The Coming Judgment Of Israel!
God revealed His love to Israel in His past mercies and now in His present disciplines.
For though he flourishes among the reeds (his fellow tribes), an east wind (Assyria) will come, the breath of the Lord rising from the desert; and Ephraim’s spring will become dry and his fountain will be dried up. Assyria will plunder his treasury of every precious object.
Hosea 13:15 (AMP)
Israel thinks they are strong and secure because of treaties with fellow nations – Egyptians, Philistines, Edomites, Syrians. This is the same picture Isaiah and Amos paint of Israel about 740 to 735 B.C. God has another picture – a hot east wind blasting in from the desert. Israel’s fruitfulness wilts in the heat. Their resources vanish. An enemy army will plunder Israel’s agricultural, economic, and military storehouses.
Samaria will be found guilty [and become desolate], because she rebelled against her God; they will fall by the sword, their infants will be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women will be ripped open.
Hosea 13:16 (AMP)
Everything Israel relied on for protection will disappear. Samaria is guilty. The people have rebelled against their God! Israel would have to face barbaric military practices, including the ripping open of protruding stomachs of pregnant women and the abuse of infant children (Isa. 13:16-18). An army with no moral restraints would victimize the rebellious nation.
In his love for his people God wants to spoil his children and do everything possible for them, but in his holy justice he knows he must discipline them for their refusal to obey him.
Father and King
God is not a simple person who is easy to understand. We cannot predict his actions and reactions. He is not a robot whom we can program to do as we expect. He refuses to fit into our nice, tight theological systems. He is a person, not a doctrine. As a person, God involves himself emotionally in the life of his people as community and as individuals. He has the greatest power on earth – that of an absolute monarch over the universe. He has the deepest attachment to his people – that of a committed, loving father. Our response to God determines the side of him that we experience. Obedient children snuggle up to a loving father. Rebellious people face up to the divine king and his instruments of punishment.
- God is a father who cares for the needs of his children.
- God does not extend his care indefinitely to a people who are bent on rebellion.
- The holy God does not want to give up on his disobedient people.
- People cannot deceive God.
- Repenting and turning to God is the only hope for a sinful nation or individual.
- Wealth cannot buy off God.
- Politicians cannot outmaneuver God.
- God has power even over death.
- Answer God’s call, not that of politicians or false gods.
- Do not depend on religion to make peace with God.
- Do not reduce God to an emergency service that stands ready to get you out of trouble.
- Talk straight with God, with no attempt to deceive him.
- Treat all people with love and justice while you wait for God’s salvation.
- Serve the Lord as the only true living God of the universe.
- Give God all the credit, taking none for yourself.
Holman Old Testament Commentary