hos 9.7So we have seen that the people are going to lose their joy and every reason that they have had to rejoice, and they are going to lose their freedom and their place in the land that God had given them. They will be forced into bondage, relocation, and will have no option or alternative but to defile themselves. As Hosea preaches this they think he, like the other prophets of God, is crazy. Surely he is out of his mind. But we see next in verses in Hosea 9:7-9 that Israel is going to suffer the Loss of Reason. They are going to lose their rationality. They will deny the truth and redefine it. (Sound familiar?) They will substitute a lie for the truth and who will call good evil and call evil good. Their morality, their values will be turned on its head.

Hosea says, “The days of punishment have come; the days of recompense have come.Israel knows! The prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is insane, because of the greatness of your iniquity and great enmity. The watchman of Ephraim is with my God; but the prophet is a fowler’s snare in all his ways— enmity in the house of his God. They are deeply corrupted, as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity; He will punish their sins.”

They are on the doorstep about to walk into the room of judgment this says. The days of punishment have come – they are here. And it says Israel knows that this is true! What a statement. They deny it, but they know it! How frightening for people to know that what they are doing is wrong and merits judgment from God but to keep doing it.

Yet we do this, don’t we. We know the Word. We know the convicting power and presence of the Holy Spirit, and yet at times it is so easy for us to sin.

What we see here is that the people know the truth but outwardly they laugh at the prophet and call him a fool. They say he is insane – and this reaction to the messenger bringing them the truth of God’s Word is proof of the “greatness of your iniquity and great enmity.” You have descended so far into your sin that when you hear the Word of God proclaimed against you, you believe that the preacher is crazy. He is insane. He is talking crazy talk.

Why are we surprised when the world doesn’t believe what we say? They think that we and our message are crazy. As an example the atheist believes God doesn’t exist and yet they hate Him with a passion, right?

When it comes to the truth of the Gospel and the exclusivity of Jesus as the only Savior, the world rejects the message and the messenger because deep down they know it is true.

Israel knows the truth and yet laugh at it and make a joke of it. Nothing new under the sun. Their response was to proclaim, “You are crazy! God is not judging us, He is blessing us!” Proverbs 14:9 says, “Fools mock at sin, but among the upright there is favor.” Fools think sin is a joke. They laugh at it and at its consequences. Have you ever stopped to notice how much of what we laugh at, so much of the source of attempts at humor, it is laughing at sin? When we know how holy, holy, holy God is, and when we know how heinous sin is, it is not a laughing matter. And how often do we hear a joke and know we shouldn’t laugh, but we do, either out of peer pressure, or worse, because we find it funny?

We hear the humor of the world and we think sin is funny. Paul warns us about this in Ephesians 5:3-5 where he says specifically, “3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” Sin is not funny.

If you don’t believe me, check the reaction in the “Christian” world when a preacher condemns worldly entertainment or attacks the idols of the age. They think he is crazy, legalistic, holier-than-thou. Too often we discount God’s Word and chose to believe ourselves when it comes to truth and error.

Hosea was not the only prophet that the people called crazy. When Jeremiah was ministering to Judah in Jeremiah 29:26 we read, “The Lord has made you priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, so that there should be officers in the house of the Lord over every man who is demented and considers himself a prophet, that you should put him in prison and in the stocks.” They believed the prophets and faithful priests were demented, out of their minds. And think about it, what did the crowds and especially the religious leaders say about Jesus when He preached? In John 7:20, “The people answered and said, ‘You have a demon.’” You are crazy to the point of being demon possessed they proclaimed.

So the people have lost all sense of reason and rationality. They are the ones who understanding has been darkened. They suspected the prophets of trying to trap them. We read it there, “The watchman of Ephraim is with my God; but the prophet is a fowler’s snare in all his ways— enmity in the house of his God.” And yet the truth is that the bill for sin is due and the judgment is coming, it is here, at the door. They are deeply corrupted, as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity; He will punish their sins.”

In this deep corruption the people have separated themselves from God. They were supposed to be separated to God, consecrated to Him, holy in all their ways. But they were instead separated from Him. Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.”