Summary: When we 'say' we are believers but don't live out the life God has called us to live, then we are useless to God and a mockery to the Gospel and a laughingstock to the world!
Hosea 7 [HCSB]
May 22, 2013
Oak Park Baptist Church – Wed Bible Study Series
Hosea Bible Study
A Study of the Minor Prophets Hosea (750-725 BC)
HOSEA to Israel (Northern Kingdom)
We have moved thru the 1st six chapters of Hosea and we have learned several things:
1st we have learned that this book was a prophecy given to Hosea by God and the targeted audience is the nation of Israel (the Northern Kingdom)
2nd we learned that the Kingdom of Israel divided right after Solomon died and the 10 tribes of the north, led by the tribe of Ephraim formed the Northern Kingdom, also known as Israel -- The 2 tribes in the South formed the Southern Kingdom, known as Judah
3rd we learn in this book how far the people of Israel had strayed from their relationship with God. They were all about the form of worship, but their worship held no real meaning for them as they also worshiped foreign gods and practiced foreign worship rituals. They had turned away from God… But it was not limited to the nation of Israel, Judah was headed in this direction as well.
4th we learned that it was God’s desire to see repentance and submission to Him and He told Hosea if the nation would turn to Him that He would reverse His decision on punishment, defeat and exile!
BUT if they refused He would have no choice but to discipline the nation thru the use of pagan kings and nations to overwhelm them and subvert them to slavery and servitude.
Tonight we are going to look at a very grim chapter as it paints a very dark picture of what God is going to DO about the disobedience of the nation of Israel. So tonight I want us to journey thru this chapter & take a look at what God is saying to the nation of Israel and how this applies to us today…
1“I want to heal Israel, but its sins are too great. Samaria is filled with liars. Thieves are on the inside and bandits on the outside! 2Its people don’t realize that I am watching them. Their sinful deeds are all around them, and I see them all.
When we read this passage I want to clarify a couple of things here that some may point out…
FIRST: God’s desire is to heal the nation… to bring it back to Him! His desire is NOT discipline/destruction BUT reconciliation/redemption!
SECOND: the phrase, “…but its sins are too great…” this is a phrase that seems to fly in the face of the message we preach today that NO MATTER where you are in life and no matter HOW much or WHAT you have done… God can and will forgive you!
Well that IS a fact that there is NOTHING from which God’s mercy and grace cannot rescue a soul… but here it seems as if there MAY actually be a line that can be crossed… a point of no return (so to speak)
What the writer is saying here is NOT in reference to the quantity of sin or the fact that sin is present… Sin is a reality in the life of any human!
The writer is saying here that Israel had sinned greatly against God and they were continuing IN that same sinful lifestyle and their hearts were NOT changing! And where there is NO repentance there can be NO forgiveness… their actions reflected a general lack of repentance and this is why God can make such a statement… AND even when they DID supposedly do what God desired them to do, their hearts betrayed their actions!
Hosea writes that Samaria (Israel or Ephraim) is filled with liars, which is another reason for destruction and another reason to NOT trust what they say…
Thieves and bandits are the ‘norm’ in this country… they live out their lawless lives in plain sight and take advantage of those who seek to follow the Law.
They flaunt this behavior and do not seem to think there are any consequences to their lawless behavior. There is NO repentance or brokenness about their sinful lives…
To these people God is not even on their radar, ‘… they don’t even recognize that I am watching them…’ but I am watching and I am seeing ALL they do…
3“The people entertain the king with their wickedness, and the princes laugh at their lies. 4They are all adulterers, always aflame with lust. They are like an oven that is kept hot while the baker is kneading the dough.
This is sin gone crazy… where self desires overwhelms their lives. They begin to treat what is wicked as entertainment and their leaders condone these actions…
Where the king should be the moral leader and the moral compass for the nation, their king had become the chief of all sinners against God… He was being entertained by things that God considered wicked.