Wednesday: The Case Against Israel
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Hosea 4:1-3 presents God as one who brings a charge or a legal dispute (Hebrew rîb) against Israel.

Image © Standard Publishing from GoodSalt.com

Image © Standard Publishing from GoodSalt.com

The chosen nation stood guilty before her God because the people had failed to live up to the terms of the covenant. Truth, mercy, and the knowledge of God were to be qualities of Israel’s unique relationship with Him. According to Hosea 2:18-20, these are gifts that God bestows on His people at the renewal of the covenant.

Due to sin, however, Israel’s life was devoid of these gifts of grace. The crimes listed by Hosea had brought the nation to the brink of anarchy. The religious leaders, priest and prophet alike, shared responsibility in the current deterioration of Israel’s life and were held accountable for it. Theirs was a heavy responsibility. If they did not confront the abuses and did not condemn the acts of injustice, they themselves would be condemned by God.

In the Old Testament, idol worship was considered to be the most serious sin because it denied the role of the Lord God in the lives of the nation and the individual. Due to the dry climate, rains in the land of Israel were a matter of life and death. The Israelites came to believe that their blessings, such as life-giving rain, were coming from Baal. Thus, they built shrines to foreign gods and began mixing immorality with worship.

At the same time, social injustice was rife in the land. The rich classes in Israel exploited the peasants in order to be able to pay tribute to Assyria. Many resorted to fraud and cheating (Hos. 12:7-8). It was through this that the formerly peaceful and prosperous period led to a time of political and social turbulence. The country was at the brink of total chaos.

“Poor rich men, professing to serve God, are objects of pity. While they profess to know God, in works they deny Him. How great is the darkness of such! They profess faith in the truth, but their works do not correspond with their profession. The love of riches makes men selfish, exacting, and overbearing. Wealth is power; and frequently the love of it depraves and paralyzes all that is noble and godlike in man.”—Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 682.

Read James 5:1-7. How do these words fit in with present truth as expressed in the three angels’ messages ofRevelation 14:6-12? Whatever our financial position, how can we protect ourselves from the dangers that money always presents to the followers of Christ?

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Wednesday: The Case Against Israel — 10 Comments

  1. How nice to have a God like mine, a God who forgives even sins that are so embarrassing. I love this God because He loved me first and He loved me when I am not worthy to be loved.

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  2. hosea was truly obediant to God he alow God the use him to communicate good news through hard experience.

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  3. Isn't the problem the way they acquire their wealth and that they were so far into idolatry because of their wealth which I think the problem is not the money itself but what kind of steward are you with what God has trusted you with. Currently, we are no better. The children's mind are so corrupt at a tender age because we are going further and further from God and we are so under satan influence even in the church and we are not aware how deep in sin we are. Sin is clothe all around us, we are an adulterous nation and we do not even remember to whom we truly belong; married to Christ and not the dragon.

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    • I am trying to find someone named Angela James that took a Hebrew class at eTeacher.com

      thanks
      Kathleen Oden

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  4. "Truth, mercy, and the knowledge of God were to be qualities of Israel’s unique relationship with Him. According to Hosea 2:18-20, these are gifts that God bestows on His people at the renewal of the covenant."
    In our local congregations there is constant need for this renewal of covenant.
    We can live in Gomor or in Christ's peace.

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  5. Our God is a forgiving God despite how Israel sin against Him, He still calls them as His children.

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  6. Sometimes God's methods of doing things seem strange. Through the prophets God was constantly chastising them for failing to adhere to the covenant at Sinai. It seems to me that He was doing the same thing through Hosea that He did in the Garden of Eden when he called out "Where are you?" (Gen. 3:9 NKJV) and asked Adam, "Who told you that you were naked?" (Gen. 3:11 NKJV) and to Eve, "What is this you have done?" (Gen. 3:13 NKJV). God knew full well what happened but was trying to get them to think about the whole thing.

    Hebrews states, "But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second" (Heb. 8:6-7 NKJV). Faulty, yes, because it was based on the promises of man instead of the solid promises of God. That is why there are no human promises in the new covenant - it is all God's promises and all we have to do is to accept them.

    Concerning the old covenant Ellen White has an interesting take on it:

    God brought them to Sinai; He manifested His glory; He gave them His law, with the promise of great blessings on condition of obedience: "If ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then . . . ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation." Exodus 19:5, 6. The people did not realize the sinfulness of their own hearts, and that without Christ it was impossible for them to keep God's law; and they readily entered into covenant with God. Feeling that they were able to establish their own righteousness, they declared, "All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient." Exodus 24:7. They had witnessed the proclamation of the law in awful majesty, and had trembled with terror before the mount; and yet only a few weeks passed before they broke their covenant with God, and bowed down to worship a graven image. They could not hope for the favor of God through a covenant which they had broken; and now, seeing their sinfulness and their need of pardon, they were brought to feel their need of the Saviour revealed in the Abrahamic covenant and shadowed forth in the sacrificial offerings. Now by faith and love they were bound to God as their deliverer from the bondage of sin. Now they were prepared to appreciate the blessings of the new covenant. (Patriarchs and Prophets 371.4)

    The problem is that they never really got to that point and continually attempted to adhere to the provisions of the old covenant. That was the reason for their failure which they never learned and we see through Hosea God's attempts to get them to see "where they were" and hopefully return to the Abrahamic covenant which was the same as the new covenant.

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  7. Yes, God wanted them to trust in him, worship him and him only. How he must have felt, his heart was broken, that his chosen people turned away from him and tried to do everything their way through worship of a different kind. This is how Satan wants it to be in this day and age. We are in the same position today, as back then. We cannot turn our backs on our Lord and Savior, our true God in heaven. Put your trust in Him ,this lesson is a little difficult. However its much needed today as we are living in a time of so much hate and pride, we have come to God with an open heart. Amen

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  8. A parable written in the life of Hosea is telling us in the life we understand that God is pained so much when we worship other gods.

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