Hosea 8

God does not like Israel's people because they pray to idols

1 ‘People must know about what will happen! Make sure that they do know.

The enemy will come down like an eagle.

8:1An eagle is a big, dangerous bird.

They will attack the Lord's people,

because the Lord's people have not obeyed my covenant.

They have not obeyed the things that I taught them.

2 Israel's people shout out to me. They say, “We in Israel know you.”

3 But they refused what is good.

So the enemy will run after them.

4 My people chose kings, but they did not ask me for help.

My people chose leaders. But they did not choose men that I knew.

The people used their silver and gold to make idols for themselves.

I will cause their enemies to kill them because of this.

5 I do not like the gold bull that the people in Samaria worship.

I am very angry with the people in Israel.

It will be a long time before they are without sin.

6 A worker from Israel made that idol.

It is not God.

I will break Samaria's bull into pieces.

7 Israel's people did a silly thing.

It was like a man who is trying to plant the wind.

But they will only get troubles.

They will get back something that is like a very strong wind.

The plants in the field will grow, but they will not give any food.

If the plants did grow, then foreign people would eat them.

8 Israel has become like the other countries.

It is like a pot that someone has broken.

Nobody can use it.

9 Israel's rulers have gone to Assyria for help.

They are like a wild animal that walks without any direction.

The people in Ephraim have sold themselves to other countries.

They wanted to love those countries.

10 They will try to get friends among those countries. But I will bring Israel's people together.

They will feel some pain.

This pain will come from a foreign king.

11 Israel's people built more and more altars.

They built them so that God would not see their sin.

But they have used those places to sin even more!

8:11God did not like the altars in the North. There were too many of them. The covenant said that there should be only one altar. It was Jeroboam 1st who put in all these altars. He also put idols where some of these altars were (1 Kings 12:26-33). The altars became places where people ate too much. And they drank too much at those places, too. They became places to sin.

12 I gave all my rules to Israel's people.

8:12‘I gave all my rules to Israel's people.’ ‘He remembers their sins.’ God is still speaking about himself in verse 13.

But they look at those rules as if they were strange.

13 Israel's people love sacrifices.

They offer meat in those sacrifices and then they eat it.

The Lord does not accept these sacrifices.

He remembers their sins.

And he will punish them for their sins.

They will have to return to Egypt.

14 Israel's people built houses for kings.

But I made Israel and they forgot me!

Judah's people have made their towns strong.

But I will send fire on the cities in Judah.

And the fire will destroy those strong towns!’