Hos 2:10-12 Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall rescue her out of my hand. And I will put an end to all her mirth, her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her appointed feasts. And I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees, of which she said, ‘These are my wages, which my lovers have given me.’ I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall devour them.
If Israel’s people could see through their kings’ apostasy is it any wonder that the surrounding nations could see their hypocrisy? In the decades prior to Assyria’s assault Israel experienced considerable economic prosperity. They built up their military and invested in the popular cult temples alongside their own YHWH places of worship. The figs and vines were literal sources of income as well as figuratively representing the fruit of idolatry. Israel trusted in its own power to gain wealth, literally and religiously. By saying “I will make them a forest,” God was saying that Israel would become full of itself, puffed up with pride and arrogance, all the greater to fall when the beastly Assyrians came. In much the same way we often take God for granted today. We put our trust in our own hands and intellect. We think with our technology or money or even our good works we decide our own fate. We delude ourselves when we think to steal God’s sovereign authority.