Summary: God had sent one prophet after another to warn Israel of impending judgment. Rather then heeding the many warnings, they continued to live in a fantasy world, void of reality. Sadly many today continue this path, refusing to admit their great need.
Living a Fantasy
Hosea 6:4, 7:8ff
As you study the book of Hosea, God’s love for His people is easily discovered. While they had turned their backs on him, seeking the gods of this world and the pleasures of the flesh, God continued to pursue them by His grace. In the chapters between our last study and our text today, Hosea records the immorality and rebellion of Israel. Although God had provided countless opportunities to return unto Him and restore their relationship, Israel continued a path of self-destruction. She was living in a fantasy world, void of all reality and accountability.
Unfortunately as I study this prophetic book, I see many similarities to America and many within the church today. While Hosea was written specifically to Israel, there are timeless truths that apply to any generation. Like His dealings with ancient Israel, our Lord remains gracious toward humanity. He actively seeks us out, desiring us to walk in fellowship with Him. Many in our world today have chosen a path very similar to the one Israel walked in Hosea’s time. They too live in a fantasy world, unwilling to admit the severity of their need.
As we consider our text today, I hope to address the areas in which Israel was lacking before the Lord and make application for our lives today. Let’s examine these areas as we consider: Living a Fantasy.
I. The lacked Stability (6:4) – O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. Here the Lord revealed the first of five comparisons made regarding Israel. Their goodness was said to be as a morning cloud, as the early dew that falls on the ground and quickly evaporates. Their commitment to the Lord was sporadic at best. They may have gathered for worship on the Sabbath, but quickly forgot their obligations to the Lord throughout the remainder of the week. They couldn’t be counted on to serve the Lord faithfully.
Sadly this attitude is prevalent in our society as well. The nation as a whole has no genuine desire for the Lord. Many will invoke the name of God in a moment of desperation or national tragedy, but there is no genuine desire for the Lord or commitment to a relationship with Him.
Unfortunately this attitude permeates the modern church as well. All across the nation, people gather on Sunday mornings for worship, but they are as a morning cloud or the early dew. They quickly disappear into the world, rarely presenting a Gospel witness. Many strive to hold to divided loyalties – seeking to hold the things of God in one hand and desperately desiring to keep a hold on the world with the other. Some are faithful for a season, and then they disappear. They attend regularly for a while, and then they are gone. I pray the Lord will create a desire in our hearts to remain committed unto Him and steadfast in our service! Rev.3:15-16 – I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
II. They lacked Maturity (7:8) – Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned. The Lord rebuked their lack of faith and commitment, desiring to seek the ways of the world along with attempting to serve Him. They were described as a cake not turned, literally one that was half-baked. They were done on one side and remained undone on the other. On one side they portrayed the ways of God and yet the other side continued to show the ways of the world. They had failed to seek the ways of God, yet to reach a state of spiritual maturity. They were living a life of compromise with the world.
Surely you will agree that we stand in need of spiritual maturity and commitment in our day as well. The world is watching our lives. They expect to see something different from the church. Unfortunately like those in Israel, what the world sees depends solely on which side they choose to look. Many today have a side they reveal when at church or in the company of believers, and another side the world sees when they are among them. We desperately need those who will surrender their lives unto the Lord, living consistently for Him, and portraying a solid Gospel witness. I want others to see Jesus in me, regardless of my surroundings.
We must seek spiritual maturity in our day. One of the greatest hindrances for the church today is the lack of genuine lives. The world is watching. What type of witness are we portraying? We need to be fully baked, revealing Jesus regardless of the side the world may see!