Summary: Ignorant Christians do not generally have an intellectual problem, they have a spiritual problem. Let’s evaluate ourselves in light of three questions suggested by the text of Hosea.
Ignorant By Choice
(from selected verses in Hosea 4-5)
1. What a great two weeks we had in Camp! It is worth all the effort we put into it.
2. But while our kids were enjoying camp, over in Norway, 92 youth we gunned down at a Labor Party youth camp. What a horrid crime.
3. This week, gay couples in New York State will be able to get married as New York becomes the 6th state to legitimatize gay marriage.
4. From a godly viewpoint, both are disasters.
5. Why is the western world falling apart? No longer believe in the power of the Word to transform our lives; we somehow think we can relate to God apart from His Word. Or perhaps we are bored with God, His Word, and prayer. Like a guest who stays too long.
6. The people in Hosea's time were uninterested in the Word. They offered plenty of sacrifices to God and were religious, although they included pagan religions as part of the mix. But to obey is always better than sacrifice, and obedience begins with meditating frequently on the Word.
Main Idea: Ignorant Christians do not generally have an intellectual problem, they have a spiritual problem. Let’s evaluate ourselves in light of three questions suggested by the text of Hosea.
I. Do You Feel Privileged by the RESTRAINTS of God’s Word or Enslaved By Them? (4:1-3)
A. God’s Word demands godliness: LOVINGKINDNESS (hesed) and FAITHFULNESS (emet)
Psalm 25:10 uses these same terms, “All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.”
B. But the Israelites were VIOLATING the 10 Commandments (find in text)
C. They viewed obeying God’s Word as being in BONDS
• Sports games have rules; talent, alertness, creativity, chance all affect
• Jesus Lodge, Mexican train…
D. The New Birth manifests itself by the Law written on the HEART
• Jeremiah 31:33a,“’This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts…’”
• This is why unbelievers look at our faith as a restrictive set of rules…
• God's laws are there to protect us, direct us, and lead us in the way we should go
E. Even genuine believers can develop an ATTITUDE
• When we embrace bad, cynical, negative attitudes, we are defeated
Application: All of God's commands are summarized under the 2 Great Commandments. You cannot embrace the summaries without embracing the specifics they summarize.
II. Do You VALUE Knowledge of the Word and Demand the Same of Leaders? (4:4-9)
• A minister pastor for 10 years, and was reading the Book of Job for the first time
A. Spiritual destruction: can be AVERTED through knowledge (4-6a)
Amos 8:11, “’The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign LORD, ‘when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.’”
• Only part of the Christian life is about DOING.