Hosea 10 (Listen)
10:1 Israel is a luxuriant vine
that yields its fruit.
The more his fruit increased,
the more altars he built;
as his country improved,
he improved his pillars.
2 Their heart is false;
now they must bear their guilt.
The LORD will break down their altars
and destroy their pillars.
3 For now they will say:
“We have no king,
for we do not fear the LORD;
and a king—what could he do for us?”
4 They utter mere words;
with empty oaths they make covenants;
so judgment springs up like poisonous weeds
in the furrows of the field.
5 The inhabitants of Samaria tremble
for the calf of Beth-aven.
Its people mourn for it, and so do its idolatrous priests—
those who rejoiced over it and over its glory—
for it has departed from them.
6 The thing itself shall be carried to Assyria
as tribute to the great king.
Ephraim shall be put to shame,
and Israel shall be ashamed of his idol.
7 Samaria’s king shall perish
like a twig on the face of the waters.
8 The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel,
shall be destroyed.
Thorn and thistle shall grow up
on their altars,
and they shall say to the mountains, “Cover us,”
and to the hills, “Fall on us.”
9 From the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, O Israel;
there they have continued.
Shall not the war against the unjust overtake them in Gibeah?
10 When I please, I will discipline them,
and nations shall be gathered against them
when they are bound up for their double iniquity.
11 Ephraim was a trained calf
that loved to thresh,
and I spared her fair neck;
but I will put Ephraim to the yoke;
Judah must plow;
Jacob must harrow for himself.
12 Sow for yourselves righteousness;
reap steadfast love;
break up your fallow ground,
for it is the time to seek the LORD,
that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.
13 You have plowed iniquity;
you have reaped injustice;
you have eaten the fruit of lies.
Because you have trusted in your own way
and in the multitude of your warriors,
14 therefore the tumult of war shall arise among your people,
and all your fortresses shall be destroyed,
as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle;
mothers were dashed in pieces with their children.
15 Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel,
because of your great evil.
At dawn the king of Israel
shall be utterly cut off.
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. (Hosea 10:12)
The things we spend our time on will eventually start bearing fruit in our lives. If we focus on ourselves and the things of this world, we, like Israel, will lose sight of what really matters. But if we focus on God and live lives in obedience to Him, our fruit will be steadfast love. Where are you focusing your attention? Yes, sowing righteousness takes some work, but the fruit that God bears in us when we submit to His will is the very love of Jesus Christ manifested in our hearts and lives. Are you ready to let God ‘rain righteousness upon you?’