Hosea 8* Destruction threatened for the impiety of Israel. (1-4) Fortheir idolatry. (5-10) Further threatenings for the same sins.(11-14)1-4 When Israel was hard pressed, they would claim protectionfrom God, but this would be disregarded. What stead will itstand in to say, My God, I know thee, if we cannot say, My God,I love thee, serve thee, and cleave to thee only? 5-10 They promised themselves plenty, peace, and victory, byworshipping idols, but their expectations came to nothing. Whatthey sow has no stalk, no blade, or, if it have, the bud shallyield no fruit, there was nothing in them. The works of darknessare unfruitful; nay, the end of those things is death. The hopesof sinners will deceive them, and their gains will be snares. Intimes of danger, especially in the day of judgment, all carnaldevices will fail. They take a course by themselves, and like awild ass by himself, they will be the easier and surer prey forthe lion. Man is in nothing more like the wild ass's colt, thanin seeking for that succour and that satisfaction in thecreature, which are to be had in God only. Though men may sorrowa little, yet if it is not after a godly sort, they will bebrought to sorrow everlastingly. 11-14 It is a great sin to corrupt the worship of God, and willbe charged as sin on all who do it, how plausible soever theirexcuses may seem to be. The Lord had caused his law to bewritten for them, but they cared not to know, and would not obeyit. Man seems by the temples he builds to be mindful of hisMaker, yet really he has forgotten him, because he has cast offall his fear; but none ever hardened his heart against God andprospered. So long as men despise the truths and precepts ofGod's word, and the ordinances of his worship, all theobservances and offerings, however costly, of their owndevising, will be unto them for sin; for those services only areacceptable to God, which are done according to his word, andthrough Jesus Christ.
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