Hos 5:8-10 Blow the horn in Gibeah, the trumpet in Ramah. Sound the alarm at Beth-aven; we follow you, O Benjamin! Ephraim shall become a desolation in the day of punishment; among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure. The princes of Judah have become like those who move the landmark; upon them I will pour out my wrath like water.
It is surprisingly common to find God taunting those whom He confronts. When person or a nation defies God in their human pride, the taunts given them through the prophets are daring them to stand up to God. Sounding the alarm will do no good. Terrible destruction is going to come, first to Ephraim, then to Benjamin, then to Judah. This description was remarkably accurate. Following the collapse of Samaria, the Assyrians moved through the regions of the tribes of Ephraim, then Benjamin, on their way to the gates of Jerusalem. Judah will receive punishment because they have behaved like Israel. Israel dared to move the center of worship away from its established capital and the great Temple of Solomon. Even as Israel’s kings and priests raised idols in place of YHWH worship, false gods were being worshiped in ever-increasing numbers in the Southern Kingdom. The references to “princes” means the wealthy and politically powerful people of Judah. Those in power were growing wealthy through the idol industry and they were going the same way as those of the Northern Kingdom who were driving the common people into sin. The pouring out of God’s wrath was as certain as the fall of water poured from a pitcher. As for sounding the alarm, Hosea might as well have said, “Be afraid, be very afraid.” The faithful were to sound the alarm that God’s wrath was coming in payment for sin in the time of Hosea. It stands to reason then that Christians should be alarmed by the sin in our present world and get to the business of preaching and doing whatever God gives us to do in order to lead people to repentance.