Hosea 9* The distress to come upon Israel. (1-6) The approach of theday of trouble. (7-10) Judgments on Israel. (11-17)1-6 Israel gave rewards to their idols, in the offeringspresented to them. It is common for those who are niggardly inreligion, to be prodigal upon their lusts. Those are reckoned asidolaters, who love a reward in the corn-floor better than areward in the favour of God and in eternal life. They are fullof the joy of harvest, and have no disposition to mourn for sin.When we make the world, and the things of it, our idol and ourportion, it is just with God to show us our folly, and correctus. None may expect to dwell in the Lord's land, who will not besubject to the Lord's laws, or be influenced by his love. Whenwe enjoy the means of grace, we ought to consider what we shalldo, if they should be taken from us. While the pleasures ofcommunion with God are out of the reach of change, the pleasantplaces purchased with silver, or in which men deposit silver,are liable to be laid in ruins. No famine is so dreadful as thatof the soul. 7-10 Time had been when the spiritual watchmen of Israel werewith the Lord, but now they were like the snare of a fowler toentangle persons to their ruin. The people were become ascorrupt as those of Gibeah, #Jud 19|; and their crimes should bevisited in like manner. At first God had found Israel pleasingto Him, as grapes to the traveller in the wilderness. He sawthem with pleasure as the first ripe figs. This shows thedelight God took in them; yet they followed after idolatry. 11-17. God departs from a people, or from a person, when hewithdraws his goodness and mercy from them; and when the Lord isdeparted, what can the creature do? Even though, for thepresent, good things seem to remain, yet the blessing is gone ifGod is gone. Even the children should perish with the parents.The Divine wrath dries up the root, and withers the fruit of allcomforts; and the scattered Jews daily warn us to beware, lestwe neglect or abuse the gospel. Yet every smiting is not adrying up of the root. It may be that God intends only to smiteso that the sap may be turned to the root, that there may bemore of root graces, more humility, patience, faith, andself-denial. It is very just that God should bring judgments onthose who slight his offered mercy.
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