Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!” and to the hills, “Fall on us!” – Hosea 10:8c
God speaks to Israel through Hosea and addresses the sins of Israel and how they turned from worshiping the God of their fathers to worthless idols made of wood, stone, and metal. This rebellion by Israel, called Ephraim in many places referring to the northern kingdom, infuriated God and eventually caused Him to drive the 10 northern tribes into exile in Assyria. During this discourse, God says that terrible days were coming for Israel. They would be so terrible that people would cry out to the rocks to conceal them from God’s presence and to crush them in order to escape this coming wrath of God.
As I read this passage today, I was saddened greatly in my heart over the condition of ancient Israel and for the generation that is alive today. I recalled two passages of Scripture, as I read this passage. One addresses the fear that the Israelites must have felt in anticipation of God’s coming wrath and one that reads almost identically in the book of Revelation to this passage. I was grieved because sin devastated the chosen people of God in the ancient past, and it does so even today. Just as ancient Israel thought their “peace and safety” and riches would save them, many people professing God as their LORD and Savior do likewise today. The saddening factor is that nothing can save people from their sins and ultimately from hell and torment for eternity. Only Jesus and the blood He shed at Calvary can do that.
Let’s look at the two passage that came to mind today. The first is in Hebrews 10:30-31, “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The LORD will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” The Bible tells us only a small number of times to fear, and that fear is in regard to God the Father, who as Jesus said, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt 10:29). Is it any wonder that God said the ancient Israelites would cry out to the rocks to cover them from His presence and to crush them to avoid His wrath? Falling into the hands of God truly would be a fearful thing!
But this passage from Hosea sounds almost identical to an outcry that will come from the lips of rebellious sinners in the last days when the full wrath of God is poured out upon mankind for his sins! Let’s look at Revelation 6:12-17 –
I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places.
Then everyone—the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person—all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?”
There were many prophets in ancient Israel and Judah that foretold of this coming “Day of the LORD” which will bring destruction upon mankind for his sins. Isaiah (13:9) said, “See, the day of the LORD is coming —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger— to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.” Ezekiel (30:3) said, “For the day is near, the day of the LORD is near— a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations.” Joel (1:15) said, ‘Alas for that day! For the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.” Again, Joel (2:31) said later, “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.” Does this last verse not resemble the words of John above from Revelation 6?
Any time people are destroyed for their sins it is a saddening event. The coming wrath of God and its destruction will wipe out literally BILLIONS of humans from the earth! God doesn’t want to destroy people. Ezekiel (33:11) said that God does not delight in the death of the wicked but that they should turn from their wicked ways and live! Peter reiterates God’s sentiment on the subject when he (2 Pete 3:9) said, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Thus, you and I, as believers and children of God, have a great work to do in these final days before the Great Tribulation. There is a Great Commission we are to fulfill with conversions of sinners to righteousness and their being made into Jesus’ disciples to continue the cycle. It should fill our hearts with sorrow that one person dies today and goes to hell for eternal torment rather than spending eternity in the presence of Almighty God and worshiping Him forever!
Father, my heart broke today as I read this passage in Hosea. Anytime people die without having made You LORD and Savior, I should be moved with sorrow but also with a desire to be about Your business of winning the lost and robbing hell of souls. The only reward I want from this life is to know that people will be spending eternity with You because I obeyed Your calling and witnessed to them and saw their conversion from death into life. Help me to reach as many people as possible in the short time I have here on earth in this lifetime. I shudder at the thought of people crying out to rocks to hide them and crush them just to escape Your wrath when they could have come to know You as Lord and be saved for all eternity. Have mercy on people, dear Father. In Jesus’ name I humbly ask, Amen.