God’s Controversy With His People 2
“Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest. Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to Me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against Me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. They eat up the sin of My people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings. For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD.” Hosea 4:4-10 (KJV)
Verses 4 through 6 as well as the following four verses are directed toward the priests and prophets.
The priests and the prophets were told not to accuse the people, because they, themselves were at fault. This, by no means takes any personal responsibility away from the people, for they too are guilty. The greatest fault lies with the priests and prophets, because they had failed to teach the Law of God. Why? Because they rejected God’s law. Their “Mother” [Nation] would be destroyed. Church leadership which fails to proclaim the Law of God, the Word or God with its rebukes and warnings; as well as its blessings and promises is remiss in doing the work and will of God; thus rejecting God and His Word.
The preacher/prophet may fail to meet the expectations of the people, but if he fails to proclaim God’s Word he wreaks havoc upon himself, and the people. If the priests (Every born again believer) fails to warn the lost of his/her condemnation, and fails to pray for the lost to be reconciled to God, then, we bring shame on ourselves and eternal havoc and ruin on those whom we have failed to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In verses 7 through 10 the condemnation continues upon the priests.
It appears that as God blessed the priests (and nation) they began to be comfortable, and sin against God. It is not sin to be comfortable, or to live in comfort. The sin is while in comfort we forget, forsake, and do not praise the LORD.
The priests received offerings from the people. Possibly a sin offering is implied by verse eight. These meat offerings were to be eaten by the priests, and their families – as a means of support – and rather than rebuking the people for their sin, encouraged them to continue in sin. Maybe not with words, but in the absence of words of rebuke. So, just as the priests are condemned because they reject the law of God, the people are condemned because of their willful ignorance of God. They loved their sin too much to find out what the will of God was.
There would be no satisfaction, no fulfillment in their indulgence of sin. They would not be a fruitful people. Even though they thought that enjoying the fulfilling of their lust through hedonistic temple acts would guarantee many children and bountiful harvest; it would not be so. The reason God gives is, “Because they have left off to take heed to the LORD.”
There is much sin within the churches of the United States of America in the 21st century. Yet, we have an awesome and wondrous Saviour. His name is Jesus. He died for us because He loves us. He loves us too much to leave us the way we are. He will do whatever it takes to make us holy.
-Tim A. Blankenship