The Lord has been speaking powerfully to my heart through Hosea 10 — first, about my own life, but also about our declining churches and our rebellious nation.
If you haven’t read it recently, Hosea 10 talks about how God told his people to plant seeds of justice/righteousness (tsedaqah), but they were becoming rich and chose instead to build beautiful places of worship where the creature was celebrated instead of the Creator. They trusted in the strength of men instead of God’s mighty arm. They did not plant tsedaqah. They allowed the heart-soil to become hard. They even cultivated wickedness and harvested a great crop of sin. They spouted empty words of love for God and made promises to the Lord they had no intention of keeping. As a result, injustice sprang up in the nation, instead of God’s shalom, and the Lord swore their altars would be broken down and become overgrown with weeds. He would use the armies of the nations to punish his people, and they would be forced to break up the hard ground anyway.
Does any of this sound familiar?
God told Hosea to marry a prostitute, Gomer, as a sign to Israel that they had turned their hearts against the Lord.
We are Gomer: Self-absorbed, “it’s all about me” Christians and the churches that entertain them. Smörgåsbord congregations that market to consumers and ignore the cries of the poor. A once-blessed nation that has decided license is better than liberty, and self-indulgence better than walking in God’s ways. And our children will be called Jezreel, Lo-ruhamah, and Lo-ammi.
Hosea 10 should fill our hearts with the fear of the Lord and drive us to repentance and confession. Verse 10 says: “Now whenever it fits my plan, I will attack you, too. I will call out the armies of the nations to punish you for your multiplied sin.” Verse 8 predicts: “They will beg the mountains, ‘Bury us!’ and plead with the hills, ‘Fall on us!’”
Perhaps it is not too late for us to follow the Lord’s command in verse 12: Plant the good seeds of tsedaqah, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower justice and righteousness upon you.