Hosea 10* The idolatry of Israel. (1-8) They are exhorted to repentance.(9-15)1-8 A vine is only valuable for its fruit; but Israel nowbrought no fruit to perfection. Their hearts were divided. Godis the Sovereign of the heart; he will have all, or none. Werethe stream of the heart wholly after God, it would run strongly,and bear down all before it. Their pretences to covenant withGod were false. Even the proceeding of justice was as poisonoushemlock. Alas, how empty a vine is the visible church even atthis day! But all earthly prosperity is but a collection ofbubbles, soon destroyed like foam upon the water. Sinners willin vain seek shelter from that Judge, whom they now despise as aSaviour. 9-15 Because God does not desire the death and ruin of sinners,therefore in mercy he desires their chastisement. The childrenof iniquity still remained in Israel. The enemies would begathered against them. It is just with God to make those knowwhat hardships mean, who indulge themselves in ease andpleasure. Let them cleanse their hearts from all corruptaffections and lusts, and be a broken and contrite spirit. Letthem abound in works of piety towards God, and of justice andcharity towards one another: herein let them sow to the Spirit.Seeking the Lord is to be every day's work, but there arespecial occasions when to seek him. Christ shall come as theLord our righteousness, and grant us of it abundantly. If we sowin righteousness, we shall reap according to mercy; a reward notof debt, but of grace. Even the gains of sin yield the sinner nosatisfaction. As our comforts, so our confidences in the serviceof sin will certainly fail us. Come and seek the Lord, and thyhope in him shall not deceive thee. See what cruel work warmakes. Whatever mischief is done, it is sin that does it. Whatmiseries men's sins bring on them, even in this world!
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