Hosea 9:1–9 (NKJV)
9:1 Do not rejoice, O Israel, with joy like other peoples, For you have played the harlot against your God. You have made love for hire on every threshing floor.
2 The threshing floor and the winepress Shall not feed them, And the new wine shall fail in her.
3 They shall not dwell in the Lord’s land, But Ephraim shall return to Egypt, And shall eat unclean things in Assyria.
Three ideas pervade this prophecy of judgment upon Israel. First, Israel is–once again–of being guilty of spiritual adultery by seeking help and assistance from other nations and their gods instead of Yahweh (verses 1-3). Therefore, they will be cast out of Yahweh’s land and dwell as prisoners and slaves among Egypt and Assyria. They will lose their land, their home, because of idolatry.
4 They shall not offer wine offerings to the Lord, Nor shall their sacrifices be pleasing to Him. It shall be like bread of mourners to them; All who eat it shall be defiled. For their bread shall be for their own life; It shall not come into the house of the Lord.
5 What will you do in the appointed day, And in the day of the feast of the Lord?
6 For indeed they are gone because of destruction. Egypt shall gather them up; Memphis shall bury them. Nettles shall possess their valuables of silver; Thorns shall be in their tents.
Second, their worship and offerings will not be received by the Lord. They credited false gods for providing bread and wine along with the Lord, so they will not be provided for by Yahweh any longer. When wine, bread, and other offerings typically used to worship Yahweh are offered, they will be refused, considered as unclean as a funeral meal when offered to God. Their feasts will no longer occur as celebrations of the goodness of God. Eating and worship were unbreakably connected in Israel. The feasts, festivals, and observances were times of celebration of the goodness of Yahweh. Now, they will cease, because Israel had purposed to worship other gods equally with Him.
7 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.
8 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.
9 They are deeply corrupted, As in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity; He will punish their sins.
Third, Israel’s religious leaders will be judged. They have ceased to lead the worship of Israel in the right direction, and have begun to placate the people by allowing them to worship false gods and fall into error. The prophets are no longer guides and watchman, but a snare for the people of God. Therefore, punishment is coming and will not be stopped.
Today, there are many preachers, teachers–even supposed prophets and apostles–who are speaking words that make people feel good, allowing sinful practices to be performed with no warning as to their consequences. The watchmen have left their posts. People have been left to their own opinions, and powerful, charismatic stars have been deemed spiritual leaders in place of Godly, holy people–like Hosea–who tell the truth in spite of its popularity or lack thereof. Godly men and women need to stand up and be heard, no matter the cost, and call a nation to repentence. Modern day prophets must be holy, and priests (pastors) must be clear with the gospel message of truth. If not, judgment is coming!