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I see in this portion of Hosea the corruptions of man-made religion. I'm reminded that Jeroboam had set up Israel's counterfeit religion for fear the people would revert back to Judah if they worshipped together in Jerusalem on the LORD's holy days. So he had made his own priesthood, his own places of worship, and new days for worship, "like" the true worship in Judah (1 Kings 12:26-33) -- and here we see its ultimate fruits, hostility towards the LORD's true servants (Hosea 9:8), even "gangs of priests" who were murderers (Hosea 6:9)!

In Hosea 9:15 the LORD says "All their wickedness began at Gilgal" -- it was there also that Saul's kingship was confirmed (1 Samuel 11:15) and there Samuel warns the LORD's hand will be against them if they and their king rebel against the LORD's commands (1 Sam 12:14-15). There Samuel prayed and ruined their harvest to help them realize it was evil to ask for a human king (1 Sam 12:16-19). At Gilgal Samuel warns, finally, "if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away" (1 Sam 12:29). Ever after Jeroboam, Israel persisted in doing evil and king after corrupt king was swept away and then she was carried away into captivity long before Judah.

From 3 John 10: "When I come, I will report some of the things he is doing and the wicked things he is saying about us" -- my 1984 NIV renders "So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us", which seems to make more sense. Paul says elders "who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning" (1 Timothy 5:20), an insruction to "keep ... without paritiality" (v. 21). I've seen great evil ensue in cases where sinning elders weren't properly publicly rebuked.

Psalm 126:6 "They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest", calls to mind: "Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master, Tho' the loss sustained our spirit often grieves, When our weeping's over, He will bid us welcome, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves" -- from "Bringing in the Sheaves".

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