Summary: Lent 4(A) - Our gracious God heals hearts torn apart. We learn that our problem is sin, not the pain and that our solution is God’s free grace!
GOD HEALS HEARTS TORN APART (Outline)
March 18, 2007 - LENT 4 - Hosea 5:15-6:3
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INTRO: God has created for us another beautiful day. We rejoice as spring drives away our winter blues. The warm sunshine takes away some of the aches and pains of the past season. Today we enter God’s house of worship to draw near to God. We come to rejoice in God’s mercy and love for sinners. "Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded"(JAMES 4:8). Lord – help us to draw near to with sincere hearts, hearts that you purify with your forgiveness.
Our theme: GOD HEALS HEARTS TORN APART.
We will discover today, that:
I. Our problem is sin, not the pain, and:
II. Our solution is God’s free grace.
I. OUR PROBLEM IS SIN, NOT THE PAIN
A. The prophet Hosea was commanded by God to marry an unfaithful wife, Gomer.
1. This was repulsive to the children of Israel. Their prophet married an adulteress.
2. Gomer, Hosea’s unfaithful wife, represented Israel, the unfaithful bride of God.
B. The Lord describes his judgment in verse 14. Bodies would be ravaged as if a lion come upon them.
1. In verse 15 the punishment of the Lord will become worse. God will forsake Israel.
2. There is not greater punishment than to be forsaken by God. God would wait.
C. God would wait a long time for Israel to understand their misery and finally seek his help.
1. Israel would be defeated and taken as captives into foreign lands. God waits.
2. Verse 6:1 tells how Israel finally seeks the Lord’s help in the midst of their pain and misery.
3. Israel doesn’t want to be forsaken by God. They want to return to their Promised Land.
4. Israel sought help for their pain, misery, and suffering. But their problem was sin.
D. The world is not much different today than it was during the time of the prophet Hosea. All too many seek the Lord’s help for their pain and suffering. All to many want the Lord to listen and listen right now. In our selfishness we demand that God help us through difficulties in this life. God’s will is not always – thankfully – man’s will. "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear"(ISAIAH 59:2). Isaiah reminds us how difficult it can be to see and understand the full plan God has for our lives and us. Our problem is sin, not the pain of this life.
E. Our problem of sin is a constant. On this side of heaven sin is constantly with us. Sin is the infection that you and I and everyone else have inherited from our first parents, Adam and Eve. Everything is tainted with the imperfection of sin that entered God’s once perfect world. One writer says: “God in his love adds misery to sin to turn us around from our sin.” Just ask King David. David committed adultery and murder all for his own sinful desires. It took some time, but David finally came to his senses and recognized his problem of sin. "When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer"(PSALM 32:3,4). God is patient for people to come to see the problem of sin in life.
F. Our Lord God does not want a mere out ward show of repentance. You know the stories. “I will be good God if you just get me out of this mess.” “I promise to dedicate my life to you if you help me.” God helps and people forget that promise of change. Thankfully, Luther was one who kept his vow of dedication to the Lord. (It took years of a dedicated life before the Lord changed the heart of Luther into a saved believer/reformer.) Repentance is change. God is not mocked. God knows and looks into the hearts of mankind. "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death"(2 CORINTHIANS 7:10). God heals hearts torn apart by sin.
GOD HEALS HEARTS TORN APART. Our problem is sin, not the pain and misery of this life.
II. OUR SOLUTION IS GOD’S FREE GRACE
A. The opening verses of chapter 6 seem like a sincere confession. They are not – read all of Hosea.
1. The Israelites were only crying out for physical help not the spiritual cure for their sin.
2. These opening verses speak nothing about a confession or sorrow over any sin.