Daily Devotions


Day 114

"Its glory has departed from it"

Text: Hosea 10:5


King Jeroboam was the first king of Israel when the kingdom became divided. He was the one who introduced calf-worship (1 Kings 12:28-33). When it first occurred in the days of Moses, the LORD chastised the nation for it (Exodus 32-34). Jeroboam I did not learn from this incident and calf-worship became a permanent fixture in Israel’s idolatrous practices.

“The inhabitants of Samaria fear
Because of the calf of Beth Aven.
For its people mourn for it,
And its priests shriek for it-
Because its glory has departed from it.”
Hosea 10:5

1. “The inhabitants of Samaria fear because of the calf of Beth Aven”

a) The original center of calf-worship was Bethel.
b) When Samaria became the new capital of Israel, it became the center of calf-worship.
c) The inhabitants had a fear (a reverence) for the calf they worshiped.
d) Beth Aven was quite near to Bethel. But the meaning of Beth Aven was ominous.
It meant, “The house of nothing or vanity”.

2. “For its people mourn for it”

a) There were different seasons in calf-worship.
b) Jeroboam tried to pattern it after the worship of the LORD in the temple at Jerusalem.
c) The Day of Atonement was practised in Judah according to the teachings of Moses.
d) Calf-worship also had a day of mourning and its devotees practised this with devotion.

3. “And its priests shriek for it”

a) The priests at Jerusalem did not shriek but sang praises to the LORD.
b) The priests of Calf-worship had a different form of worship.
i) They shrieked as part of their calling upon the calf-deity.
ii) They worked themselves into a frenzy as an expression of adoration.
iii) On the surface, this might have appeared to be quite impressive to impressionable devotees.

4. “Because its glory has departed from it”

a) Hosea added a new twist.
b) He foresaw the end of Israel and all its idolatrous practices.
c) The priests somehow feared that one day calf-worship would come to an end.
d) Beth Aven would literally come to nothing.
e) For this reason, the priests were now shrieking.