Whoever is discerning, let him know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right,
And the righteous will walk in them,
But transgressors will stumble in them.”
—Hosea 14:9 (NASB)
Just in case it slipped past you, the common thread throughout the entire book of Hosea that summarizes the root cause of their problem is their treatment of the Word of God. Why do they treat each other so poorly? They’re not following God’s commandment to love their neighbor. Why do they pursue false worship and false gods? They have discarded God’s Word to love and be devoted to Him alone. Why do they seek the authority and protection of surrounding nations? They have cast aside His Word of authority and protection for an earthly one they perceive to be stronger. God states repeatedly that their going through the motions of observing the rituals associated with the temple, festivals, and priesthood are to no avail because He knows that they’ve rejected the very Word that provided them in the first place.