The prophet Hosea did not stand idly by while his civilization was collapsing around him. Eight centuries before Christ, Hosea’s Israel, the great Northern Kingdom, was in the midst of decay and on the verge of ruin. By virtue of his prophetic vocation, Hosea knew that the impending collapse would be the result not of God abandoning the people, but of the people abandoning God. Hosea dedicated his entire life to the task of turning the people back to the God who created them and who brought them out of slavery in the land of Egypt. Although some of the people listened to Hosea, most chose not to, and the Northern Kingdom fell, and the people were enslaved, exactly according to Hosea’s prophecy: “they shall return to Egypt” (Hos 8:13).
Hosea’s message remains valuable for us today, thousands of years later. For example, this prophecy: “Though I write for him my many ordinances, they are considered as a stranger’s” (Hos 8:12). This means that God was giving instructions for the people of the Northern Kingdom, but the people thought the instructions were coming from a dubious source. In other words, the people did not understand that God’s laws came from a real God who really loved them, so they treated his laws lightly, as if they were optional. This error contributed to their own destruction.
As we strive to be faithful to the instructions of Christ the head, and of the Church, His body, let us ask the Holy Spirit, who once inspired Hosea, to give us faith in God, and trust in his love for us, and the courage to do what is right.