E are all familiar with the phrase, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." It is the same as, "Like father, like son." Among other things, these phrases remind us that a man is affected by his parentage. It is obvious that God has designed this world in such a way that who one's parents are greatly influences who he or she will become. Adam chose to sin, and so all of his descendants have therefore been born as condemned sinners.
So, children sometimes die. Is it God's fault? Didn't babies drown in the deluge? Weren't there children in Sodom and Gomorrah? Didn't God know about the babies who would be slaughtered in Egypt when He sent His people there? Didn't God know about the babies who would be slain in Bethlehem after the birth of the Messiah? Isn't God aware of the untold millions of babies who are being murdered in our modern world by the means of abortion?
Hosea 9 is an exceedingly unpleasant prophecy, but it fits with the reality that I have brought uncomfortably to our attention today. Israel (Ephraim) was full of sin (Hosea 9:15 & 17). Hosea was sent to declare to them that their sins were going to cost them their children. Hosea 9:1-10 emphasizes the sinfulness of Israel. The rest of the chapter describes the consequences that they brought upon themselves. Even the death of the smallest child is evidence of God's justifiable hatred for sin. Not every death is the direct result of a parent's specific sin, but ultimately, the universal curse of sin is always the problem. It was in Hosea's day too.