The Terrible Results of Sin
-- Hosea Nine --


          Hosea rebuked Israel for the horrible things they did on the corn floors. They would gather at the corn floors, offer sacrifice and enjoy the plenty they had. That sounds good until you realize that they praised some idol god for giving the abundance that cane from the hand of God. As a result of such ungodliness Jehovah promised Israel both famine and exile.


          They were to be taken captive by a nation that would pollute their sacrifices and their daily lives would be corrupted even more. In that day they would desire the means of worshipping God like their fathers did but the opportunities of those appointments would be lost. Their overthrow would be brought about speedily. All pleasant things would become desolate.


          God reminded Israel of how that early on He had declared His grace and favor upon them. He took delight in their obedience and blessed their nation abundantly. Sadly they had so revolted against god that now "their glory shall fly away like a bird." God will forsake them, and their children will face certain destruction. Their doom is pronounced in the words, "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." (Hosea 9:16-17)


          Israel faced certain destruction -- Hosea 9:1-6: Israel was headed for a fall. They had been unfaithful to God by behaving like spiritual prostitutes. They enjoyed the blessings they had received from Jehovah and yet gave credit to some idol for these blessings. They had gone a whoring or they had lusted after the gods of the heathen. How wrong Israel was in thinking that their physical prosperity came from some idol god.


          The punishment for their rebellion against God would be both a lack of food and captivity in a foreign land. God told them, "You will run short of grain and wine." He also said you will have to leave the land of the LORD. Some of you will go to Egypt; others will go to Assyria and eat unclean food." Israel would no longer be allowed to dwell in the Lord's land or Palestine. They would go into bondage as bad as Egypt ever had been. During captivity in Assyria they would be forced to eat unclean things.


          God was dissatisfied with the entire conduct of His people. He told them that they would not be able to offer sacrifices to God and that if they did offer a sacrifice it would not please Him. God's people were destined to suffer in the land of 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." (Hosea 9:4) During their exile the nation would no longer be able to celebrate the solemn feast of the LORD. Even if they should be part of a remnant that escaped all would still be lost for them.


          Israel separated themselves unto shame -- Hosea 9:7-10: The time had now come that Israel would receive what they deserved. The sad thing is that Israel knew it too. They knew that they deserved this punishment from God. The ones that should have led Israel back to God have been nothing but a disappointment. The prophets were fools and the spiritually minded men acted as if they were "mad." Israel was guilty of many sins and especially the sin of hatred.


          God's watchman came with His message for the people. He was rejected and the false prophet accepted in his stead. The false prophet was a hidden snare to the people. He got them into serious trouble. They were just as brutal and corrupt as were the men of Gibeah when the Levite’s wife was raped and murdered. God remembered their sin, and now they will face punishment. God had taken Israel as a weak and defenseless people and made of them a great nation.


          They had an opportunity to glorify God for what He had done for them Instead they worshipped "Baal Peor, that disgusting idol, and became as disgusting as the idol they loved." Baal Peor was a Moabite idol. In worship to Baal young women prostituted themselves. This became one of the sins that Israel was later guilty of.


          Israel's glory flew away -- Hosea 9:11-14: The glory of Israel would fly away like a bird. They would no longer be a growing and productive nation. Their women would no longer be able to give birth. Ephraim had changed in a terrible way. They had moved from devotion to the true and living God to the low estate of an idolatrous worshiper. This was a certain path of ruin. Even if they did have children, God took them all away and left the people to mourn. Some of their children were taken away by misfortune in the home land and many others were taken away by Assyrian captivity.


          At first Israel served God faithfully. He looked upon them as a flourishing palm tree in fertile ground. She had strength and beauty like great cities. Their disobedience caused all of this to be reversed. Now Ephraim would lead her children out only to be slaughtered. The power of the nation was reversed by the women not being able to have children or if they had them they were not able to nurse them or care for them. Sin brings terrible consequences.


          Israel dried up from the root -- Hosea 9:15-17:  Some horrible idolatry must have taken place at Gilgal. Saul's disobedience seemed to start at Gilgal and maybe this was the beginning of disobedience for Israel. God chased them out of His house because they did evil. The leaders in Israel betrayed both God and the people. Israel was now destined to feel the sting of God's hatred for sin.

Israel was destined to go into exile into a foreign land.


          "Ephraim is smitten. The thing being determined is considered as already done. "Israel was like a vine with dried-up roots and fruitless branches. They would never again be a kingdom. They never had any political form from their captivity by the Assyrians even till this present day.  Israel had disobeyed God and now He forced them to roam from nation to nation. Sin lead Israel to the loss of silver and everything that was precious to them and it finally led to the destruction of the entire nation. The merciful and faithful Creator cast them away because of their wickedness. Let us learn the lesson of God's hatred for sin and how that all sins will be punished.


          Today is the day when we should seriously consider God's judgment against the wicked. Will you not receive Christ as your Lord and Savior this day? To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Acts 8:37), and be baptized in order to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21) After baptism worship and serve God according to His truth!