Hos 5:11-12 Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment, because he was determined to go after filth [or “to follow after human precepts”]. But I am like a moth to Ephraim, and like dry rot to the house of Judah.
The reason for the judgment is restated in a new way. The tribes were determined to do evil in the sight of God. They decided to do what they wanted in defiance of what they knew God wanted. They elevated their own will to sate their own material desires. They failed to recognize they had all they need in the company of God. Their greed blinded them. What did not come from God was corrupt and subject to decay just like cloth wasting away by moth or dry rot. Their erosion would seem slow in coming, but in the end the ruin would be just as complete. The idea of rotting away and being moth eaten was a disgusting image. It should have goaded them to repent. Pride, however, refuses to hear truth and pursues its own lusts. And so it was Israel’s unrepentant heart that was its downfall. Throughout the world today people continue to try and find their own fulfillment, denying all the wonderful and priceless grace, mercy, and hope given by a loving Creator who seeks to give His best to an unworthy creation whom He loves anyway.