Set the trumpet to your mouth!
He shall come like an eagle against the house of the LORD, Because they have transgressed My covenant
And rebelled against My law.
Israel will cry to Me,
“My God, we know You!”
Israel has rejected the good;
The enemy will pursue him. Hos 8:1-3
Israel is to set the trumpet to their mouth, because trumpets were sounded as a warning and a call to action when an approaching danger, including an enemy army, was sighted. Assyria came and carried Ephraim away, as we have been reading about in Hosea, because Ephraim transgressed the LORD’s covenant and rebelled against His Law or torah.
We have been seeing in Hosea, that God equates transgressing His covenant with rebelling against His Law. This agrees with what we have previously read in Scripture:
“So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.” Deu 4:13
Now when this disaster came upon Israel, they cried out to God, “My God, we know You!” Wow, there is so much packed into those five words. Ephraim made idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold, which they worshiped, so that the land was full of them. They practiced the religion of the pagan nations around them (Hos 4:14, 17). But they also practiced a form of worship of YHVH: they brought sacrifices (Hos 6:6), and observed new moons and Sabbaths (Hos 2:11).
But God is teaching His people, that worshiping Him is not only about outward forms of obedience: Israel had fallen into this way of thinking, that as long as someone rests on Sabbath and and doesn’t eat pork, and brings their sacrifices, they can lie, cheat, dishonor parents, and observe pagan rites in pagan temples with ritual harlots, because they gave their sacrifice, right? My sins are covered! My slate is erased!
Oh no no no, the LORD has been telling them. So Israel, when they see the Assyrian army bearing down on them, will cry out, “My God!” In the day of their distress, they won’t cry out to all their idols. All of the sudden it will be, YHVH is our God! His reply to them will be, “Let your collection of idols save you,” (Isa 57:13).
Jesus taught exactly this same principle:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Mat 7:21-23
Sin is lawlessness, or torah- lessness (1 Joh 3:4). Sin and righteousness is defined by His Law. He has revealed His will to us: worship God alone. Do not profane His holy name. Rest on the seventh day. Honor your mother and father, and so on. Jesus is not saying, only those who never transgress the Law will enter the kingdom of heaven. He is saying, those who make a practice of lawlessness, of saying with their mouth, “My God, we know You!” while they lie, cheat, steal, eat pork and dishonor the Sabbath, will not enter the kingdom of heaven, because those who truly know the LORD will do His will.
Jesus is our perfect and spotless sacrifice for sin. Let us not continually “bring our sacrifice” so to speak, while we practice idolatry, dishonoring, unforgiveness, and even eat the flesh of unclean things. Let us recognize that forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven (Psa 119:89), and the Torah is included in His Word. Let us recognize that if YHVH is immutable and unchangeable, then He did not change and His Word did not change and His will did not change and His definitions did not change.
Let us read and pay attention to the Torah as much as to the rest of the Scriptures, so that it may instruct us as to what is righteousness and sin, what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom 12:2). And when we discover something that we ought to be doing that we haven’t been, because we were never taught, or something that we are doing that we shouldn’t be, all we have to do, is repent in sincerity and truth, and go and sin no more. He does not condemn us. 🙂