Israel is swallowed up;
already they are among the nations
as a useless vessel.
 For they have gone up to Assyria,
a wild donkey wandering alone;
Ephraim has hired lovers.
 Though they hire allies among the nations,
I will soon gather them up.
And the king and princes shall soon writhe
because of the tribute. (ESV)
Israel has become a laughing stalk among the nations; a useless vessel. Carried away to Assyria.
2 Kings 17:6
 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria, and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. (ESV)
Israel is a wild donkey. Out of control and useless. Ephraim has paid others to love them. Will paying other nations for a political relationship save them?
 Because Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning,
they have become to him altars for sinning.
 Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands,
they would be regarded as a strange thing.
 As for my sacrificial offerings,
they sacrifice meat and eat it,
but the LORD does not accept them.
Now he will remember their iniquity
and punish their sins;
they shall return to Egypt. (ESV)
Since Ephraim multiplied these alters for sinning, they themselves have become an altar for sinning; a false sacrifice. In this upside down world of Ephraim, where right is wrong and wrong is right, GOD says that His law is strange and foreign to Ephraim.
The outside appearance suggests that Ephraim is still praising GOD. Ephraim is offering sacrifices that they will eventually use to satisfy their own cravings and desires.
It is not sacrifice, if you are not sacrificing something.
It is not love, if you are not sacrificing something.
Love equals sacrifice.
If you are not willing to sacrifice something for someone else, then you do not love them. On the reverse, if someone is not willing to sacrifice something for you, then they do not love you. GOD sacrificed His SON, JESUS, to take on the sins of humanity, for humanity. GOD loves you. Do you love GOD?
Does Hosea’s generation model our current generation? Do we believe that we are pleasing to the LORD, but actually the opposite is true?
Are we fooling ourselves that we are sacrificing to GOD, but from GOD’s prospective realistically sacrificing to ourselves?
Where does it say that Ephraim will return?
They will return to bondage.
They will no longer be GOD’s people.
They are divorced.
 For Israel has forgotten his Maker
and built palaces,
and Judah has multiplied fortified cities;
so I will send a fire upon his cities,
and it shall devour her strongholds. (ESV)
Israel and Judah have forgotten their MAKER and have replaced with false securities. What are those?
Do you have any false sense of securities?
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.