Hosea 4

The Lord brought a covenant lawsuit against the citizens of Israel through the prophet Hosea. They had willfully forgotten the “knowledge of God” and had filled their lives with a variety of violations of His commandments. This was true not only of the people generally, but also of those who called themselves prophets and priests.
Who did the Lord’s children turn to instead of the Almighty? “My people inquire of a piece of wood, and their walking staff gives them oracles.” They also loved impressive trees and hills rather than the One who created the heavens and the earth. Both men and women performed religious rituals that included sexual immorality. Cities once known for their godly heritage had become dangerous snares that needed to be avoided by those who truly desired to follow Jehovah.
What was to be done with God’s wayward loved ones? The Lord declared that Israel was “joined to idols.” As with a son who refuses to listen to reason, the best plan for the nation was for them to feel the consequences of their sad rebellion. Perhaps they might eventually “be ashamed because of their sacrifices” that they offered up to lifeless objects.
God still cared about the tribes in the northern part of the Promised Land, but what could be done for them when they would not listen to His warnings? Only the Lord could save those who chose to wander away from His directives, and He had determined to let them be, at least for a time.
We are right to cry out to the great I-AM for the lives of those who will not remember their Creator. He made them, provided for them every day of their lives, and even sent His Son to suffer and die for their sins. We eagerly long for that moment when He will bring all His children safely home. Until that final trumpet sounds we continue to worship and serve the Lord, trusting that He has not forgotten any of His chosen people.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers

Lord Almighty, what will You do with Your church when we go the way of the murderous and faithless? You will not allow us to stand in Your presence when we give ourselves to continual foolishness and transgression. We were to be a glorious and royal priesthood. How can we be loved by You when we treat a piece of wood as an object of worship? Can we live in Your house if we are full of immorality? Oh the burden of our sin! Surely there is a better end for us. We will not be stubborn forever. Make us Your holy remnant as we confess our faults to You. Grant us mercy according to Your steadfast love.