October 14, 2021
"They have installed kings, but not through Me. They have appointed leaders, but without My approval. They make their silver and gold into idols for themselves..."
“They have installed kings, but not through Me. They have appointed leaders, but without My approval. They make their silver and gold into idols for themselves for their own destruction. Your calf-idol is rejected, Samaria. My anger burns against them. How long will they be incapable of innocence? For this thing is from Israel – a craftsman has made it and it is not God. The calf of Samaria will be smashed to bits!” Hosea 8:4-6
When people hear the word “innocence,” they may have varied definitions of what that means. As a matter of fact, “innocence” in the Bible has various meanings. When the Bible was translated into English, “innocence” became a “catch-all” term for several Hebrew words. As one could imagine, each Hebrew words bear a subtle yet distinct difference in definition.
In the book of Daniel is the word “ZAKHU,” meaning “absence of guilt of disloyalty to God.” Then, in 1 Kings 2:31, there is “CHINNAM,” denoting “undeserved or without cause”: i.e., “victims of murder.” Job 33:9 uses “CHAPH” in describing “clean, by scraping or polishing” and refers to “forgiven sin,” which leads to moral purity. In all other places, the word “NIQQAYON” is found. It means “The absence of pollution,” connected with blood, and carries the idea of divine acquittal, or forgiveness. In the New Testament, it is used twice in connection with blood. Matthew 27:4, 24
In Hosea 8 and 10, the word “niqqayon” is used. It means. “absence of pollution.” Hosea is referencing Israel’s pollution due to idolatry. Hence, Israel was incapable of innocence as long as they worshipped idols.
We all remember the “golden calf” that Israel had made in direct defiance of God’s command to “not make any graven images” in Exodus 32. No doubt, every Hebrew child would have been taught this story. Yet, by Hosea’s generation, the Hebrew kingdom was split (two kingdoms, two kings). The pedestrian Jewish indifference to Adonai (the Lord) had reached the point where two more “golden calves” had been forged and were being worshipped.
Today’s challenge is for us to ask God to reveal our “idols.” Where are those we ascribed power (ergo, worship) to - power and worship that belong only to God?
In the eyes of God, Christians remain in a constant state of “CHAPH” through the enduring atonement of the Messiah. That being said, we may incur severe rebuke whenever we find ourselves lacking “NIQQAYON." Thus we find ourselves in the crosshairs of God’s righteous rebuke due to our allowing idolatry to creep back into our lives.