Feast of BoothsThe result of these things we’ve studied this week so far can be seen in verses 9-11 of Hosea 12. “But I am the Lord your God, ever since the land of Egypt; I will again make you dwell in tents, as in the days of the appointed feast. 10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and have multiplied visions; I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets.” 11 Though Gilead has idols—Surely they are vanity—Though they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal, indeed their altars shall be heaps in the furrows of the field.”

What did the tents represent in the Feast? The Feast of Booths found them living out on their rooftops in a temporary structure, a booth, for 7 days this is where they lived. This served to remind them of the Exodus from Egypt. They had no home, only temporary dwellings in the wilderness. It was the Promised Land, Canaan, that was to be their permanent home. Their transience was a result of their sin, disobedience, and lack of faith.

This Feast reminded them of the Saving and Delivering power of God. The plagues, signs, wonders, miracles, and all He did to save His people. It also reminded them of their sin and its penalty – only 2 from that generation made it into the Promised Land, Caleb and Joshua. And the warning here is that the people were about to be permanently housed in temporary housing! They are about to lose the land, their home. Warnings have abounded. Even the Feasts reminded them. The prophets preached, yet the people persisted. Multiplied visions and symbols, that is vision upon vision upon vision and revelation upon revelation upon revelation was given to warn and instruct and admonish the people but they ran headlong in their pursuit of pleasing and serving self. The picture could not have been painted any more clearly.

Did the people repent? Did they listen to the prophets? They chose to go their own way. Generation after generation.

He says, “Gilead has idols—Surely they are vanity” – the things they are pursuing are vain. It is all a waste. Nothing. Yet this to them was what they thought was worthwhile. And it would all be ruins. “Though they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal, indeed their altars shall be heaps in the furrows of the field.” Gilgal means literally “a pile of stones.” And that was what was going to remain there because of their unfaithfulness. These idolatrous altars are scattered throughout the land like rocks in a field needing to be plowed. They are obstacles, standing in the way of the field being fruitful or useful.

As God multiplied warnings and revelation, the people multiplied pagan altars. The promise that was going to be fulfilled now was the promise of judgment and destruction.