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What is the significance of Hosea 8:5?

The Lord asks, “How long will they [Israel] be incapable of innocence?”

The Lord’s continual striving with Israel regarding their lack of innocence suggests that this question was not merely rhetorical. If God knows the future to be eternally settled, however, he could not in earnest ask this (or any other) question about the future. He would have known from all eternity that Israel would continue to reject his program of holiness. The fact that the Lord sincerely asks this question and authentically attempts to answer it as soon as possible, testifies to the truth that the future of Israel was not completely settled at this time—not in reality, and thus not in God’s mind.

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