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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Hosea Chapter 12

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Hosea
Date Penned: BC 715 (Covering Events BC 753-715)
Overview: God's Wayward People (c 4-14)
Theme: God's Love for Israel (c 11-14)
Message: God Invites his people to return to him (v 1-14) 

Hosea: Chapter 12 Commentary    

(12:1-5) Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel, was the common ancestor of all 12 tribes of Israel (both Northern and Southern Kingdoms) Like the nations that descended from him, Jacob, practiced deceit. Unlike Israel and Judah however, he constantly searched for God. Jacob wrestled with the angel in order to be blessed, but his descendants thought their blessings came from their own successes. Jacob purged his house of idols (Genesis 35) but his descendants could not seem to banish idol worship from their midst.

(12:6) The 2 principles Hosea called his nation to live by, mercy and judgement, are at the very foundation of God's character. They are essential to his followers, but they are not easy to keep in balance. Some people are merciful (loving) to the point that they excuse wrongdoing. Others have judgment to the extent that they forget mercy. Mercy without justice, because it is not aiming at a higher standard, leaves people in their sins. Justice without mercy , because it has no heart, drives people away from God . To specialize in one at the expense of the other is to distort our witness. Today's Church, just like Hosea's nation, must live by both principles.

(12:7) In Israel, dishonesty has become an accepted means of attaining wealth. Israelites who were financially successful could not imagine that God would consider them sindul. They thought their wealth was a sign of his approval., and they didn't bother to consider how they had gotten it, But God said Israel's riches would not make up for its sin. Remember that God's measure of success is different from ours. He calls us to faithfulness, not to affluence. Our character is more important to him than our wallet.

(12:8) Rich people and nations often claim that their material success is due to their own hard work, initiative, and intelligence, Because they have every possession they want, they don't feel the need for God. They believe that their riches are their own and they feel they have the right to use them any way they please. If you find yourself feeling proud of your accomplishments. remember that all your opportunities, abilities, and resources come from the Lord, and that you hold them in sacred trust for him.

(12:9) Once a year the Israelites spent a week living in tents during the Festival of Tabernacles, which commemorated God's protection as they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years (Deuteronomy 1) Now, because of their sin, God would cause them to live in tents again, this time not as part, this time not as part of festival, but in actual bondage. 

(12:12) Hosea was using this reference to Jacob to say "Don't forget your humble beginnings, What you have is not a result of your own efforts, but is yours because God has been gracious to you"

(12:13) The prophet who led Israel out of Egypt was Moses (Exodus 13)


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Hate Sin while Loving the Sinner


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Hosea with Chapter 12 In our text today we see God invites His people to return to him using the correct balance between Mercy and Judgment. In making application we see the balance Christians should have towards others with Mercy and Judgment. We should love the sinner while hating the sin being willing to reach out and Minister to all without compromising on sin and its destructive path. How about you? Do you live the sinner while hating the sin? Let us learn from our text today and the example of the relationship between the Lord and Israel to see the correct balance of Mercy and Judgment with the principle of hating sin and loving the sinner.


Hosea 12

Hosea 12

 1Ephraim 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.

 2The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.

 3He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:

 4Yea, 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;

 5Even the LORD God of hosts; the LORD is his memorial.

 6Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment and wait on thy God continually.

 7He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.

 8And 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.

 9And I that am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast.

 10I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.

 11Is 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.

 12And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep.

 13And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.

 14Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his LORD return unto him.