1 Israel was a spreading vine; he brought forth fruit for himself.
As his fruit increased, he built more altars; as his land prospered, he adorned his sacred stones.
2 Their heart is deceitful, and now they must bear their guilt.
The Lord will demolish their altars and destroy their sacred stones.
This chapter of prophecy has a dual theme: Israel’s sin and its punishment. These two themes repeat throughout this chapter. The first two verses above illustrate the two themes explicitly. Then near the end we read – with the final two verses speaking in more detail on the judgment that is coming.
12 Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground;
for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.
13 But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception.
Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors,.
Why is this happening? We can read in verse one Israel was blessed, but as the blessings increased sin increased via more alters and the adorning of sacred stones or stone idols. Israel repeats her errors stated earlier
She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,
who lavished on her the silver and gold—which they used for Baal.
Now we know what is happening, what has been happening, but why? The answer is given above in verse two Their heart is deceitful, many versions say Their heart is divided or false, but the meaning is the same. Their hearts do not belong to God. They may fear God, but they wanted to do what they wanted to do even to the extent of worshipping other gods and idols. Jesus addressed this twice
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”
It is not so different today, many believe they can indeed serve two masters. They believe they can go to church, read their Bible, and then do whatever they want. They will discover, just as Israel did, a price will be paid for such deceit – fooling only themselves thinking they could follow God with a divided heart. A practice that has never worked and never will.
It is Monday, have a Great Week all the while acknowledging it is God you will follow and worship and no other god or idol. In verse twelve Hosea said for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. That righteousness and love come through His Son, Jesus Christ.