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Hosea goes on in verses 7-10, “The more they increased, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame. 8 They eat up the sin of My people; they set their heart on their iniquity. 9 And it shall be: like people, like priest. So I will punish them for their ways, and reward them for their deeds. 10 For they shall eat, but not have enough; they shall commit harlotry, but not increase; because they have ceased obeying the Lord.”

Wherever they look they will fail to find satisfaction. There will be no fulfillment. No enjoyment even of the good things of life. They increased, that is, the nation grew. Adding more people to the nation however only added to the number of people sinning. There is strength in numbers! The more of them that there were the more of them that there were to sin. To be lead astray. To be lead into unfaithfulness. And what should have been their glory God was turning to their shame. Their strength, their reputation, their possessions, their land – all of the things God blessed them with they then used on themselves and God was about to strip it all away.

When Hosea writes that “they eat up the sin of My people” he means that the people feed on sin. It is a craving. While they are consuming things trying to satisfy their base desires those things they consume ultimately consume them. The things they pursue ensnare them. They are trapped by what they want. “They set their heart on their iniquity.” This is the direction that they choose to go. Remember, iniquity is sin of the self-will. Iniquity begins with “I.”

And he says in verse 9 there, “like people, like priest.” The priests, after the kings and along with them, were the ones who led the people in to false worship, into the worship of idols. As the priests led them astray and the people blindly followed, we see that the rejection of God brings the debasement of leadership. What is being pictured for us here can be summed up this way – you are getting the leadership you deserve. Priests and people are all alike, all headed for judgment, all headed for destruction. Together.

Here the leaders shake their fists at God and then attempt to lead the people in worship! Of all the nerve! It doesn’t work like that, just look at the liberal main line denominations. Turned over. Given the leadership that gives the people what they want – license to sin. Calling evil good and good evil.

So I will punish them for their ways, and reward them for their deeds. 10 For they shall eat, but not have enough; they shall commit harlotry, but not increase; because they have ceased obeying the Lord.” Judgment is coming. What they have earned is about to be paid. What a frightening thought. And even as they try to find satisfaction, even trying to meet basic desires and needs, they will not be satisfied. They might eat a meal and be full but we all know if you are not satisfied by the meal then even with a full belly you still seek out more food, something that satisfies.

What is it that truly satisfies? Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount – when we hunger and thirst for righteousness, then we will be filled…then we will be satisfied. Instead we sin thinking we will get what we want and instead we find ourselves trapped in slavery. We thought we could get what we wanted and instead what we wanted got us!

And there is the root, the heart of the indictment, there at the end of verse 10. They have ceased obeying the Lord.

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright
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