Now shall a month devour them - In a month's time the king of Assyria shall be upon them, and oblige them to purchase their lives and liberties by a grievous tax of fifty shekels per head. This Menahem, king of Israel, gave to Pul, king of Assyria, 2 Kings 15:16-20. Instead of month, some translate the original locust. "The locusts shall devour them."
They have dealt treacherously - Literally, “have cloaked,” and so, acted deceitfully. The word is used of treachery of friend toward his friend, of the husband to his wife, or the wife husband. “Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord” Jeremiah 3:20. God, even in His upbraiding, speaks very tenderly to them, as having been in the closest, dearest relation to Himself.
For they have begotten strange children - God had made it a ground of the future blessing of Abraham, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment” Genesis 18:19. But these, contrariwise, themselves being idolaters and estranged from God, had children, who fell away like themselves, strangers to God, and looked upon as strangers by Him. The children too of the forbidden marriages with the pagan were, by their birth, strange or foreign children, even before they became so in act; and they became so the more in act, because they were so by birth. The next generation then growing up more estranged from God than themselves, what hope of amendment was there?
Now shall a month devour - The word now denotes the nearness and suddenness of God‘s judgments; the term “month,” their rapidity. A “month” is not only a brief time, but is almost visibly passing away; the moon, which measures it, is never at one stay, waxing until it is full, then waning until it disappears. Night by night bears witness to the month‘s decay. The iniquity was full; the harvest was ripe; “now,” suddenly, rapidly, completely, the end should come. One month should “devour them with their portions.” God willed to be the Portion of His people; He had said, “the Lord‘s portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance” Deuteronomy 32:9. To Himself He had given the title, “the protion of Jacob” Jeremiah 10:16. Israel had chosen to himself “other portions” out of God, for these, he had forsaken his God; therefore he should be consumed with them. “All that they had, all that they possessed, enjoyed, trusted in, all, at once, shall that short space, suddenly and certainly to come; devour, deprive and bereave them of; none of them shall remain with them or profit them in the day of wrath.”
At this time there was quite an excitement among the Methodists in Oswego. They held many meetings, and their leaders were very zealous, praying for and exhorting sinners to be converted. Some of the adventists who were preaching time, often joined them in their meetings, and then would tell us that a glorious work was going on among the Methodists, that God was with them, or they would not be thus blessed. The question was often asked, “What do you think of Bro. M.? The Lord works through him in a special manner. He and his wife visit from house to house conversing with sinners, and praying for them, and Bro M. was engaged so zealously in prayer last night for the mourners who came forward to the anxious-seats, that he broke a blood-vessel, and was carried to his home in a feeble condition.” They triumphed over the believers in present truth. I told them to wait and see the result of the matter, and referred them to Hosea 5:6, 7. 2SG 123.1
But in the midst of the revival M. was arrested and placed in confinement in what was called the “black hole,” while his Methodist brethren were left to carry on the revival. He was suspected of retaining public money for his own use. The matter was investigated, and he took God to witness that he had not a cent of their money. And as his wife was about to be searched, she left the room. She was watched, and seen to hide something in the snow. And as she returned and joined her husband in protesting their innocence, one of the men who watched her, took a bag of money from the snow, brought it in and held it up before them. 2SG 123.2
We visited Camden, about forty miles from Oswego. Previous to going I was shown the little company there who professed the truth, and saw one among them, a female, who professed much piety, but was a hypocrite, and was deceiving the people of God. Sabbath morning quite a number collected, but the deceitful woman was not present. I inquired of a sister if this was all their company. She said it was. This woman lived four miles from the place, and the sister did not think of her. Soon she entered, and I knew her. In the course of the meeting she talked quite lengthy, said she had perfect love, and enjoyed holiness of heart. That she did not have trials and temptations, but enjoyed perfect peace and submission to the will of God. The brethren and sisters were strangers to me, and they seemed to have confidence in her, and I feared that they would not receive my testimony if I should state what had been shown me in regard to her. I inquired concerning this person, and was informed that she appeared to be the most zealous one among them. I left the meeting with sad feelings, and returned to Bro. Preston's. That night I dreamed that a secret closet was opened to me, filled with rubbish, and I was told that it was my work to clear it out. With the aid of a lamp I removed the rubbish, and told them the room could be supplied with more valuable things. 2SG 124.1Read in context »
The closing years of the ill-fated kingdom of Israel were marked with violence and bloodshed such as had never been witnessed even in the worst periods of strife and unrest under the house of Ahab. For two centuries and more the rulers of the ten tribes had been sowing the wind; now they were reaping the whirlwind. King after king was assassinated to make way for others ambitious to rule. “They have set up kings,” the Lord declared of these godless usurpers, “but not by Me: they have made princes, and I knew it not.” Hosea 8:4. Every principle of justice was set aside; those who should have stood before the nations of earth as the depositaries of divine grace, “dealt treacherously against the Lord” and with one another. Hosea 5:7. PK 279.1
With the severest reproofs, God sought to arouse the impenitent nation to a realization of its imminent danger of utter destruction. Through Hosea and Amos He sent the ten tribes message after message, urging full and complete repentance, and threatening disaster as the result of continued transgression. “Ye have plowed wickedness,” declared Hosea, “ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men. Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled.... In a morning shall the king of Israel utterly be cut off.” Hosea 10:13-15. PK 279.2Read in context »