The people of Judah must not copy Israel's sins
15 You people of Israel are not faithful to the Lord. But do not let the people of Judah become guilty of the same sins. Do not travel to Gilgal to worship! Do not go to Beth Aven! Do not say, ‘I promise this is true, as surely as the Lord lives’. 16 Israel's people have turned against the Lord. They are like a young cow that refuses to obey its owner. So how can the Lord take care of them? Will he put them in a big field to eat the grass like lambs? 17 The people of Israel enjoy their idols. Do not go near them! 18 After they have drunk enough wine, they are happy to sleep with prostitutes. They enjoy doing things that should make them ashamed. 19 Now a strong wind will pick them up and take them away. They will become ashamed because of their sacrifices to false gods.
4:15Hosea's message is sometimes like Amos's message. See Amos 5:5. They did not want Israel's people to worship at Gilgal or at Bethel. Gilgal was an important place for the Israelites. They stopped there after they crossed the Jordan River. See Joshua 4:19. Hosea calls Bethel ‘Beth Aven’. Bethel means ‘House of God’ but Beth Aven means ‘House of wicked things’.
4:19It is time for God to judge them.