Verse 1 – “Set the trumpet to your mouth! He shall come like an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed My covenant an rebelled against My law.
Verse 2 – Israel will cry to Me, ‘My God, we know You!’
Verse 3 – Israel has cast off the good; the enemy will pursue him.
Verse 4 – “They set up kings, but not by Me; they made princes, and I did not acknowledge it. From their silver and gold they made idols for themselves – that they might be cut off.
The Israelites would cry out to God for help, but refuse to give up their idols. Some today will cry out to God to avoid the consequences of their actions, but yet have no intention of turning away from sin. This is what Israel did when the Assyrians started to devour their city.
Verse 5 – Your calf is rejected, O Samaria! My anger is aroused against them. How long will it be until they attain to innocence?
Samaria was the capital of the northern kingdom. Jeroboam I, had set up a calf to worship at Bethel and Dan (1 Kings 12:25-333).
Verse 6 – For from Israel is even this: A workman made it, and it is not God; but the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces.
Verse 7 – “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind (Proverbs 22:8). The stalk has no bud; it shall never produce meal. If it should produce, aliens would swallow it up.
A crop yield is the result of good seed planted in good soil with water and fertilizer. A single seed can produce multiple fruit in good conditions. However, Israel had sown spiritual seeds to the wind. When we seek advancement without God, we are on our own and are exposed to the enemy to scatter. The Assyrians will come and take what Israel meant to produce.
Verse 8 – Israel is swallowed up; now they are among the Gentiles like a vessel in which there is no pleasure.
Verse 9 – For they have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey alone by itself; Ephraim has hired lovers.
In 732 B.C. Hoshea, when he became king, went to Assyria for help. He wanted to stop Tiglath-Pileser III from ruling Israel.
Verse 10 – Yes, though they have hired among the nations, now I will gather them; and they shall sorrow a little, because of the burden of the king of princes.
This burden was when Hoshea was king and he imposed high taxes on the people.
Verse 11 – “Because Ephraim has made many altars for sin, they have become for him altars for sinning.
Verse 12 – I have written for him the great things of My law, but they were considered a strange thing.
The altars that were supposed to remove sin were actually increasing sin through their misuse in worshiping Baal.
Verse 13 – For the sacrifices of My offerings they sacrifice flesh and eat it, but the Lord does not accept them. Now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sins. They shall return to Egypt.
The people’s sacrifices had become mere rituals and God rejected them. They forgot that God sees motives and intentions of the heart. Beware of a repeating rituals to : Gain God’s favor or gaining others approval. When God said they will return to Egypt, it is a metaphor, they would return to being captives in a foreign land under foreign leaders which didn’t know their God.
Verse 14 – “For Israel has forgotten his Maker, and has built temples; Judah also has multiplied fortified cities; but I will send fire upon his cities, and it shall devour his palaces.”
How sad that Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and now Hosea, all warned God’s people to repent and return back to Him, but ignored them all!
I don’t believe there is or ever will be a person living on God’s earth that at one time or another will not be warned about what will happen after death without Christ. Romans 1:20, says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” If anyone doesn’t know God, its because they simply don’t want to!