Continuing chapter 6 from last week, we are still in the court room. The LORD is in the prosecutor’s seat and Israel in the defendant’s seat. Remember that GOD is still talking to all of Israel, Ephraim and Judah. The violations continue to stack up for Israel. How will Israel respond? How can Israel survive these accusations?
 But like Adam they transgressed the covenant;
there they dealt faithlessly with me.
 Gilead is a city of evildoers,
tracked with blood.
 As robbers lie in wait for a man,
so the priests band together;
they murder on the way to Shechem;
they commit villainy. (ESV)
Circle Adam. Is GOD speaking of the man or the place?
 So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people,  and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest),  the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. (ESV)
Whether GOD is speaking of the man or the place, it is clear that GOD is saying that the people have transgressed the covenant. Look up the word transgress and write down the meaning of what Israel did.
Gilead and Shechem were both cities of refuge for the manslayer as well as cities allotted to the priests. (If you would like to read more about this, look to Joshua 20-21.) These cities should have been a shining light on the hilltop, priests guiding the people in their relationship with the LORD. Instead, it seems that the priests were not only turning a blind eye to sin, but actively participating in sin. Do we see this today? Absolutely! Do leaders start off thinking that they want to take advantage of others to prop themselves up? Maybe some do? I would like to think the most do not. It seems that many who get a little power end up needing more and more until they find themselves in situations possibly banding together to murder.
1 John 4:1
 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (ESV)
We have the privilege and responsibility to test who is truly representing the LORD. I encourage you to test every teaching against the truth of GOD’s Word, myself included, exercising the awesome right that we have been given!
 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing;
Ephraim’s whoredom is there; Israel is defiled.
[11a] For you also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed.(ESV)
Cover your eyes! This is what I instinctively want to do when I know a horrible thing is coming. I don’t want to see the nasty, gross, or even scary thing. I would rather not have my stomach turn and twist and feel my heart fall out of my chest. GOD does not cover His eyes! He says “I have seen a horrible thing.” What is that horrible thing?
What have we determined that whoredom is, that has defiled Israel?
Judah has not escaped whoredom either. What do you think that GOD means when He says a harvest is appointed?
GOD loved all of Israel and knew that whoredom was not good for Israel and warned them against it. GOD loves you! GOD created you and knows what is best for you. GOD wants the best for you. See you again tomorrow when GOD will look to restoring His people.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.
“Dictionary by Merriam-Webster: America's Most-Trusted Online Dictionary.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/.
Green, Jay P. “Hosea.” The Interlinear Hebrew-Aramaic Old Testament: With Strong's Concordance Numbers above Each Word, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, MA, 1985,
Publishing, Rose. Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines. Rose Publishing, 2015.
Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible: Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order, Together with Dictionaries of the Hebrew and Greek Words of Th. Hendrickson Publishers, 1990.