Hos 5:13-14 When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his wound, then Ephraim went to Assyria, and sent to the great king [or “King Jareb”]. But he is not able to cure you or heal your wound. For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, and like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear and go away; I will carry off, and no one shall rescue.
Hosea saw ahead into the near future when Assyria would scatter Israel in the exile of the Northern Kingdom. In submission to their conqueror, the Israelites turned him for help. What they would receive was cruel terrible punishment for their insubordination and dishonest dealings with the evil Assyrian king. They say that if you play with fire you’re going to get burned. This was a painful lesson for Israel resulting in the end of Israel as an independent and cohesive state. God not only allows Assyria to do this, but God is declaring His will goes with the Assyrians, evil though they were, because punishment was determined for Israel’s sin. As an object lesson for modern people, we need to understand that sin destroys and God does dole out fierce punishment for evil doing, even by those who appear to give the pretense of being His people. Calling yourself a Christian is not good enough. Going to church warming a pew is not good enough. God requires a heart contrite in earnest submission that is willing to obey Him above all else. God alone decides who will find mercy and who will be punished. The choice is His and He is sovereign in making that choice. Our role is to obey His choice, to throw ourselves at His mercy, and to seek Him with all our hearts. He promises that we will find him if we seek him earnestly. He promises to be faithful to forgive our sin and purify us. He does not do this so we might go to our sin without guilt, but so that we would be free of sin’s bondage and wrath because we have turned from our selfishness to Him in humility and love.