“When Ephraim saw his sickness, And Judah his wound, Then Ephraim went to Assyria And sent to King Jareb. But he is unable to heal you, Or to cure you of your wound.” Hosea 5:13.
A godless man does not go without trouble and sorrows. He may hide it, but it’s there. Under the smile and concealed behind the glossy veneer is a man with doubts and fears. He has oozing sores and the cracks in his life begin to show. Sooner or later, the pretty picture of perfection shows the weakness of the foundation upon which it is built. A facade is erected but the window dressing has no power to build and keep meaningful relationships.
“And they do not cry to Me from their heart When they wail on their beds; For the sake of grain and new wine they assemble themselves, They turn away from Me.” Hosea 7:14,16; James 4:2,3.
For the man without God, his grief is the fruit of his own life. Yet he does not turn to God. Why? Because he has built his monuments on the lie that there is no God. He has declared with his very life that he’s a self made man because there is none other to trust. For him to now turn, when his night time thoughts are the darkest, would require answers, and the answers would require humility. To turn to God in his distress would mean dismantling the monuments. This he won’t do because what little life he has left is reliant upon those lies. The man must start from scratch who has built his life on a lie. But starting over means losing his material wealth and the high society he has cherished. His bread and livelihood would have to be abandoned if he were to begin the hard work of dismantling. Because he is unwilling, he turns elsewhere for help.
“They turn, but not upward, They are like a deceitful bow; Their princes will fall by the sword Because of the insolence of their tongue. This will be their derision in the land of Egypt.” Hosea 7:16.
Israel was a shell of the man he used to be. The glory and the shine was gone. Friendships had to be paid for. The wealth was going out instead of in.
“Ephraim feeds on the wind; he pursues the east wind all day and multiplies lies and violence. He makes a treaty with Assyria and sends olive oil to Egypt.” Hosea 12:1.
Turning upward to God is the right thing to do, but Israel won’t do it. They don’t know God. And what they do know is perverted so as to be of no help. What they do know is how to bargain and trade away their precious things. For friendships and security they send their oils and wealth to Egypt and to anyone that will help them maintain their level of comfort. They pursue alliances but do nothing to alleviate the growing problems among their people. They are suffering lies and violence in their own land. The lives of the elite may seem secure in their walled palaces, but just outside their gates the society is crumbling. Soon the walls and palaces will crumble.
When men build their lives on things of this world, they build upon sand, Mt 7:24ff. They have nothing that gives them peace in the night. The rich young ruler who came to Jesus was asking for eternal life. There was desperation in the young man. He didn’t know or he wouldn’t admit that his life was built on nothing. Jesus gave him the best advice to get rid of his idol but the man was very rich and so he walked away sad, Mt 19. We are curious about the fate of this man. Because he would not turn upward, where did he turn? Did he turn to something to help him sleep in the night? When he wailed upon his bed, did he seek alliances?
To hang on to material wealth, people will mask and conceal the real conditions in their homes. But the brokenness is not hidden to them. Behind the closed doors, upon their beds in the night, they don’t sleep well. They soothe their woes with with things and pills. Everything they do only compound the troubles.
Israel was a clan of people in big trouble. They had constructed their lives upon lies. And so there was no bedrock of truth to keep and guide them through the tumults of life. The path they had chosen was perilous and they sensed it. Because they did not know God, they did not know how to turn to God.
“So My people are bent on turning from Me.” Hosea 11:7