Hosea 8:1–6 (NKJV)
8:1 “Set the trumpet to your mouth!
He shall come like an eagle against the house of the Lord,
Because they have transgressed My covenant
And rebelled against My law.
2 Israel will cry to Me,
‘My God, we know You!’
3 Israel has rejected the good;
The enemy will pursue him.
The Lord here continues His promise of punishment against Israel. This time, He uses the imagery of the warning trumpet, which some scholars would translate as the roar of a lion. He paints a picture of an eagle flying down to capture prey. The nation of Assyria and other political powers will swoop down on Israel and take away their land and people, capturing them like prey.
4 “They set up kings, but not by Me;
They made princes, but I did not acknowledge them.
From their silver and gold
They made idols for themselves—
That they might be cut off.
5 Your calf is rejected, O Samaria!
My anger is aroused against them—
How long until they attain to innocence?
6 For from Israel is even this:
A workman made it, and it is not God;
But the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces.
The Lord then addresses again the sin that necessitated this punishment and judgment at the hands of a foreign nation: arrogance against God in the form of political maneuvering and idolatry. Israel set up and deposed kings as they saw fit, not asking God’s will or leadership in the matter. Instead, they chose who they wanted by political alliances and intrigue, then another faction would kill or depose that king to install their own choice. This completely ignored the fact that the king was the representative of Yahweh on earth and, instead, made the king the representative of groups within Israel. Also, they set up an idol of a bull, reminiscent of the sin of Israel at Mt. Sinai when they worshipped a golden calf. Yahweh declared to them here that the calf is rejected, and so is Israel.
We are just as guilty today of politcal maneuvering, fighting over who will be the best leader. Political leaders are elected, selected, or appointed based on alliances and pleurality rather than prayer and hearing from God. In the church, we must seek the face of God and read the Word of God if we are to know His will. Don’t serve a system or an idol. Serve God!