Hosea 4

* God's judgments against the sins of the people. (1-5) and of

the priests. (6-11) Idolatry is reproved, and Judah is

admonished. (12-19)

1-5 Hosea reproves for immorality, as well as idolatry. There

was no truth, mercy, or knowledge of God in the land: it was

full of murders, #2Ki 21:16|. Therefore calamities were near,

which would desolate the country. Our sins, as separate persons,

as a family, as a neighbourhood, as a nation, cause the Lord to

have a controversy with us; let us submit and humble ourselves

before Him, that he may not go on to destroy.
6-11 Both priests and people rejected knowledge; God will

justly reject them. They forgot the law of God, neither desired

nor endeavoured to retain it in mind, and to transmit the

remembrance to their posterity; therefore God will justly forget

them and their children. If we dishonour God with that which is

our honour, it will, sooner or later, be turned into shame to

us. Instead of warning the people against sin, from the

consideration of the sacrifices, which showed what an offence

sin was to God, since it needed an atonement, the priests

encouraged the people to sin, since atonement might be made at

so small an expense. It is very wicked to be pleased with the

sins of others, because they may turn to our advantage. What is

unlawfully gained, cannot be comfortably used. The people and

the priests hardened one another in sin; therefore justly shall

they share in the punishment. Sharers in sin must expect to

share in ruin. Any lust harboured in the heart, in time will eat

out all its strength and vigour. That is the reason why many

professors grow so heavy, so dull, so dead in the way of

religion. They have a liking for some secret lust, which takes

away their hearts.
12-19 The people consulted images, and not the Divine word.

This would lead to disorder and sin. Thus men prepare scourges

for themselves, and vice is spread through a people. Let not

Judah come near the idolatrous worship of Israel. For Israel was

devoted to idols, and must now be let alone. When sinners cast

off the easy yoke of Christ, they go on in sin till the Lord

saith, Let them alone. Then they receive no more warnings, feel

no more convictions: Satan takes full possession of them, and

they ripen for destruction. It is a sad and sore judgment for

any man to be let alone in sin. Those who are not disturbed in

their sin, will be destroyed for their sin. May we be kept from

this awful state; for the wrath of God, like a strong tempest,

will soon hurry impenitent sinners into ruin.
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