Blogging Through the Prophets: Of No Use to God.

Hosea 7

 

Hosea7Hosea continued to drive home his indictment of the people of Israel with images that emphasized the insincerity of the people as well as the dangers of their failure to repent. These images initially seem positive but they are not. The first image is that of an oven. This represented the adulterous immorality of Israel. The oven burns continuously with passion not for Yahweh but for the physical desires and lusts of the people. The hot oven produced the second image, a half-baked cake that is uncooked on one side and burnt on the other, unfit for consumption and so unfit for the service of the Lord. Hosea also compared Israel to a dove that seems peaceful and calm but is really gullible, foolish and easily misled. She did not seek the help of Yahweh when in trouble but trusted in worldly kingdoms. Finally, Israel is a faulty weapon that again is useless in the service of the Lord.

As we know, despite these graphic images, Israel did not heed the word of Hosea. Neither do the people of the 21st Century. People in our contemporary society do not want to think about sin. This would include many churches even evangelical ones. The sins that many liberal churches emphasize are those of institutions and governmental systems such as racism, injustice, sexual abuse and religious fundamentalism. They tend to ignore the sins committed by individuals such as abortion, sexual immorality, materialism and pride sins which are rightly deplored by evangelical churches. Those same churches though seem to ignore the plight of the poor and the needy. God will judge the church and nation by its tolerance of all such evils.

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