Daily Reading: Hosea 7, 8, 9; Revelation 1
As for My sacrificial gifts, They sacrifice the flesh and eat it, But the Lord has taken no delight in them. Now He will remember their iniquity, And punish them for their sins; They will return to Egypt. (Hosea 8:13, NASB95)
God declares that He will judge Israel for their sin. Why? Their attitude toward sacrifices and the law reveals that they have forgotten their Maker (Hos. 8:14).
- They have multiplied their altars, showing how lightly they regard sin and how cheap they think of grace (Hos. 8:11). The many altars likely refer to those of fertility cults, which have become altars of judgment not prosperity in God’s sight.
- God’s law, though it abundantly explains His will for their lives, is regarded as decrees of a foreign god (Hos. 8:12).
Israel clearly doesn’t know God (Hos. 8:14), nor pleases Him. Therefore, He reverses the priestly blessing and calls for their destruction and return to Egypt.
- After they offered a sacrifice and participated by eating of the sacrificial animal, the worshipper expected a priestly blessing. Instead, God proclaims the opposite.
- Return to Egypt is a call for them to return to slavery. Yet, it’s more than this because they are already enslaved to their idolatry. It is a call for them to be reborn. Israel must return to Egypt so that He can once again bring them out in a new and greater exodus (Hos. 2:14-15; see Is. 40:3-5). Jesus says that a grain of wheat must fall into the ground and die, and if it does, it bears much fruit (Jn. 12:24). Israel must die so that it can be resurrected.
This true and greater rebirth takes place in Jesus. He is the one who will offer a better sacrifice, on a better covenant, with better promises, and lead the people into eternal life. He is not only the Saviour of Israel, but also of the whole world. He desires not to bring judgment but blessing! How have you responded to God’s gift of His Son? Have you experienced God’s pleasure, forgiveness, grace, and freedom in your life?