Why does Hosea condemn foreign alliances in his book?
The prophet Hosea, in his book, condemned the foreign alliances Israel had made. That’s because these alliances indicated a declared rebellion against God who had entered into a covenant relationship with the people. Within the context of this covenant, God was the real king over the people. These alliances took place because Israel was seeking military protection and supplies, and this meant that they put their trust in these foreign nations instead of trusting the Lord. It also showed that they rejected the covenant the Lord had made with them as they put their trust in foreign nations. These nations didn’t just supply them with support and military resources, they also had a negative impact on them through imposing their laws and legislations, most of which were against the laws and the commands of the Lord. And also, there was the influence of their religions that affected Israel.
We see in Hosea 10:6 that Israel gave presents to the Assyrian king. And in 12:1 Israel did indeed make a covenant with Assyria. The prophet announced to the people that these alliances would not benefit Israel — not in any military, political, social, or spiritual level. The prophet highlighted this point in 8:7-10. So, the prophet Hosea condemned these alliances because of their political danger. And from the spiritual aspect, these alliances indicated the people’s rebellion against the Lord within the context of the covenant that he had made with them. In that covenant, God told them that he is their king and that they must put their trust in him alone. He would be the source of their help during hard times.