Day 98

Hosea 10-14
10 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.
The Lord’s Love for Israel
11 When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2    The more they were called,
the more they went away;
       they kept sacrificing to the Baals
and burning offerings to idols.
3    Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.
4    I led them with cords of kindness,
with the bands of love,
       and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.
5    They shall not return to the land of Egypt,
but Assyria shall be their king,
because they have refused to return to me.
6    The sword shall rage against their cities,
consume the bars of their gates,
and devour them because of their own counsels.
7    My people are bent on turning away from me,
and though they call out to the Most High,
he shall not raise them up at all.
8    How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?
       How can I make you like Admah?
How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
       My heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.
9    I will not execute my burning anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
       for I am God and not a man,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come in wrath.
10    They shall go after the Lord;
he will roar like a lion;
       when he roars,
his children shall come trembling from the west;
11    they shall come trembling like birds from Egypt,
and like doves from the land of Assyria,
and I will return them to their homes, declares the Lord.
12    Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,
and the house of Israel with deceit,
       but Judah still walks with God
and is faithful to the Holy One.
12 Ephraim feeds on the wind
and pursues the east wind all day long;
       they multiply falsehood and violence;
they make a covenant with Assyria,
and oil is carried to Egypt.
The Lord’s Indictment of Israel and Judah
2    The Lord has an indictment against Judah
and will punish Jacob according to his ways;
he will repay him according to his deeds.
3    In the womb he took his brother by the heel,
and in his manhood he strove with God.
4    He strove with the angel and prevailed;
he wept and sought his favor.
       He met God at Bethel,
and there God spoke with us—
5    the Lord, the God of hosts,
the Lord is his memorial name:
6    “So you, by the help of your God, return,
hold fast to love and justice,
and wait continually for your God.”
7    A merchant, in whose hands are false balances,
he loves to oppress.
8    Ephraim has said, “Ah, but I am rich;
I have found wealth for myself;
       in all my labors they cannot find in me iniquity or sin.”
9    I am the Lord your God
from the land of Egypt;
       I will again make you dwell in tents,
as in the days of the appointed feast.
10    I spoke to the prophets;
it was I who multiplied visions,
and through the prophets gave parables.
11    If there is iniquity in Gilead,
they shall surely come to nothing:
       in Gilgal they sacrifice bulls;
their altars also are like stone heaps
on the furrows of the field.
12    Jacob fled to the land of Aram;
there Israel served for a wife,
and for a wife he guarded sheep.
13    By a prophet the Lord brought Israel up from Egypt,
and by a prophet he was guarded.
14    Ephraim has given bitter provocation;
so his Lord will leave his bloodguilt on him
and will repay him for his disgraceful deeds.
The Lord’s Relentless Judgment on Israel
13 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling;
he was exalted in Israel,
but he incurred guilt through Baal and died.
2    And now they sin more and more,
and make for themselves metal images,
       idols skillfully made of their silver,
all of them the work of craftsmen.
       It is said of them,
“Those who offer human sacrifice kiss calves!”
3    Therefore they shall be like the morning mist
or like the dew that goes early away,
       like the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor
or like smoke from a window.
4    But I am the Lord your God
from the land of Egypt;
       you know no God but me,
and besides me there is no savior.
5    It was I who knew you in the wilderness,
in the land of drought;
6    but when they had grazed, they became full,
they were filled, and their heart was lifted up;
therefore they forgot me.
7    So I am to them like a lion;
like a leopard I will lurk beside the way.
8    I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs;
I will tear open their breast,
       and there I will devour them like a lion,
as a wild beast would rip them open.
9    He destroys you, O Israel,
for you are against me, against your helper.
10    Where now is your king, to save you in all your cities?
Where are all your rulers—
       those of whom you said,
“Give me a king and princes”?
11    I gave you a king in my anger,
and I took him away in my wrath.
12    The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up;
his sin is kept in store.
13    The pangs of childbirth come for him,
but he is an unwise son,
       for at the right time he does not present himself
at the opening of the womb.
14    I shall ransom them from the power of Sheol;
I shall redeem them from Death.
       O Death, where are your plagues?
O Sheol, where is your sting?
Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
15    Though he may flourish among his brothers,
the east wind, the wind of the Lord, shall come,
rising from the wilderness,
       and his fountain shall dry up;
his spring shall be parched;
       it shall strip his treasury
of every precious thing.
16    Samaria shall bear her guilt,
because she has rebelled against her God;
       they shall fall by the sword;
their little ones shall be dashed in pieces,
and their pregnant women ripped open.
A Plea to Return to the Lord
14 Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
2    Take with you words
and return to the Lord;
       say to him,
“Take away all iniquity;
       accept what is good,
and we will pay with bulls
the vows of our lips.
3    Assyria shall not save us;
we will not ride on horses;
       and we will say no more, ‘Our God,’
to the work of our hands.
       In you the orphan finds mercy.”
4    I will heal their apostasy;
I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.
5    I will be like the dew to Israel;
he shall blossom like the lily;
he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;
6    his shoots shall spread out;
his beauty shall be like the olive,
and his fragrance like Lebanon.
7    They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow;
they shall flourish like the grain;
       they shall blossom like the vine;
their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
8    O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?
It is I who answer and look after you.
       I am like an evergreen cypress;
from me comes your fruit.
9    Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them;
       for the ways of the Lord are right,
and the upright walk in them,
but transgressors stumble in them. [1]

