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Bible Commentaries
Hosea 13

Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the BibleBox on Selected Books


Israel is Doomed Because of Sin

-- Hosea Thirteen --

This section reminds us again how that those that hold God in awe and obey Him are blessed. We are also reminded of the opposite, sin brings ruin and misery. The principle will always be true, obey God and be blessed; disobey and suffer the consequences. Ephraim or Israel is a vivid example of this truth. They obeyed and received tremendous blessings from God. Latter their disobedience brought them terrible loss.

The fact that God had been so good to Israel makes the guilt of their sin and disobedience even worse. God had blessed them abundantly and they had shamefully abused His goodness. Disobedience lead them to face severe punishment at the hand of their own loving God. They destroyed themselves with disobedience. However, if they would repent God would still forgive them and protect them as no other could. Sadly, Israel did not repent but acted like a rebellious child.

Still God promised ransom and rescue His people as if bringing them back from the dead. However their sins lead them to a point of national calamity. "Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up." ( Hos_13:16 )

Verses 1-4

Israel sinned more and more -- Hos_13:1-4 : There was a time when the leaders in Israel spoke for God and the people showed great respect for Him. As long as Israel had respect for God she enjoyed divine favor. But they sinned by worshipping Baal and now they faced certain destruction. Israel could be described with the term "they did not remain faithful." This brought destruction to the nation. Their sin became worse and worse. They made silver idols and even kissed them. Baal was one of the idol gods that they worshipped. They wanted a god that they could see. However, they should have known that such a god would have no more power than the human that made it.

Hosea predicted the quick overthrow of the false gods. They would vanish like the mist or the dew of the early morning or husks of grain in the wind or smoke from a chimney. God had been so good to Israel. He had been their God and blessed them from their time in Egypt. He is the one true God and the only God thy should know. Jehovah wanted it know that He is the one true God of the people. It is He that stretched out the heavens and created the earth. Man, at his best, loves God, reverences Him and obeys His will. Jehovah is the only one that can save. They learned a difficult lesson well because they were completely cured of idolatry after the captivity.

Verses 5-8

Consequences of rebellion -- Hos_13:5-8 : God took care of the nation of Israel while they were in the wilderness. He loved and accepted them because they were obedient to Him. He demonstrated His love for them by the many miracles that He used to provide for their needs. Many times they would have perished if God had not provided food and water for them. Israel was like sheep for which God provided abundant pasture. They ate until they were satisfied by the hand of the Shepherd that had done so much for them.

While Israel was obedient to God He blessed them like a tender shepherd. They were given abundant pasture or to say it another way their needs were met beyond measure. Sadly, they became exalted in their heart and forgot God. In Luk_14:11 we read, "For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." Israel was destined to destruction in a foreign land because of her unfaithfulness. God said, "Now I will attack like a lion, ambush you like a leopard, and rip you apart like a bear robbed of her cubs. I will gnaw on your bones, as though I were a lion or some other wild animal." God's wrath would be fierce against this wicked nation. He would expose their hearts to punishment because of their unthankful disobedience.

Verses 9-12

Israel destroyed herself -- Hos_13:9-12 : Suicide is a horrible thing. What Israel had done spiritually was nothing short of nation spiritual suicide. They had turned from God to idolatry and destroyed themselves. National destruction was the result of their own sinful choices. It was a sad day in the history of Israel when they cried, "now make us a king to judge us like all the nations." ( 1Sa_8:5 ) Both Samuel and the Lord were grieved with this request. But God told Samuel "Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them." ( 1Sa_8:7 )

When Israel's king was bound in prison by the Assyrians God said, "You wanted a king and rulers. Where is your king now?" Was there anyone to take the place of their king that was in prison? God said, "In my anger, I gave you a king, in my fury, I took him away." What happened to this king should not be surprising because God had also overthrown Israel's first king because of disobedience. Israel's terrible sins were written down before God. They were now being dealt with as their sin deserved. They will now know beyond any doubt that they had rejected their only source of help.

Verses 13-16

Samaria shall become desolate -- Hos_13:13-16 : The sorrows of a travailing woman at childbirth were used to describe the misery that would come upon the nation of Israel. They would go through a terrible ordeal of invasion, destruction and oppression. However, God said, "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death." This promise was fulfilled when Israel was released from the captivity. A second fulfillment is likely at the general resurrection. God would not repent or change His mind about this matter. It would be as He had predicted and His mind would not be changed.

It seemed as if the unfaithful leaders of Israel and the nation were prospering. God said, "No matter how much you prosper more than the other tribes, I, the LORD, will wipe you out, just as a scorching desert wind dries up streams of water. I will take away your precious treasures." The wrath of God put an end to the unrighteous rule of these ungodly leaders. The Assyrian nation came from the east and brought with them destruction to Israel. How bad would this destruction be? "Samaria will be punished for turning against me. It will be destroyed in war-- children will be beaten against rocks, and pregnant women will be ripped open." Samaria, the capital city of the Northern Kingdom became desolate at the overthrown by the Assyrians. The reason for this horrible fate is rebellion against God.

Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Hosea 13". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/hosea-13.html. 2014.
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