Hosea - Chapter 4 (Verses 1-6)
In this chapter we see the arguments God has with Israel. The sins are laid out before them in simple terms but with the emphasis of small words, such as “no” to lash them into the reality of their doom. The consequence of the sin is exemplified in a like reaction to the sin. Such as, having forgotten God and His laws, God will be forgetful also. The message is to a people that are supposed to posses a land of promise (Verses 1 and 3, land references) but also the familial relationship that binds them to God spiritually (Verse 1 - “sons of Israel”; Verse 5 - “your mother”; Verse 6 – “forget your children”).
1. What does Verse 1 demand of the errant soul?
2. What is the direct correlation to the Law to be made from the list of Verse 2 by an Israelite?
Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, heresies, envyings, murders, revelings, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
3. What does the phrase “bloodshed follows bloodshed” or “blood touches against blood” mean?
4. Why does the land and animals mourn and languish because of the sin men (Verse 3)?
The first three verses establish the general problem for the kingdom of Israel. The follow-up to this is the declaration of the reason for the problem in Verses 4-6.
5. What character or action is the people accused of in Verse 4? Recall 2 Timothy 2:24, Titus 3:1-2.
6. Is there any significance to them stumbling by day and night? What does this have to do with mothers?
7. What is the root problem with the people according to Verses 1 and 6?
8. What is the consequence of the people of Israel not having a priesthood appointed or recognized by God going forward?
Christ in the Text
Is Jesus in this text as prophecy? No. Not in these six verses.
Is Christ directly represented in this set of verses? No.
Is Christ indirectly represented in these verses? Yes. It is stated by God that the people will be without a priesthood appointed by God in Verse 6. This is important due to the duties of the Levitical priests but also the established type the priests serve unto the coming Christ as the High Priest of the kingdom of God. The duty of the priest is clear in the words of Malachi which speak directly of the Priest of God which is Christ in the second half of Verse 7:
Malachi 2:7-8 For the lips of the priest should guard knowledge, and they should seek the Law from his mouth; for he is the messenger of Jehovah of Hosts. But you have turned out of the way; you have caused many to stumble at the Law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says Jehovah of Hosts.
Is the purpose of Christ shown in these verses? Yes. Christ brings the word which is able to give life. The life it gives includes longer mortal life due to faithfulness (Psalm 37:9,11; Matthew 6:30-33; Romans 8:11; 1 Timothy 4:8) in order to fulfill our service to Him. If we have no knowledge of Christ’s laws then we are no better off than the Israelites addressed in Hosea and due death.