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Commentary On Hosea by Jean Calvin

Lecture Fifth

It remains for us to explain what the Prophet declares concerning the Israelites, that they boasted of their abundance of wine and oil, and all good things as having come to them through their superstitions. What, then, they ought to have ascribed to God alone, they absurdly transferred to their idols. Of this ingratitude the Prophet here accuses them in the person of God himself, and at the same time shows that the ungodly are so deluded by prosperity, that they harden themselves more and more in their superstitions; and this is not the case only at one time, but almost universally in the world. We see how full of pride the Papists are at this day, because they bear rule in the world, and possess riches and honours. They think their services acceptable to God, because he shows not himself openly opposed to and angry with them; and so it has been from the beginning.

But the Prophet here condemns this foolish presumption, that we may learn not to judge at all times of God's love by the prosperous issue of events. There are then two things to be observed here, -- that the superstitious falsely ascribe to their idols what comes from God alone; -- and further, that they conclude that they are loved by God, whenever he does not immediately take vengeance on them. The Sodomites, we find, became obstinate in their sins for the same reason; when all kinds of pleasures abounded, they thought themselves to be approved of God. Let us now proceed to what follows.

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