Hosea tells of a great discipline that will come to Israel if she does not return to him, a judgment whose description is encapsulated in 8:13 – “[The Lord] will remember their iniquity and punish their sins; they shall return to Egypt.” Though, at one time (the days of Jacob and famine), Egypt had been a land of bounty (Israel’s murmurings in Ex. 16:2,3 recalled the bounty of Egypt), if the people continued to sin and reject the Lord, as Egypt had once became a land of oppression and suffering, the people would once again face a similar experience at the hand of God.
The counsel to Israel? Don't go back (to Egypt, that is)! The writer of Hebrews (3:12-14) warns about going back, about “a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” And, so, as believers, we join together in the spirit of Hebrews 10:24,25 and encourage one another daily, “for we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end” (Hebrews 3:14). Don’t go back! Stand firm! By God’s grace, we will do so.
Guide me, O my great Redeemer,
pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but you are mighty;
hold me with your powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me now and evermore,
feed me now and evermore. –William Williams