gave themselves over to idolatry (v. 1), and because their hearts were divided they would be held guilty and their altars and pillars destroyed (v. 2). They mourned not having a king, but didn’t think that would make any difference anyway (v. 3). They swore the covenantal oath falsely, therefore their judgement would be like a harvest of hemlock (v. 4). They also mourned for their idol calf, because of their plight they assumed that its glory had departed from them (v. 5), and it would eventually be taken by King Jared of Assyria, to the shame of Ephraim (v. 6). Samaria’s king was also cut off, and their high places destroyed, the ground yielding only thorn and thistle (vv. 7-8). To remember the sins of the nation from the time of Gibeah was to remember the gang rape of the Levite’s concubine, and the war which followed (v. 9 Cf. Jud. 19-21).
When it was the LORD’s desire, He would chasten them “and bind them for their two transgressions” (v. 10), “swearing falsely in making a covenant,” and worshipping their idols instead of the one LORD their God (Cf. Jer. 2:13). They would be given over to forced labour because of their rebellion (v. 11). They needed to seek the LORD’s mercy, that He might rain down righteousness upon them (v. 12). They had plowed wickedness and reaped iniquity, eating the fruit of their lies, bearing false witness, trusting in themselves and their own ways (v. 13). Tumult was in their immediate future when their fortresses would be plundered, mothers dashing their children in pieces (v. 14). The place that was called Bethel, the house of God, would become the object of judgment for wickedness, and Israel’s king would be cut off, excommunicated from the covenant (v. 15).