I recently heard a story about a basketball coach who shared his faith in Christ with a couple of his players after practice when they expressed interest. He told them about the consequences of sin, Jesus’ death on the cross, heaven and hell, and even the end times. But when the boys’ parents found out about these conversations, they were livid. They contacted a lawyer and forbade the coach from having any further contact with their kids. They called the coach “crazy.”
Being a spokesperson for God is not a popular position. Today’s passage opens with the picture of a party. In Exodus 23:16, God had established the Feast of the Harvest to celebrate the labor of sowing in the fields and the Feast of the Ingathering (later, the Feast of the Tabernacles, see Lev. 23:39–43) to celebrate the blessings God had given.
It is likely that the people were enjoying a perverted version of feast when Hosea charged in and told them to stop. They ought not rejoice because they had been unfaithful to their God. They loved His blessings more than they loved Him. Then—in true prophetic style—Hosea warned of what was to come. Israel would lose its provision. The land would no longer support the people (Hos. 9:2). In fact, they would lose the land itself (v. 3). And they would lose the favor of God (v. 4). There would no longer be any reason to rejoice (v. 5).
Finally, Hosea delivered his summary statement of judgment. “The days of punishment are coming, the days of reckoning are at hand. Let Israel know this” (v. 7). The people would react strongly calling the prophet a maniac and a fool (v. 7). But Hosea knew differently. He spoke for God, and he took confidence from that calling.
>> Has anyone ever called you “crazy” for your faith? Pray for the courage to share what you believe confidently regardless of other people’s responses.
We have prayed against our idols; now we pray against our fear of man. Move us to courageously proclaim Your truth to the skeptical and offended. Turn their skepticism to belief and their offense to joy.