Read Psalm 106:6-33
Sung Psalm 16:1-7
Key text Hosea 9:10
Israel’s sins after they left Egypt were many:
Before the Red Sea crossing wishing to go back (Ex.14)
Complaining about water at Maasah and Meribah (Ex.17)
Golden calf (Ex.32)
Complaining at Taberah (Num.11)
Lusting for meat at Kibroth hataavah (Num.11)
Murmuring and wanting to go back at Kadesh Barnea (Num.13-14)
Rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram (Num.16-17)
Lack of water at Meribah (Num.20)
Idolatry and fornication at Baalpeor (Num.25)
It is this latter incident that Hosea uses in his preaching and writing because he wrote in a time of Baal worship. The Israelites had to leave Shittim and go to Peor and there the Midianites under the goading of Balaam and Balak fell to fornicating and Baal worship in which they bowed down to Baal and ate sacrifices offered to the pagan deity, the whole episode being shameful as Hosea points out. God was fiercely angry and jealous and punished the people several ways: many leaders were hanged accursedly, many were slain by the judges, a brazen couple were speared to death by Phinehas and in the plague 24,000 died. Also as a result the Midianites were decimated in war (Num.31:1-16) and this is mentioned in Deut 4:3, I Cor.10:6-8 and Revelation 2:14.
For Israel in Hosea’s day the punishment was the destruction of their offspring by the Assyrians in 722BC. Some sobering lessons for God’s people in all ages! Note as well that in the Pentateuch God’s anger was assuaged in one of two ways; first by judgment like Phinehas and second by priestly intercession like Moses. In the ultimate example of the cross of Christ we have judgment and priestly intercession combined for the salvation of God’s people.