Hosea 8 (New International Reader's Version)

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Israel Will Harvest a Windstorm

1 The LORD said to me, "Put a trumpet to your lips! Give a warning to my people! Assyria is like an eagle. It is ready to attack my land. My people have broken the covenant I made with them. They have refused to obey my law. 2 Israel shouts to me, 'We recognize you as our God!' 3 But they have turned away from what is good. So an enemy will chase them. 4 My people appoint kings I do not want. They choose princes without my permission. They use their silver and gold to make statues of gods. That is how they destroy themselves." 5 The LORD says, "People of Samaria, throw out your god that looks like a calf! My anger burns against you. How long will it be until you are able to remain faithful to me? 6 Your calf is not God. A skilled worker from Israel made it. But it will be broken to pieces." 7 The LORD says, "Worshiping other gods is like worshiping the wind. It is like planting worthless seeds. Assyria is like a windstorm. That is all my people will harvest. There are no heads of grain on the stems that will come up. So they will not produce any flour. Even if they did produce grain, the Assyrians would eat all of it up. 8 So the people of Israel are swallowed up. Now they are like a worthless pot to me among the nations. 9 They have gone up to Assyria for help. They are like a wild donkey that wanders around by itself. Ephraim's people have sold themselves to their Assyrian lovers. 10 They have sold themselves to the nations to get their help. But now I will gather them together. They will get weaker and weaker. The mighty kings of Assyria will crush them. 11 "Ephraim built many altars where they sacrificed sin offerings to other gods. So their altars have become places where they commit sin. 12 I wrote down many things in my law for their good. But they considered my laws as something strange. 13 They offer sacrifices to me. They eat the meat of the animals they bring. But I am not pleased with any of that. I will remember the evil things they have done. I will punish them for their sins. And they will return to Egypt. 14 Israel has forgotten the One who made them. They have built palaces for themselves. Judah has built forts in many towns. But I will send fire down on their cities. It will burn up their forts."
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