Summary: Israel had wonered away from God, gotten lost in her own selfrighteousness, and found herself morally bankrupt. Is America headed the same way?
First Baptist Church
Jellico, Tennessee. 37762
Pastor: Bro. Michael Blankenship
Day of Decision or Hour of Intent
Israel had wondered far away from its place of origin. As if a child lost in a store, she is drawn away by delights of the eye, sensual insights and an overwhelming urgency to seek her own way. She awakens; finding herself tossed into the gutter of sin and interpidation. She has lost her way; she has gone from being the apple of God’s eye to becoming a rotten and desolate fruit that he will judge and hold in contempt until she throws herself at the mercy of our Lord.
America likewise has become a slithering snake that eases herself further and further away from God. We position that we are a country of godly people. We look down our noses at the other places of the world and we proudly jest that we are unlike them. Yes, we have known God, and we have abandoned Him, He has blessed us and we have in turn taken him out of our schools, our homes, and our public places of assembly.
We have decided that we are a country of intellectual giants who do not need the small idealism of scripture. We stand and we look over the battered horizon, at the hungry and the poor, and the various addicts, and the disjointed lives and we ask why? We slink along and watch helplessly as Satan ravages our land and we ask why? Today we are like the harlot metaphor of Israel in Hosea’s day that has gone out looking for something more than our beloved God.
We have fallen into the pit of iniquity, from which God had drawn us.
He is judging us as we have decided to become standing in our own rebellious ignorance, like a small child that refuses to come to its parents. We are lost. We are rebellious. We are afraid and lonely without the warmth of God.
Let us then, as Christians, as concerned citizens who care about the future look back toward the holy word of God that will deliver and direct our course.
I. Let Us See Israel’s Plea for Reconciliation vs.1-3
1. The realization of a nation that finds itself overwhelmed in a spiritual parallel.
When the realization that all else has abandoned her settles in, where does Israel turn? She understands through all the faults of her own drifting that;
A. Distance from God is Destructive.
There is a loss of strength morally and materially because of spiritual neglect.
I think it is always hardest to battle in a fight, which you do not believe in personally. My friends and I would box in a ring we had built in the neighborhood. Steve, was the champion he could well beat everyone who boxed him. One day a kid from another neighborhood came over to box, he whipped our champion. When we asked Steve, “what happened?” His reply was somewhat of a mystery to eleven-year-old kids. “my heart was not in it,” he said.
Steve just was not in to fighting someone he did not know, and he was concerned that he might hurt them, so he lost the fight. My friend if your heart is not with God, how can you win the battle over evil in your life.
Israel had lowered their standards, abandoned the truth, and fallen flat on their faces amidst the lies of Satan himself.
B. Let us: The need to examine ourselves personally before God. Notice Israel’s cry is not let them, let he, let she, or let those; it is personal let us return to the Lord. Let us the same us who have separated, segregated, and severed our relationship with God.
C. It begins with me, myself, and I, let us, because I am he who strayed, who has caused the fervor of agony upon my Saviors brow, which caused the nail scars in his hand let me. There within that anguished cry of Israel lay a confession of her dastardly deeds her horrible and hideous self. A realization of where she was and how she stood before God. We must divorce ourselves from the notion that it is all right to disobey the Ten Commandments as long as I keep the eleventh, which is, “thou shall not get caught.”
D. The plea for revival. It is always when we come to the point of moral and emotional bankruptcy that we see the hand of God at work reviving the still body of the remnant, resituating the forgone hope of a nation in parole.
God always comes when we have exhausted ourselves with matter that do not satisfy and solutions that do not cure. When we have reached the lowest ebb in self-assurance, God comes to assist us. Have you ever tried to rescue an animal that was in danger? It will claw, bite, and scratch you if you get to close. You must wait until it is totally abated all energy that it has and then approach it to help it survive.