We concluded our preceding article [chapter 5] with…“…until they acknowledge their offence — The Hebrew is, ‘till they suffer the penalty of their guilt and repent.’” Sadly, this is still the status quo today. It will take the Tribulation to drive Israelis to finally acknowledge God and his son Jesus, the Messiah. The people of Israel have neither acknowledged their offence nor repented. This means Hosea 5:15.” I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me” is *still the consequence.
PS: *This may actually answer this article’s closing question per bible commentary debates.
This chapter has one of the most controversial statements or wishee-washee explanations found in commentaries and if they dare, from the pulpits if ministers will address the controversy. The best assurance that these first two verses have big meaning is to look at the final verse in chapter 6, then rest assured. It reads…
Hosea 6:11 [ERV] “Judah, there is also a time of harvest for you. It will happen when I bring back my people from captivity.”
JIV INSIGHT: The Brenton’s English Septuagint adds a verse 12. “Israel and Judah are defiled; (v12) begin together grapes for thyself, when I turn the captivity of my people. None of my other 18 translation has a verse 12.
What we do know is Hosea is a prophet to the ten Northern Tribes of Israel now includes Judah in his prophecies and prayer. He also begins to identify the northern kingdom of Israel as Ephraim [we discussed this a bit in our previous article on chapter 5]. Be mindful that Amos is alive during the same time as is Hosea. Amos comes from Judah but at times implicates Ephraim; i.e. The Kingdom of Israel to the north. Hosea targets Israel but often refers or includes Judah.
Hosea 6:1 is so reflective of the world, both God-believers and those who reject such. The ESV in 1a says (paraphrase is mine) We must return to the Lord (yeh-ho-vaw’) for it is us who left him, not him who left us. This is so close to James 4:8 in meaning and perhaps lesson learned. [NIV] Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Hosea was speaking to ears that would not listen at the same time as Amos from Judah was saying the same thing but with an emphasis on class discrimination in Sameria.
Hosea 6:4 might circumstantially be familiar with every parent. It reads: “O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? For your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goes away”. Many parents today and in the past have said, “Oh __?__, what can I do with you to get you to obey?” THAT CHILD in his or her family who can only be obedient for a few moments then wanders off into more trouble. S/he never seems to learn the lesson being taught by his or her parent. God the Father and husband of Israel is saying the same thing. He tells them through prophets but they wander off to other gods and nations; i.e. this is the adultery to which Hosea exemplified in his marriage with Gomer. She would not remain home but short times before going out seeking other pleasures. Hosea identifies her actions of obedience like the morning clouds.
Hosea 6:6 is for critical Bible learning. “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. “ Remember that mercy is only for the guilty to be set free. Hang in here. Burnt offering or offerings of any type other than gaining God KNOWLEDGE (study) is preferred by God over our offerings. What might this verse mean to those who think that their tithe is a form of worship in and by itself? Does a person of this mindset know anything about God other than the Bible stories? They substitute bible reading (if at all) for bible study. To KNOW the Lord God is only the beginning of knowledge [C.f. Proverbs 1:7 & 9:10].
This takes a student of the Bible to the passage ending chapter 6. The BBC (Believers Bible Commentary) shows another conflict of commentary and pulpit interpretations. Note the final sentence…
6:7-11 “But they, like Adam (RV), had transgressed the covenant.” The wickedness of Israel is pictured in verses 7-10 as a city of evildoers, bands of robbers, and a murdering company of priests. Judah, too, is appointed to a harvest of suffering (v. 11) before God restores the fortunes of His people. (Some theologians think the harvest here is one of blessing, not judgment)” What about thinking of it as ‘we reap what we sow”? [Galatians 6:7]
So how is this resolved in the believer’s mind and heart: 2 Timothy 2:15…[ESV] “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
This is the primary goal of this website; ahabiblemoments.com. It is to help believers around the world to better knowledge of the Word of God far beyond the Bible Stories that even nonbelievers can narrate.
Rev. Dr. Jstark – 2020