The opening words of chapter four pretty much tell the story of the remaining chapters of the book of Hosea: “Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel, for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land” (4:1). The charges are laid out: no faithfulness, a lack of knowledge, imitating the unfaithful priests, prostitution, idolatry, dishonesty, and seeking help in the wrong places. How terrible and frequent are the sins! And how harsh will be the discipline!
Matthew Henry noted, “Sin is the great mischiefmaker; it sows discord between God and Israel.” Sin is that which separates Israel and us from our Creator. How great is our sin! Against the dark backdrop of our sin, how brightly does God’s mercy shine!
O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be;
let that grace now, like a fetter,
bind my wand'ring heart to thee.
Prone to wander Lord, I feel it
prone to leave the God I love:
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for they courts above. –Robert Robinson