Text: Hosea 13:1-16
The time has come, for Hosea has the terrible duty to announce the death of a nation (vv. 1-2) . This chapter is probably written in 722 B.C., just after the Assyrians had taken the last Israelite king captive, and are now finishing off the rest of the country. Idolatry had taken root; it had corrupted the people through human sacrifice. What? Yes, it is well-known that there were forms of worship in Canaan that included child sacrifice; by placing babies on a burning altar. This was just too much, and Yahweh would not allow a nation to continue because of this sin. God is not a liar like these people were, for He would fulfill His promises to judge and destroy those who stubbornly would not believe in the value of life as He did.
Another aspect of their rebellion is their trust in the king instead of Yahweh (vv.10-11). Their own king had approved of child sacrifice; so, the country followed in this wicked and destructive practice. In so doing, they were obeying their king as god, which is another form of idolatry. This shows how dangerous it is to put your full faith into any form of government. Who holds the king accountable? Kings and rulers are to be respected and obeyed, but when things become wicked and destroy the country, who will stand up and be a voice for truth and justice? Who will stand up for helpless and vulnerable children? You and I are called to be their voice, their protectors. Pray that you can be brave and stand up for the innocent!
Meditate on verses 10-11. How are you going to respond to them?
Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, forgive me for the many times I have relied on the hand of fresh. In Your judgment have mercy on me. Amen.