Hosea Chapter 12
One of the most bizarre ironies of Israel's fall (first Israel, and then Judah; see The Division Of Israel, The Galilee Captivity and Why Babylon?) was that they rebelled against The Lord, who had always protected them, and instead sought alliances with those who would destroy them, if they got the chance (which they did, when The Lord withdrew His protection from those who had forsaken Him): "12:1 Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt" (Hosea 12:1 KJV).
Israel foolishly violated the prime rule of national sovereignty by permitting the presence of live invaders (the only acceptable invader is a dead one - the lawful military right and duty of every sovereign people) in their territory. Invaders are not merely violating other people's sovereignty, they are violating The Lord's sovereignty (see Landmark).
"12:1 Ephraim [i.e. the leadership of The Northern Kingdom of Israel was of the tribe of Ephraim - see The Israelite Patriarchs - Ephraim] feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians [see Ancient Empires - Assyria], and oil is carried into Egypt [e.g. see Pharaoh Necho].
12:2 The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him. 12:3 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: 12:4 Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us; 12:5 Even the LORD God of hosts; the LORD is his memorial [see also Isra-EL]. 12:6 Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.
12:7 He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.
12:8 And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin [see What Is Sin?].
12:9 And I that am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt [see Why Did Christ Put Moses To Death?] will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast. 12:10 I have also spoken by the Prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.
12:11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? surely they are vanity: they sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal; yea, their altars are as heaps in the furrows of the fields. 12:12 And Jacob fled into the country of Syria [i.e. the people of Israel originated primarily from the "Gentile" people of Iraq and Syria], and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep. 12:13 And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved. 12:14 Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him." (Hosea 12:1-14 KJV)
Hosea Chapter 13
The Lord's love or wrath is conditional, and proportional, to how His people conduct themselves toward Him. That has always been a Christian reality because Christianity has always existed (see Christ The Creator and Why Did Christ Put Moses To Death?). "13:4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me" Hosea 13:4 KJV) was Christ speaking.
It was Christ who delivered them, protected them, loved them - and turned away from them when they turned away from Him: "10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents" (1 Corinthians 10:1-9 KJV). The Deliverer of Salvation becomes a Deliverer of wrath to those who reject His love.
"13:1 When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died. 13:2 And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves [see Calf Worship]. 13:3 Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.
13:4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me [see The 'God Of The Old Testament']. 13:5 I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. 13:6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me. 13:7 Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them: 13:8 I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.
13:9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. 13:10 I will be thy king [see Israelite Monarchy - The Messiah]: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? 13:11 I gave thee a king in mine anger [see Israelite Monarchy - The Origin], and took him away in my wrath. 13:12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hid. 13:13 The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he is an unwise son; for he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children.
13:14 I will Ransom them from the power of the grave [see Through The Gates Of Hell]; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.
13:15 Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels. 13:16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up." (Hosea 13:1-16 KJV)
Hosea Chapter 14
The book of Hosea ends positively. The day is coming when all will truly know The Lord, even the Israelites who earlier lost their way (see Zionism and Dry Bones).
"14:1 O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.
14:2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. 14:3 Asshur [i.e. Asshur On The Tigris] shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
14:4 I will heal their Backsliding [see also the Fact Finder question below], I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. 14:5 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. 14:6 His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. 14:7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the Corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. 14:8 Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.
14:9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right [see God's Wisdom], and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein." (Hosea 14:1-9 KJV)
Fact Finder: Why can't humans "get it" until they've "got it"?
See The Cure For The Carnal Mind