God does not show partiality to neither priests nor his people nor to a king if they choose to continue in rebellion and sin, inspite of His repeated warnings, for by doing so they prove to be a snare and a stumbling block to others who follow them, vs 1!
Their rebellion gets them knee deep into sin and this behaviour is sure to attract nothing else but the discipline of the Lord upon them, vs 2. God is well aware of the spiritual adultery of His people and their subsequent defilement as a result, vs 3!
And the root cause of their problem is none other than ‘a spirit of idolatory’ which controls their hearts and prevents them from acknowledging Him or returning back to Him, vs 4! This makes them arrogant and is sure to lead them on the path of destruction, vs 5.
None of the sacrifices that they bring to the Lord, without the necessary repentance that should precede the same, would be sufficient to cause Him to show Himself to them, vs 6.
Infact, the spiritual adultery that they were indulging in was soon to backfire against them and rob them of their blessings, vs 7. God was sounding an alarm to warn them of the sure judgment that was bound to come upon them if they refused to repent, vs 8,9.
Some of the sins of their kings included the removing of the boundary lines that God had ordained for each tribe, vs 10, while, as far as the people of Israel were concerned, they were determined to pursue worthless idols, vs 11!
In response, God was going to eat Ephraim up like a moth does, and cause Judah to rot like wood does, vs 12, for when Ephraim saw his sickness and Judah saw his wound, Ephraim turned to Assyria, and begged its great king for help, however the king would not be able to heal them or cure their wound, vs 13, for God was determined to tear Ephraim into pieces as a lion did, and tear Judah up as a young lion did, and subsequently carry them off into exile where none could deliver them from His hands, vs 14.
And only after they were subjected to sufficient discipline, would God be satisfied and stay His hand, for it was then that the remnant would seek Him earnestly in their distress, vs 15!
It is such a sorrow and a grief to God’s heart to see His people continually stray away from Him through idolatory and spiritual adultery! The kings tampered with the boundary lines for their personal gain! They failed to allow people function freely as God desired them too, within their stipulated boundaries.
This stifled their growth and hindered their progress! The priests failed to practice God’s law themselves, and so were unable to teach it to the people accurately! This stumbled many and led to gross spiritual idolatory and spiritual adultery! To add insult to injury, he voice of the true prophets were silenced. Therefore, God’s severe disciplining hand was to be the only way out.
Those who subjected themselves to the same would eventually seek God earnestly and would experience His salvation and redemption, while those who did not, would perish physically and spiritually too! Let us search out hearts to see where we stand in this equation.
Are we a stumbling block to others? If yes, then do we subject ourselves to God’s disciplining hand and repent so as to seek Him earnestly once again? If we do so, then there is still hope for us for God is merciful and He can still save and deliver. However, if we don’t turn from our sin, honestly and wholeheartedly, then there only remains left for us a terrifying expectation of God’s unrelenting judgment!
Let us be wise enough to humble ourselves and choose life for we can never hide from God!