Hosea 7* The manifold sins of Israel. (1-7) Their senselessness andhypocrisy. (8-16)1-7 A practical disbelief of God's government was at the bottomof all israel's wickedness; as if God could not see it or didnot heed it. Their sins appear on every side of them. Theirhearts were inflamed by evil desires, like a heated oven. In themidst of their troubles as a nation, the people never thought ofseeking help from God. The actual wickedness of men's livesbears a very small proportion to what is in their hearts. Butwhen lust is inwardly cherished, it will break forth intooutward sin. Those who tempt others to drunkenness never can betheir real friends, and often design their ruin. Thus menexecute the Divine vengeance on each other. Those are not onlyheated with sin, but hardened in sin, who continue to livewithout prayer, even when in trouble and distress. 8-16 Israel was as a cake not turned, half burnt and halfdough, none of it fit for use; a mixture of idolatry and of theworship of Jehovah. There were tokens of approaching ruin, asgrey hairs are of old age, but they noticed them not. The pridewhich leads to break the law of God leads to self-flattery. Themercy and grace of God are the only refuge to which obstinatesinners never think of fleeing. Though they may howl forth theirterrors in the form of prayers, they seldom cry to God withtheir hearts. Even their prayers for earthly mercies only seekfuel for their lusts. Their turning from one sect, sentiment,form, or vice, to another, still leaves them far short of Christand holiness. Such are we by nature. And such shall we prove ifleft to ourselves. Create in us a clean heart, O God, and renewa right spirit within us.
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