Summary: Sermon 4 in a study in Hosea
“Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel, for the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land, because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land.” (vs 1)
Up to this point there has been a strong focus on the relationship between Hosea and Gomer as a demonstration of the troubled relationship between God and His people. Of course, we have been able to make application with Christ’s church in general and even our own personal relationship with the Lord as we have gone through these early chapters.
There would not be much point in being here if we could not do that with any portion of scripture that we are studying. Without personal and significant application of God’s Word to our every day lives we would have before us nothing more than a history lesson; a very sketchy one at that.
For an example of what I’m saying, we take the things said in the verses we have just read, from the indictment in verse 2 that the land is filled with swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery, which, by the way, are in violation of five of the ten commandments given to Moses, and the added charge that bloodshed is the order of the day, and we only need to think about our own 21st century society to understand that there must indeed be something for us to consider very seriously in these verses before us.
I just did some quick browsing on the web and it didn’t take me long to find some information that drives this point home very graphically.
“With the end of World War II and the economic recovery in Europe in the 1950’s, crime rates and particularly rates of violent crime began to climb once again throughout the West. In England and Wales, murder and assault cases increased from 13 per 100,000 in 1950 to 144.3 per 100,000 in 1975, for an eleven-fold increase. During the same period the rate of larceny-theft rose from 847 per 100,000 to 3,659 per 100,000. In Scandinavia much the same pattern unfolded. Between 1960 and 1974-75, assaults and murders in Finland more than doubled from 127.9 to 282.0 per 100,000, and thefts more than tripled from 886 to 2,850 per 100,000. And in Stockholm between 1950 and 1971 the rates of thefts, assaults, and murders more than quadrupled.
These increases in Europe were recorded mainly in the cities, and a similar pattern prevailed in the United States. Between 1960 and 1997 violent crimes known to the police in the United States shot up from 160.9 to 610.8 per 100,000, and property complaints rose from 1,726.3 to 4,311.9 per 100,000.” THE POST-WORLD WAR CRIME WAVE Copyright 2007 Net Industries, law.jrank.org/pages/2159/statistics-historical-trends-in-western-society-post-world-war-ii-crime-wave.html
There is no question, and it hardly needs to be said at all in a time when the worst side of humanity is made clearly manifest on the news throughout the course of any given day, that we live in an increasingly violent world, where self is god, instant gratification is the altar society comes to worship at with dizzying frequency, and whatever goes wrong is someone else’s fault.
There is a song from the 1960s that expresses the mindset of modern society now even more clearly than when it was written. It is called “The Psychiatrist’s Folksong” by Anna Russell
“I went to my psychiatrist to be psychoanalyzed
To find out why I killed the cat and blacked my husband’s eyes.
He laid me on a downy couch to see what he could find,
And here is what he dredged up from my subconscious mind;
When I was one, my mommy hid my dolly in a trunk,
And so it follows naturally that I am always drunk.
When I was two, I saw my father kiss the maid one day,
And that is why I suffer now from kleptomania.
At three, I had the feeling of ambivalence toward my brothers,
And so it follows naturally I poison all my lovers.
But I am happy; now I’ve learned the lesson this has taught;
That everything I do that’s wrong is someone else’s fault.”
I don’t have to go farther on this path. Folks are generally in agreement these days with the assessment that society is in a downward spiral; they only differ on the reasons.
I would submit to you that those looking outside of the Bible are looking in the wrong place.
People were the same then as they are now. There is no fundamental difference between the Middle Eastern culture of the centuries before Christ and the centuries after; indeed, no real fundamental difference between that culture or any culture and ours. That is why Romans three can be read universally and applied universally.
“Jews and Greeks are all under sin; 10 as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; 11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; 12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.” 13 “THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,” “THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”; 14 “WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS”; 15 “THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD, 16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS, 17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.” 18 “THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.” 19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;”