September 20, 2007
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Following Scripture Verses
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- Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.
- Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee.
- Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him.
- They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.
- Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency?
- For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces.
- For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.
- Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.
- For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.
- Yea, though they have hired among the nations, now will I gather them, and they shall sorrow a little for the burden of the king of princes.
- Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin.
- I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.
- They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.
- For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.
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- Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor.
- The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her.
- They shall not dwell in the LORD'S land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria.
- They shall not offer wine offerings to the LORD, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread for their soul shall not come into the house of the LORD.
- What will ye do in the solemn day, and in the day of the feast of the LORD?
- For, lo, they are gone because of destruction: Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them: the pleasant places for their silver, nettles shall possess them: thorns shall be in their tabernacles.
- The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.
- The watchman of Ephraim was with my God: but the prophet is a snare of a fowler in all his ways, and hatred in the house of his God.
- They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins.
- I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baal-peor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.
- As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception.
- Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them!
- Ephraim, as I saw Tyrus, is planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer.
- Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.
- All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.
- Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.
- My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.
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- Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.
- Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images.
- For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the LORD; what then should a king do to us?
- They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.
- The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Beth-aven: for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof that rejoiced on it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it.
- It shall be also carried unto Assyria for a present to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.
- As for Samaria, her king is cut off as the foam upon the water.
- The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.
- O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them.
- It is in my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows.
- And Ephraim is as an heifer that is taught, and loveth to tread out the corn; but I passed over upon her fair neck: I will make Ephraim to ride; Judah shall plow, and Jacob shall break his clods.
- Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
- Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.
- Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Beth-arbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children.
- So shall Bethel do unto you because of your great wickedness: in a morning shall the king of Israel utterly be cut off.
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- When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
- As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.
- I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.
- I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.
- He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return.
- And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels.
- And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.
- How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.
- I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.
- They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.
- They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the LORD.
- Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints.
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- Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt.
- The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.
- He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:
- Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us;
- Even the LORD God of hosts; the LORD is his memorial.
- Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.
- He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.
- And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin.
- And I that am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast.
- I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.
- Is there iniquity in Gilead? surely they are vanity: they sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal; yea, their altars are as heaps in the furrows of the fields.
- And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep.
- And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.
- Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him.
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- When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died.
- And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves.
- Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.
- Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.
- I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.
- According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.
- Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them:
- I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.
- O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.
- I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?
- I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.
- The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hid.
- The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he is an unwise son; for he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children.
- I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.
- Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels.
- 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.
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- O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.
- Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.
- Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
- I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.
- I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
- His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.
- They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.
- Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.
- Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.
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Thought for the day:
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Hosea 8 spells out part of the sin of Israel, as well as its resulting punishment. The playing of the trumpet in verse 1 is a call to the Jews to pay attention, for the Lord is going to show them their transgressions. In verse 3 Hosea writes that Israel
"hath cast off the thing that is good".
This, at least in this passage, is the beginning of Israel's backsliding. Once a person stops doing what he knows that he should do, it is only a brief matter of time before he begins to do things that he should not do. Men do not live in a vacuum. Every day they have 24 hours filled with 60 minutes each in which they must live. They can fill that time with Christ-honoring activity, or they can spend it doing that which does not please the Lord. Once a man chooses to stop spending time reading the Scriptures, he will look elsewhere for his visual pleasure and may find it in inappropriate literature, television programs, or other activities. Once a man stops talking about the things of the Lord, he is going to begin talking about that which is unimportant, and may wind up talking about that which is improper. When an individual chooses not to go to the house of God when he should, he begins spending his time engaged in activities that are not only less important, but may turn him further away from the Lord. Remember David's situation: it was time for kings to go forth to battle, but he stayed home. It was while he was "casting off the thing that is good" that he saw Bathsheba and began that adulterous relationship (II Samuel 11). Never stop doing what is right, and you won't have to worry about starting to do what is wrong.
According to verse 4, the Jews then began to make decisions without consulting the Lord. They
"set up kings, but not by me".
They were supposed to have a king, but they made their choices without giving any consideration to what God might think. I believe this happens in the lives of Christians today. They need a job, so they take one, but do so without praying to the Lord for direction. They need to attend college, but they make that life-changing decision without ever seeking the answer from the Word of God. Christians look for a church, or look for a mate, or plan a career, and do it all based upon what feels right at the time. That's what the Jews did, and it resulted in some very poor decisions that wound up bringing the wrath of God down on their heads.
In verse 5 we read about their false worship. The calf of Samaria is mentioned here. This refers back to the golden calves that Jeroboam set up in Dan and Bethel. I Kings 12:28 tells us why he did this,
"It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt."
He did not want his people to go up to Jerusalem to worship, so he tried to set up a system whereby the Jews could worship Jehovah and still stay away from Judah. It is important to note that Jeroboam was not trying to get the people to worship Baal or some other false deity. He wanted the people to worship Jehovah, but to use un-Scriptural and pagan means to do so. The relevance of this to modern Christianity is obvious. Many evangelical churches still claim to worship the God of the Bible, but they use fleshly methodologies to do so. They use the music of the heathen, but give it Christian lyrics. They use a party-like atmosphere in church and call it worship. They use psychology and stand-up comedy from the pulpit and call it preaching. They adopt as licentious lifestyle and call it Christian liberty. This worldly worship of God causes Him to cast them off, just like He did with the Jews.
Verse 7 tells us that the Jews
"have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind".
You always get back more than what you have done. Those of us who are sowing to the world and in opposition to the Lord need to evaluate where we are and what we're doing. The whirlwind of judgment is coming, and we need to be doing right, deciding right, and worshipping right.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery