Hosea Chapter Nine, Blinded By Prosperity... 

In our study of Hosea chapter nine, we will look at how a people can be blinded by the things that they have been blessed with and miss the truth of God. In chapter 8, we saw how Israel was going through their religious rituals but had no knowledge of the Word of God.

Hosea 9:1

"Do not rejoice, O Israel; do not be jubilant like the other nations. For you have been unfaithful to your God; you love the wages of a prostitute at every threshing floor." NIV translation

Israel was looking around at their abundant crops and rejoicing in them. They saw that abundant crop (material prosperity) and assumed that God was happy with them.

The prophet reminds them that they have turned their back on God the provider and so He saw them as prostitutes.

The same type of thing happens today as many people are blinded by their prosperity and think that it comes from themselves and their hard work. These people do not acknowledge the hand of God in their lives and so do not worship Him.

It also happens with places of worship as many will build big fancy buildings and think that God is happy with them. They will rejoice in the "blessing" of a fancy "campus" and not realize that they are drifting further and further away from the Word of God. In many cases, they turn to the banking system to finance the building and become enslaved to the mortgage. This slavery leads them to preach a message that the people want to hear so that this new building can be filled in hopes of bringing in enough money to pay the mortgage. Like the church in Sardis (see Revelation 3), they have a reputation of being alive in Christ but in reality they are dead spiritually.

Hosea 9:2 - 5

"Threshing floors and winepresses will not feed the people; the new wine will fail them. They will not remain in the Lord's land; Ephraim will return to Egypt and eat unclean food in Assyria. They will not pour out wine offerings to the Lord, nor will their sacrifices please him. Such sacrifices will be to them like the bread of mourners; all who eat them will be unclean. This food will be for themselves; it will not come into the temple of the Lord. What will you do on the day of your appointed feasts, on the festival days of the Lord?" NIV translation

Because they have turned their back on God their provider, the prophet tells of a famine that is coming. This famine caused Israel to go to surrounding countries for food. This unclean food could not be used for sacrifices or worship.