Hosea 10:10 (HCSB)
10 I will discipline them at My discretion; nations will be gathered against them to put them in bondage for their two crimes.
In this pericope we have a heavily agrarian metaphor for Israel. The message remains consistent: Israel has sown seeds of apostasy, rejecting God, chasing after their own lusts, and punishment is coming. But a few things stand out in this passage.
- As mentioned, the metaphor here is agrarian. Ephraim is even referred to as a “well-trained calf”. The references to sowing, plowing, and reaping make the picture clear. This must have been a powerful message to the Israelites, who certainly were an agrarian society. It is cool how God speaks to us, in all ages, where we are at, and in a way that is meaningful and relative to our lives.
- The first part of Hosea 10:10 is cool: “I will discipline them at my discretion.” How many times do we try to usurp God’s power and authority? I love the book of Jonah, and he was the first one that popped into my mind when I read this verse. Wasn’t that Jonah’s beef: he wanted God to discipline Nineveh at Jonah’s discretion, not at God’s discretion. This single little phrase here reminds me that God’s the One running things, not me, not my boss, not the President of the US… God.
- Check out Hosea 10:12. The last few passages have been pretty grim, not much “hope” coming through without really trying to tease it out. But here we have this message of “reaping faithful love” and “seek the Lord until He comes”. Hope is not lost! It can be too easy to think God is small, smaller than our sin, and that we’ve outdone Him and He can’t possibly save us. But here is the nation of Israel, wicked, on the brink of some nasty punishment, flat out, boldly rejecting God… and God slips in this message of hope, this picture of His future return, “sending righteousness like rain.” Look, the pain is coming, the consequences of sin are going to be felt, Hosea 10:13-15 slaps us back into reality, but God is still here, and hope remains.
Lord, thank You for Your grace! And thank You for being God! What a wonder that the ultimate being acts with the ultimate mercy, towards His ultimately sinful creation. I pray that we begin to sow righteousness and real Your faithful love. Guide us and correct us as we continue to seek after You. Amen.