In Chapter 4 of Hosea, he issues a “word of the LORD” to the nation through his prophet (v. 1a). See if these conditions seem familiar:
“There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land” (v. 1b).
“There is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed” (v. 2).
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (v. 6).
“Your daughters play the whore, and your brides commit adultery. … The men themselves go aside with prostitutes and sacrifice with cult prostitutes” (vv. 13–14).
The people of the southern kingdom of Judah are warned not to follow Israel’s example: “Though you play the whore, O Israel, let not Judah become guilty. Enter not into Gilgal, nor go up to Beth-aven, and swear not, ‘As the LORD lives’” (v. 15). Gilgal was a shrine near Jericho; Beth-aven means “house of evil” and was a pejorative name for Bethel, which means “house of God.” The people of Judah were forbidden to go to these religious sites to swear “as the LORD lives,” an act of veneration and worship. Would God issue the same indictments and warnings to America and America’s Christians today… (READ MORE)