Hosea 8

* Destruction threatened for the impiety of Israel. (1-4) For

their idolatry. (5-10) Further threatenings for the same sins.

(11-14)

1-4 When Israel was hard pressed, they would claim protection

from God, but this would be disregarded. What stead will it

stand 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, by

worshipping idols, but their expectations came to nothing. What

they sow has no stalk, no blade, or, if it have, the bud shall

yield no fruit, there was nothing in them. The works of darkness

are unfruitful; nay, the end of those things is death. The hopes

of sinners will deceive them, and their gains will be snares. In

times of danger, especially in the day of judgment, all carnal

devices will fail. They take a course by themselves, and like a

wild ass by himself, they will be the easier and surer prey for

the lion. Man is in nothing more like the wild ass's colt, than

in seeking for that succour and that satisfaction in the

creature, which are to be had in God only. Though men may sorrow

a little, yet if it is not after a godly sort, they will be

brought to sorrow everlastingly.
11-14 It is a great sin to corrupt the worship of God, and will

be charged as sin on all who do it, how plausible soever their

excuses may seem to be. The Lord had caused his law to be

written for them, but they cared not to know, and would not obey

it. Man seems by the temples he builds to be mindful of his

Maker, yet really he has forgotten him, because he has cast off

all his fear; but none ever hardened his heart against God and

prospered. So long as men despise the truths and precepts of

God's word, and the ordinances of his worship, all the

observances and offerings, however costly, of their own

devising, will be unto them for sin; for those services only are

acceptable to God, which are done according to his word, and

through Jesus Christ.
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