This is a tough book to get through… but we will get through it little by little. I hope you are getting the metaphors used and historical points I can throw in there. There is a lot to learn from the history of the time when this book was written. A lot was going on in and around Israel. I am learning a lot by doing this one!
Israel to Reap in the Whirlwind
The imagery of the title in interesting. Reap means to gather or to cut as with a sickle in harvest time. A whirlwind looks chaotic, everything blowing all over the place and being thrown up into the air. Trying to gather crops in a whirlwind would turn disastrous very quickly and be quite pointless actually.
“Israel cries out to me, ‘O our God, we acknowledge you!” (v2)
This is God speaking in the first person narrative. The people may call out in acknowledgement, but their actions were not of worship to the Lord.
“But Israel has rejected what is good; an enemy will pursue him.” (v3)
What is good is the Lord but they have been corrupted with pagan practices and notions. The “enemy” here is Assyrians.
Verse 4 describes how Israel has been not coming to God with their decision making with kings and leaders and that their idols would lead to their destruction.
“How long will they be incapable of purity?” (v5) God seems frustrated here with their actions. He has laid out the rules and they still won’t do what is asked/commanded of them. Make me wonder if my actions are frustrating Him. Is there anything I am doing that He just sees and says “how long will she be capable of this?”
“It is not God.” (v6) talking about a calf idol. Quite simply put Hosea! That wooden calf is not a God, our job is not God, not our money (or lack there of), not a husband/boyfriend, not anything… why do we insist on making them our God?
“Israel is swallowed up; now she among the nations like a worthless thing.” (v8)
Israel was set apart as God’s people. They were the chosen ones. But they have conformed to other nations and lost their identity and became “worthless” to God.
God has chosen you. Set you and me apart. We are special to Him. I don’t want to conform to world and became “worthless” in God’s eyes.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will” Romans 12:12
“We have been set apart as holy because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do by sacrificing his body once and for all” Hebrews 10:10
Wow. I think we need to stop right there for today.We have been set apart. God had rescued us out of the darkness not to conform to the worldly things around us, but to be His holy redeemed people! Are you living in the world or of the world? Are we being like Israel and going to our false idols of money and jobs to find our love and joy or are we going to our Maker who created all that is good?