Hosea 4* God's judgments against the sins of the people. (1-5) and ofthe priests. (6-11) Idolatry is reproved, and Judah isadmonished. (12-19)1-5 Hosea reproves for immorality, as well as idolatry. Therewas no truth, mercy, or knowledge of God in the land: it wasfull 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 tohave a controversy with us; let us submit and humble ourselvesbefore Him, that he may not go on to destroy. 6-11 Both priests and people rejected knowledge; God willjustly reject them. They forgot the law of God, neither desirednor endeavoured to retain it in mind, and to transmit theremembrance to their posterity; therefore God will justly forgetthem and their children. If we dishonour God with that which isour honour, it will, sooner or later, be turned into shame tous. Instead of warning the people against sin, from theconsideration of the sacrifices, which showed what an offencesin was to God, since it needed an atonement, the priestsencouraged the people to sin, since atonement might be made atso small an expense. It is very wicked to be pleased with thesins of others, because they may turn to our advantage. What isunlawfully gained, cannot be comfortably used. The people andthe priests hardened one another in sin; therefore justly shallthey share in the punishment. Sharers in sin must expect toshare in ruin. Any lust harboured in the heart, in time will eatout all its strength and vigour. That is the reason why manyprofessors grow so heavy, so dull, so dead in the way ofreligion. They have a liking for some secret lust, which takesaway their hearts. 12-19 The people consulted images, and not the Divine word.This would lead to disorder and sin. Thus men prepare scourgesfor themselves, and vice is spread through a people. Let notJudah come near the idolatrous worship of Israel. For Israel wasdevoted to idols, and must now be let alone. When sinners castoff the easy yoke of Christ, they go on in sin till the Lordsaith, Let them alone. Then they receive no more warnings, feelno more convictions: Satan takes full possession of them, andthey ripen for destruction. It is a sad and sore judgment forany man to be let alone in sin. Those who are not disturbed intheir sin, will be destroyed for their sin. May we be kept fromthis awful state; for the wrath of God, like a strong tempest,will soon hurry impenitent sinners into ruin.
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