Vs. 1, “Israel was a spreading vine; he brought forth fruit for himself. As his fruit increased, he built more altars; as his land prospered, he adorned his sacred stones.” We continue the description of what God’s people were doing. They were supposed to be a vine that represented the fruit of God, but now they took the fruit of God and gave honor to themselves and other gods. We see the evidence of spiritual decline as they professed they had no king (vs. 3). It’s as if they were saying, “God can’t do anything for us anyway.” Hosea reminds them of their civil war in Gibeah (vs. 9) and how again defeat will come to them (vs. 14-15).
Regarding application…Honoring God. Vs. 12, “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.” Question: What was keeping Israel from honoring God? Deceit (vs. 13). They thought that all the other things in their lives and their thoughts would not affect how God responded. Remember, we are to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). It’s not about what we perceive to be good. For example, the so-called righteous Pharisees looked quite good in their reverence to God. But, God knew their hearts. Anytime we have the opportunity to come and worship God, the Lord knows what the intention of our hearts are. Let’s not make the mistake of putting other things in front of the Lord. The Lord waits for our hearts and His grace is always abundant. Seek the Lord with all your heart.