Hosea 9 has the prophet wailing against Israel who is exiled in judgment. They are just entering the coming judgment, and haven’t quite figured out that some real change is on the way. So Hosea warns them of the facts. “Do not rejoice….For you have played the harlot, forsaking your God”. This is a serious issue and Hosea is setting the stage for what’s coming. At the time Hosea brought this prophecy, things perhaps were not so bad in Israel. Maybe there was still plenty of fun and good times among the people. But he warns that they shouldn’t rejoice like other peoples, because judgment was on the way.
Sin always carries a price. And what seems to be going well, is about to change. Hosea lists out what lies ahead:
- “They will not remain in the Lord’s land
- They will not pour out drink offerings
- Their sacrifices will not please Him
- Their bread will be like mourners ‘ bread”
They are going to be cast out of their homeland and at odds with the very God who has protected and provided for generations. Sin carries a price and God is going to require them to pay it. He doesn’t forget our sin. There is always a day of reckoning.
The destruction is coming and Hosea makes it clear it will be severe. “Weeds will take over their treasures of silver; thorns will be in their tents. The days of punishment have come”. The price is not just a little discomfort. The price of sin is significant and life changing. That’s why God sent His only Son to the Cross for us – because the cost of sin is so great. It isn’t some little thing that just goes away over time. “He will remember their iniquity, He will punish their sins”. That was true in Hosea’s time – it’s still true today. Sin carries a cost and we’ll pay it one way or another.
It’s why Jesus came – because the cost is so high. God sent His Son to bear that cost if we’ll only receive Him as our Savior and Lord. In Hosea’s time, the price was severe. “They will bear no fruit….My God will cast them away because they have not listened to Him”. For us it’s no different. The cost today is eternal separation from God – a life spent in hell. It’s a strong response by a loving God, but His nature requires it. He gave us a free gift of grace through Christ that is ours for the taking. But we have to take action. We have to confess, repent and receive that gift. He never forces it on us. But without it, sin will cost us everything. We too will be cast away. It’s the reality of the price of sin!