Summary: Hosea was trying to get God’s people to get serious about their relationship with God.
Today we are going to look at something that can happen to us when we are wandering through the spiritual desert or it can just happen over time.
We can easily get to the point in which we are just going through the motions of our walk with Jesus.
One of the things we must remember when it comes to our faith is that God wants something real; He wants a real relationship with us.
God does not want us to just go through the motions of our faith.
For those of you who are married, do you want a spouse who just goes through the motions of marriage or do you want to have a real relationship with your spouse?
Today we are going to look at the book of Hosea, chapter 4.
Hosea was a prophet who served from 750-725 B.C. He was a contemporary of the prophet Isaiah. His was a message of judgment that was preached from a broken heart.
God told the prophet Hosea to marry a woman of harlotry by the name of Gomer.
His marriage to her was to illustrate to the nation of Israel their unfaithfulness to God. His marriage was to serve as an object lesson to the nation.
God was not happy with Israel, they had fallen away hard. The nation was quickly sinking away from God.
The nation of Israel was going through the motions of religion.
What would cause a nation to go through the motions? What would cause a “Christian” to go through the motions?
I want us to look at the first part of Chapter four of Hosea today. We need 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.
Let’s turn to the book of Hosea chapter 4.
I. THE PROBLEM (VERSE 1, 6)
What was the main problem?
Hosea 4:6 (NASB) 6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
The problem is a lack of knowledge. The problem is that we do not know 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 (NASB) 6For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
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 fail because the relationship is just based on emotions or the satisfaction of needs. To really love someone you really have to know them.
The Israelites did not have an intimate knowledge (or relationship with) of God. Hosea lists six things that resulted.
When we lack an intimate relationship with God we will display:
II. NO FAITHFULNESS (1)
• The nation of Israel we being destroyed from within because of their lack of knowledge.
• SLIDE #7
• Hosea 4:1 (NASB) 1Listen 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.
• 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.
• 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; they constantly struggled with Baal worship and other forms of idolatry.
• SLIDE #8
• 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.’