Isaiah 28-29
Judgment on Ephraim and Jerusalem
28 Ah, the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim,
and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
which is on the head of the rich valley of those overcome with wine!
2    Behold, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong;
like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest,
       like a storm of mighty, overflowing waters,
he casts down to the earth with his hand.
3    The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim
will be trodden underfoot;
4    and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
which is on the head of the rich valley,
       will be like a first-ripe fig before the summer:
when someone sees it, he swallows it
as soon as it is in his hand.
5    In that day the Lord of hosts will be a crown of glory,
and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people,
6    and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
7    These also reel with wine
and stagger with strong drink;
      the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink,
they are swallowed by wine,
they stagger with strong drink,
       they reel in vision,
they stumble in giving judgment.
8    For all tables are full of filthy vomit,
with no space left.
9    “To whom will he teach knowledge,
and to whom will he explain the message?
       Those who are weaned from the milk,
those taken from the breast?
10    For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
line upon line, line upon line,
here a little, there a little.”
11    For by people of strange lips
and with a foreign tongue
       the Lord will speak to this people,
12        to whom he has said,
       “This is rest;
give rest to the weary;
       and this is repose”;
yet they would not hear.
13    And the word of the Lord will be to them
       precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
line upon line, line upon line,
here a little, there a little,
       that they may go, and fall backward,
and be broken, and snared, and taken.
A Cornerstone in Zion
14    Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers,
who rule this people in Jerusalem!
15    Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
and with Sheol we have an agreement,
       when the overwhelming whip passes through
it will not come to us,
       for we have made lies our refuge,
and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;
16    therefore thus says the Lord God,
       “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion,
a stone, a tested stone,
       a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
17    And I will make justice the line,
and righteousness the plumb line;
       and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and waters will overwhelm the shelter.”
18    Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
       when the overwhelming scourge passes through,
you will be beaten down by it.
19    As often as it passes through it will take you;
for morning by morning it will pass through,
by day and by night;
       and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
20    For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on,
and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in.
21    For the Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim;
as in the Valley of Gibeon he will be roused;
       to do his deed—strange is his deed!
and to work his work—alien is his work!
22    Now therefore do not scoff,
lest your bonds be made strong;
       for I have heard a decree of destruction
from the Lord God of hosts against the whole land.
23    Give ear, and hear my voice;
give attention, and hear my speech.
24    Does he who plows for sowing plow continually?
Does he continually open and harrow his ground?
25    When he has leveled its surface,
does he not scatter dill, sow cumin,
       and put in wheat in rows
and barley in its proper place,
and emmer as the border?
26    For he is rightly instructed;
his God teaches him.
27    Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin,
       but dill is beaten out with a stick,
and cumin with a rod.
28    Does one crush grain for bread?
No, he does not thresh it forever;
       when he drives his cart wheel over it
with his horses, he does not crush it.
29    This also comes from the Lord of hosts;
he is wonderful in counsel
and excellent in wisdom.
The Siege of Jerusalem
29 Ah, Ariel, Ariel,
the city where David encamped!
       Add year to year;
let the feasts run their round.
2    Yet I will distress Ariel,
and there shall be moaning and lamentation,
and she shall be to me like an Ariel.
3    And I will encamp against you all around,
and will besiege you with towers
and I will raise siegeworks against you.
4    And you will be brought low; from the earth you shall speak,
and from the dust your speech will be bowed down;
       your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost,
and from the dust your speech shall whisper.
5    But the multitude of your foreign foes shall be like small dust,
and the multitude of the ruthless like passing chaff.
       And in an instant, suddenly,
6        you will be visited by the Lord of hosts
       with thunder and with earthquake and great noise,
with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.
7    And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,
all that fight against her and her stronghold and distress her,
shall be like a dream, a vision of the night.
8    As when a hungry man dreams, and behold, he is eating,
and awakes with his hunger not satisfied,
       or as when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he is drinking,
and awakes faint, with his thirst not quenched,
       so shall the multitude of all the nations be
that fight against Mount Zion.
9    Astonish yourselves and be astonished;
blind yourselves and be blind!
       Be drunk, but not with wine;
stagger, but not with strong drink!
10    For the Lord has poured out upon you
a spirit of deep sleep,
       and has closed your eyes (the prophets),
and covered your heads (the seers).
11 And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot read.”
13    And the Lord said:
       “Because this people draw near with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
while their hearts are far from me,
       and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,
14    therefore, behold, I will again
do wonderful things with this people,
with wonder upon wonder;
       and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.”
15    Ah, you who hide deep from the Lord your counsel,
whose deeds are in the dark,
and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”
16    You turn things upside down!
       Shall the potter be regarded as the clay,
       that the thing made should say of its maker,
“He did not make me”;
       or the thing formed say of him who formed it,
“He has no understanding”?
17    Is it not yet a very little while
until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field,
and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest?
18    In that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a book,
       and out of their gloom and darkness
the eyes of the blind shall see.
19    The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord,
and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.
20    For the ruthless shall come to nothing
and the scoffer cease,
and all who watch to do evil shall be cut off,
21    who by a word make a man out to be an offender,
and lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate,
and with an empty plea turn aside him who is in the right.
22 Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:
       “Jacob shall no more be ashamed,
no more shall his face grow pale.
23    For when he sees his children,
the work of my hands, in his midst,
they will sanctify my name;
       they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob
and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24    And those who go astray in spirit will come to understanding,
and those who murmur will accept instruction.” [2]

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ho 10–14:9.
[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Is 28:1–29:24.

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