Hosea 11:12. “Ephraim compasseth Me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints.”
There are some Bible scholars who feel that v. 12 should actually be the beginning of the next chapter. It does make sense that way. We need to remember that chapter divisions and verses, did not exist in the original manuscripts. They were created to help locate subjects and specific verses, and I’m very thankful for that! However, there are places in which it would have been better not to make divisions, and this could be one of them.
The message in this verse is that Ephraim (Israel) has not been honest with God or His prophet. They made claims, and had some appearance, of continuing to worship God, but those were surface behaviors that they foolishly thought God wouldn’t punish. How arrogant we can become when we want to live sinfully!
Judah, on the other hand, had been more reluctant to fall into idolatry. Some of her kings–not all–had restored proper worship, but the struggle was ongoing, and Judah would suffer judgment but would not be as completely destroyed as the ten northern tribes.
In spite of the coming judgment, God would preserve and protect a remnant of His people. He would restore them and bless them when they came, in repentance and humility, back to Him.