Summary: God wants us to do more than just go through the motions of faith.
Have you noticed that in Church, we do not spend much time in the Old Testament?
Today we are going to spend some time in the book of Hosea.
In the Old Testament the nation of Israel was called to be a nation of priests. Israel was to be a bridge between the nations and God. This is what the church today is supposed to do. 1 PETER 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
The nation of Israel was not doing a very good job of building bridges. The nation was slowing sinking away from God
The nation was accepting the ways of the world. The nation was not carrying out God’s will because they were pushing God aside and were being absorbed by the world.
God told the prophet Hosea to marry a woman of harlotry. His marriage to her was to illustrate the unfaithfulness of the nation to God. His marriage was to serve as an object lesson to the nation. READ VERSES 1-3. GOMER?
In Chapter 2:5, we find that the people were worshipping other things besides God.
The people were living in religious hypocrisy. 6:6
Does this sound familiar? The nation was going through the motions of religion.
This is happing today in the church.
What would cause a nation to go through the motions? What would cause a “Christian” to go through the motions?
What is it that was destroying the nation of Israel? What is it that is destroying the church today?
Let’s look at Hosea 4:6. READ.
The problem is a lack of knowledge. The problem is that we do not know God. In Hosea 6:3, we are told, “Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.”
Knowledge of God. The proper relationship of men to God is to know the Lord. Whereas some parts of Scripture emphasize the “fear of God,” Hosea emphasizes knowledge. The word “know” in Hebrew is used to describe a man’s relation to his wife (Gen. 4:1)-the most intimate experience that is humanly possible. With Hosea, to know God is no mere intellectual matter, but is rather an intimate relationship that comes by living with and for him and must be persistently pursued (6:3). Without it there is killing, stealing, and false swearing (4:1, 2). The people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (4:6; 13:4; John 17:3). It is knowledge of God and mercy that God demands more than sacrifice (Hosea 6:6).
I want us to look at the first part of Chapter four of Hosea today. In these verses I want you to look at what happened to the nation of Israel as a result of not knowing God. These same things will happen to us in the church if we do not get to know God.
When we lack knowledge about God, we not develop a relationship with Him. Our relationships are built upon the foundation of knowledge. A lot of marriages because the relationship is just based on emotions or the satisfaction of needs. To really love someone you really have to know them.
Today we will look at what happens to us when we lack knowledge about God.
When we lack knowledge about God there will be:
I. NO FAITHFULNESS
1. The nation of Israel we being destroyed from within because of their lack of knowledge.
2. The people were struggling with their faithfulness to God because of the lack of knowledge and because of the lack of a relationship with God.
3. As God’s chosen people looked around them, they saw the pagans worshipping. Pagan worship looked fun to them, it was loose and just about anything was allowed. There were really no rules. This looked good to the people of God, so you see that they constantly struggled with Baal worship and other forms of idolatry.
HOSEA 2:5 "For their mother has played the harlot; She who conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, ’I will go after my lovers, Who give me my bread and my water, My wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’
When we do not know God, then we will think that we are taking care of ourselves and that God has no part in that. Gomer told herself that she would go where she was taken care of.
4. We will struggle with being faithful to God because we will have no foundation for our faithfulness. If you do not know God, what is it that keeps you in line?