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Hosea 9:1-6

Starved for God

1-6Don't waste your life in wild orgies, Israel. Don't party away your life with the heathen.

You walk away from your God at the drop of a hat

and like a whore sell yourself promiscuously

at every sex-and-religion party on the street.

All that party food won't fill you up.

You'll end up hungrier than ever.

At this rate you'll not last long in God's land:

Some of you are going to end up bankrupt in Egypt.

Some of you will be disillusioned in Assyria.

As refugees in Egypt and Assyria,

you won't have much chance to worship God—

Sentenced to rations of bread and water,

and your souls polluted by the spirit-dirty air.

You'll be starved for God,

exiled from God's own country.

Will you be homesick for the old Holy Days?

Will you miss festival worship of God?

Be warned! When you escape from the frying pan of disaster,

you'll fall into the fire of Egypt.

Egypt will give you a fine funeral!

What use will all your god-inspired silver be then

as you eke out a living in a field of weeds?

7-9Time's up. Doom's at the doorstep.

It's payday!

Did Israel bluster, "The prophet is crazy!

The 'man of the Spirit' is nuts!"?

Think again. Because of your great guilt,

you're in big trouble.

The prophet is looking out for Ephraim,

working under God's orders.

But everyone is trying to trip him up.

He's hated right in God's house, of all places.

The people are going from bad to worse,

rivaling that ancient and unspeakable crime at Gibeah.

God's keeping track of their guilt.

He'll make them pay for their sins.