God’s Punishment for Israel’s Transgression

This meditation is based on a passage for October 6, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 2 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Hosea 8:1-14

Reflection and Question: This passage contains a reference to a calf-idol. Of course, we are probably more familiar with the Golden Calf in the book of Exodus made and worshipped while Moses was on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments from God. Exodus was, in fact, written down much later than this passage and is actually a reflection of the practice Hosea was preaching judgment against: that of worshipping an idol Hosea calls, the calf of Samaria. Israel thought they were sacrificing to the God of their fathers when they were really worshipping false gods. Hosea reminds us how easy idol worship is to fall into and how hard God’s punishment is for this sin. What false idols do you worship?

Prayer: God of Abraham and Sarah, we remember Hosea’s warnings to the people of Israel and Judah that they are worshipping false gods. Whatever it may be — money, fame, or power — forgive our idolatry. Show us our sin and turn us to You. Amen.