“Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the Lord shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels. Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.” – Hosea 13:15-16
This prophetic word to Israel came at a time of calm. When Ephraim was fruitful and flourishing. When they seemed to be at peace with the major powers of the time (Assyria and Egypt). They took the nations around them to be their brethren and continued at ease in peace and prosperity, trusting them completely.
When suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere like an east wind. The armies of the Assyrians would move in. Not only an army from the east but one that (like the hot dry harsh east winds of Israel does to a vineyard or plant) would serve to dry up their fruitfulness. There peace, their prosperity, their plenty would be withered instantly. Strong and violently would this enemy from the east sweep over the land and ravage it.
It was the Lord who would allow this as a judgment for their sins. It would be as the winds that come up out of the wilderness of the south east. Which for Israel meant the winds that come across the desert. Very hot and dry and destructive. Consuming moisture and all that brings life, liberty, and fruitfulness.
It would dry up the springs and fountains of water. This speaks not only to a scarcity of physical resources, but more importantly of the living water of the word of God. They had forsaken it for so long and taken it for granted. Now would they see what it was like to want it, but not have it. An enemy that despised the God of their fathers, who dried up the wells and springs of His words and teachings. They had served the spirit of this enemy willingly, now would they be turned over to him physically for a season that they might see how cruel and destructive it was to be in agreement with this wickedness and the dangers of spiritual laziness; for we have a real enemy and when the spiritual warfare is forsaken for selfishness, prosperity, entertainment, and laziness, the enemy keeps plotting and advancing until eventually the enemy manifest and the war becomes physical. This happened to Israel over and over again and it is no different in our current climate, for there is nothing new under heaven. The enemy uses the same tactics.
The passage continues to prophesy that this enemy would rob the treasuries of the government and pleasant vessels of the people. Their materialism would be turned against them as it attracted violence to plunder their possessions. All that they had trusted in would fail them or be taken.
Verse 16 begins to talk about Samaria which was considered the royal city, or capital, at this time. The prophet warns that it will be attacked, besieged, laid waste, made desolate down to it’s very foundation. They trusted in themselves and they fell. This capital not only forsook, but openly rebelled against God, therefore did He remove His hand of protection from them and showed them how weak they really were without Him.
They had encouraged idol worship, greed, selfishness, perversion, sin, they shed the blood of the innocent (including their own children), they rejected the worship of the God of Isaac, Abraham, and Jacob, and they removed the rightful Kings from leadership that had been chosen by God through the bloodline of David and appointed new kings illegitimately.
For all this would this enemy from the East come like a scourge across the land. Harsh, cruel, and wicked. A hot wind burning, poisoning, drying, and laying waste to it. The capital would fall and violence would befall them to the degree of cruelty that they themselves had agreed to let in spiritually. They had killed their own children on the alters of convenience and in doing so had come into agreement with the demons that influence men to do such wicked things. Now would their women and children be killed openly in the streets for the convenience of their enemies, where all could see the evil, wickedness, and cruelty that such acts unleash. No more hidden sugarcoated sin. It would be preformed out in the open by the enemy they themselves let in. Until such a time as they began to see it for what it is, distain it, cry out in true repentance, and seek the God of their Fathers for deliverance. The judgment of God is more often then not, to simply give to men what they think they want.