Hosea 12:6 (HCSB)
6 But you must return to your God. Maintain love and justice, and always put your hope in God.
Much of the past pericopes have focused primarily on the northern kingdom of Israel, called Ephraim throughout. Not that Judah has not been mentioned, it certainly has, but this pericope splits time between the two rather than Ephraim having the lion’s share of negative attention.
Overall, this passage describes God’s people as those who simply continue to go their own way, chasing their own desires, and apparently leaving God out of the mix. I think the whole passage centers on the one instructive verse in it: “But you must return to your God. Maintain love and justice, and always put your hope in God.” (Hosea 12:6) Everything surrounding this verse illuminates the failure of God’s people to do exactly what it instructs! Ephraim “multiplying lies and violence”. Judah “wrestling with God”. The lives of God’s people are not lives seeking after God, following His instructions. Instead they are fleeing from God, revolting against Him, cutting Him out of their lives. Whatever “weeping” and “seeking His favor” is occurring is most assuredly feigned.
The quote attributed to Ephraim in Hosea 12:8 sums up the attitude of God’s people at this time. They are insolent, and have denied God any of the praise and glorification that is due to Him. And though they think themselves “rich”, they have immense “earnings”, and are guiltless, we can see clearly that they are fully guilty due to their rebellious and sinful lives. They are destitute, without God and His mercy. They lean on their own feeble power, and that is about to fail them as God allows punishment to sweep over them.
We, in our present time, should be aware of how we walk with, or without, God. How much are we depending on our own imperfect power, rather than placing our hope and trust in God? Are we blessed by Him, yet claim our riches as our own earnings? We should constantly evaluate our stance, and avoid the same sin that Israel fell into.
Lord, thank You for sustaining us, for making us rich. We might not be rich monetarily, but we are rich in Your love. I pray that You are the treasure we seek, and that we lean on You and Your power, not our own. Amen.