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 now

brought no fruit to perfection. Their hearts were divided. God

is the Sovereign of the heart; he will have all, or none. Were

the stream of the heart wholly after God, it would run strongly,

and bear down all before it. Their pretences to covenant with

God were false. Even the proceeding of justice was as poisonous

hemlock. Alas, how empty a vine is the visible church even at

this day! But all earthly prosperity is but a collection of

bubbles, soon destroyed like foam upon the water. Sinners will

in vain seek shelter from that Judge, whom they now despise as a

Saviour.
9-15 Because God does not desire the death and ruin of sinners,

therefore in mercy he desires their chastisement. The children

of iniquity still remained in Israel. The enemies would be

gathered against them. It is just with God to make those know

what hardships mean, who indulge themselves in ease and

pleasure. Let them cleanse their hearts from all corrupt

affections and lusts, and be a broken and contrite spirit. Let

them abound in works of piety towards God, and of justice and

charity towards one another: herein let them sow to the Spirit.

Seeking the Lord is to be every day's work, but there are

special occasions when to seek him. Christ shall come as the

Lord our righteousness, and grant us of it abundantly. If we sow

in righteousness, we shall reap according to mercy; a reward not

of debt, but of grace. Even the gains of sin yield the sinner no

satisfaction. As our comforts, so our confidences in the service

of sin will certainly fail us. Come and seek the Lord, and thy

hope in him shall not deceive thee. See what cruel work war

makes. Whatever mischief is done, it is sin that does it. What

miseries men's sins bring on them, even in this world!
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