-God reveals the heart of the matters in regards to Israel’s unfaithfulness in this section of the book. He desires and would heal them, but in their pride they resist His correction refusing to acknowledge that the LORD sees and remembers all their iniquity and wickedness. They are before His face (Hosea 7:2). *Application* How many times do we, or have we, excused sin in our own lives with the thought that we are getting away with it, or God doesn’t really see or care about our misconduct. This is a dangerous alibi as we see here in Scripture. The LORD is absolutely aware of every single thought in our minds proceeding from our heart and will hold us accountable for everything (Matthew 12:34-36).
-The text makes much of the analogy of being “hot like an oven (Hosea 7:4-7).” This refers to a lust for power and intrigue that had consumed the hearts of these Jewish leaders. They were ignoring the LORD’s commands and doing things just as they pleased following after the worldly nations around them (Hosea 7:8-9). It ultimately is their pride that the LORD detests as we see here (Hosea 7:10). His plea is for them to return to Him and His covenant forsaking their dependence on Egypt and Assyria (Hosea 7:11). *Application* God says it is senseless to go to anyone other than Him for ultimate help and restoration. In our stubborn pride we can try to figure out ways to correct our issues and problems. We can even go to others for help apart from the Sovereign King, but it will avail us only misery and woe when His Spirit is not in it. This is a rebellious spirit, the LORD says, and will lead to destruction (Hosea 7:13). We miss the redemption of the LORD when we seek deliverance from a source other than Him (Hosea 7:13b). His chastisement is on us when we neglect His Word for our lives (Hosea 7:12). God had proclaimed His blessings and curses upon His people based on obedience to Him (Deuteronomy 28). They had agreed to do all God had commanded in His covenant (Exodus 24:3). They we were willing participants in the promises and retribution of their Sovereign just as we are. Christ Jesus has bought us with a price; therefore, we are to glory Him with our bodies and conform to His image (1 Corinthians 6:20, Colossians 3:10). This was and is a serious matter before God who is omniscient. In other words, don’t think you are getting away with anything because you are not.
-Verse 14 gives an interesting insight into the motives of the Israelites’ hearts. They are justly accused of crying out for the wrong reasons. They are insincere. They only wanted material blessing for themselves (grain and new wine). This is a turning away from the LORD He declares. It is devising evil against Him even though He has been good to them in provision and strength (Hosea 7:15). *Application* What is your motivation for crying out to the LORD? Do you sincerely want His will or do you simply want personal gain for yourself and your family? God knows the intentions of our heart and He wants us to be completely surrendered to His will. He is against selfish motives and intentions every time. It is His Kingdom we promote, not our own (Matthew 6:10).
-God ends the chapter with the fact that His people turn, but not toward Him (Hosea 7:16). This, the LORD says, is “a deceitful bow.” Think about that for a moment. This was their primary weaponry. “Deceitful” here has the connotation of misleading or fraudulent. In other words, it will not work properly. *Application* The only salvation we have is dependence on Jesus Christ and His work for our salvation. Apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).
Verse to Memorize: Hosea 7:14