November 2: Hosea 8
"For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind."- Hosea 8:7
Hosea prophesied in the northern kingdom of Israel during its closing decades. He witnessed the decline and fall of a once strong nation. Assyria became the rod of God's wrath against his people in its destruction in 722 BC. Yet the book of Hosea reveals the loving heart of God for his unfaithful people. Chapter eight describes the symptoms of their disobedience to the LORD.
Israel had mocked God by discarding his covenant with them (verses 1-3). Having rejected life, death is now their portion.
Idolatry is openly practiced in Israel (verses 4-6). In the northern city of Dan and the southern city of Bethel, King Jeroboam had erected golden calves to distract his people from the true worship of the LORD. This deliberate "sowing of the wind" will surely lead to the "reaping of the whirlwind". In other words this open disobedience ("sowing") will certainly bring on God's judgment ("reaping"). Nothing causes God's anger to burn against us (verse 5) like robbing God of his glory through idolatry.
Trust in man (rather than trust in God) is another evidence of unbelief (verses 8-10). Israel sought to make alliances with the godless nations around it rather than depend upon the LORD for its security. Assyria (verse 9) and Egypt (verse 13) were the superpowers to the north and south upon which Israel leaned for political refuge rather than on God.
Finally , insincere and improper worship provoke God (verses 11-14). Israel multiplied altars and sacrifices to the LORD, but they did so in vain because their hearts were far from him.
Is this not a catalogue of our national sins? Defiance of God's law, open idolatry, trust in men rather than trust in the LORD, worship which feeds our pride rather than glorifies God. No modern nation stands in the position of God's ancient people, but the same moral transgressions condemn us. May the Lord grant us to turn from sowing the wind, lest we reap the whirlwind!