A Controversy with Israel
“Controversy” is a term used to describe a legal complaint and a serious matter. The issue of covenant unfaithfulness is one that God must address and Israel must hear. But the people were unwilling to hear God.
“No faithfulness” shows that God’s truth lived out in integrity and holiness was largely absent. “No steadfast love” points to the absence of expressing mercy and compassion to others of the same kind that God had shown to them. The picture of Israel is a broken society. Not only are the relationships destructive but the whole realm of creation is affected by sin. The reason for their current state is rooted in one simple idea, there is no knowledge of God. The verses describe a failure to recognize God’s authority by refusing to live a life adjusted to God’s will.
Complaints against the Leadership and People
The priests and prophets of Israel at the time were partly to blame for the direction of the people. The priests held the important role of overseeing temple worship and sacrifice. They also were responsible for communicating the law of God Leviticus 10:10-11. The Prophets were responsible for communicating clearly any message that God had given to them. 1 Kings 22:13-28. But both areas of leadership had failed and were stumbling instead of standing firm. The result would be destruction.
The Skill of Life
Paul in Ephesians 2:10 reminds the believers that their life in Christ is to be characterized by good works. These good works are not to make us right before God but are part of the new identity that we are to live. The good works are the actions of a new life directed and under the authority of God. The people in Hosea’s time refused to acknowledge God and lived according to a different knowledge.
Does He know us? Matthew 7:21-29
Jesus spoke similar words to both the leadership and people of Israel years later. He warned of an “easy road” approach to following God, the dangers of self-centered leadership rather than God-centered. There is only one way to avoid a deceived life and to live “unknown” by God. It is found in doing the will of God.