“Israel is swallowed up; now she is among the nations like a worthless thing.” (v8)
In verse 9, the Israelites are compared to a wild donkey wandering alone to Assyria. Donkeys are known for their stubbornness and the people are still looking for Assyrian protection despite God’s warnings. “Ephraim has sold herself to lovers.” (v9) Again, comparing the people to a prostitute selling herself for nothing compared to what the people could have with God.
God reminds the people that their enemy was not Assyria or Egypt, it was The Lord himself if they did not start to repent and listen. He would send judgement to them through the king of Assyria. “They will begin to waste away under the oppression of the mighty king.” (v10)
Even though the people were building altars for offerings, these were not to the Lord and with a heart of repentance and love for Him. These offerings just added to the sins they were committing.
“I wrote them the many things of my law, but they regarded them as something alien.” (v12) The people knew the laws and what The Lord had done for them in the past but had forgotten or refused to believe. How many times do we turn away and forget what He has done for us before? We start to worry about the next paycheck or if we we will ever get married: He has provided for us in the past and will continue to do so in the future. We need to keep steadfast in our faith and remember what He has done.
“They offer sacrifices given to me and they eat the meat, but the Lord is not pleased with them. Now he will remember their wickedness and punish their sins: They will return to Egypt.” (v13) The sacrifices were not pleasing to the Lord so the sins were not forgiven. We have to fully repent to the Lord to have our sins cleansed.
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” (Acts 3:19)
The Israelites were not committing themselves to Him. They were honoring other Gods and disobeying God’s Word so He threatens punishment. “I will send fire upon their cities that will consume their fortresses.” (v14) Israel’s trust was not in their Maker but in what she had accomplished.
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18