RAMPANT GUILT IN THE PEOPLE OF GOD
INTRODUCTION: THIS PASSAGE OF HOSEA IS A CONTINUATION OF THE CHARGE THAT GOD HAS BROUGHT AGAINST HIS PEOPLE ISRAEL. THIS CHARGE HAS NOT ONLY BEEN DECLARED, IT HAS ALSO BEEN VIVIDLY PICTURED THROUGH THE MARRIAGE OF HOSEA TO GOMER AND THE ACTIONS OF EACH. HERE, GOD LAYS OUT, NOT ONLY HIS CONCERNS, BUT ALSO THE NATURAL PROGRESSION OF THESE CHARGES IF THEY ARE LEFT UNCHECKED, UNREPENTED, AND ALLOWED TO CONTINUE. IN REALITY, WHAT GOD IS CONCERNED ABOUT FROM ISRAEL, AND FROM US IS WHAT MIGHT BE TERMED, “SINS OF OMISSION”. THESE ARE SINS WHICH WE BRING ON OURSELVES, NOT BY OVERT ACTION, BUT BY ACTUAL OR CASUAL INACTION.
I. THE DECLARATION OF THE CHARGE – 4:1
A. THE LORD BRINGS A CHARGE BASED ON HIS WORD
B. VIOLATION OF THE REVEALED WORD OF GOD IS NOT SOMETHING TO BE TRIFLED WITH
a. GOD’S WORD IS UNIQUE
a. IT IS INERRANT – IT HAS NO ERRORS
b. IT IS INFALLIBLE – IT CAN NEVER FAIL
c. IT IS INSPIRED – IT COMES FROM THE VERY MIND OF GOD THROUGH THOSE WHO WROTE IT
d. IT IS IMMUTABLE – IT DOES NOT CHANGE
1) IT IS NOT SUBJECT TO PERSONAL PREFERENCE
2) IT IS NOT SUBJECT TO POLITICAL CORRECTNESS
3) IT IS NOT SUBJECT TO CULTURAL ADAPTATION
4) THE WORD OF GOD IS THE STANDARD BY WHICH ALL NATIONS, CULTURES AND PEOPLE ARE SUBJECT
5) THE WORD OF GOD TRANSCENDS PERSONAL PREFERENCE, AND IDEOLOGIES
2. GOD, THROUGH HIS WORD IS TO BE OBEYED
a. THE FOLLOWER OF CHRIST HAS NO CHOICE IN THIS MATTER
1) THE FOLLOWER OF CHRIST IS KNOW BY HIS OBEDIENCE
John 14:15 (NIV) 15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command.
2) THE FOLLOWER OF CHRIST PRACTICES SELF-DECEPTION BY DISOBEDIENCE.
1 John 5:3 (NIV) 3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
3) THE FOLLOWER OF CHRIST WILL BE CORRECTED BY GOD TO PRODUCE OBEDIENCE.
Hebrews 12:6 (NIV) 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."
b. ULTIMATELY, EVEN THE UNBELIEVER HAAS NO CHOICE IN THIS MATTER
Romans 14:11 (NIV) 11 It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'"
II. THE DESCRIPTION OF THE CHARGE – 4:1-2
A. THERE IS NO FAITHFULNESS
1. OPPOSITE OF THE CHARACTER OF GOD
2. GOD HAS BEEN ABUNDANTLY FAITHFUL TO US
3. GOD CONTINUES TO BE FAITHFUL TO US.
4. GOD WILL NEVER STOP BEING FAITHFUL TO US!
5. FAITHFULNESS COMES FROM THE WORD TRUTH
a) ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE TRUTH – FAITHFULNESS IS BOTH REQUIRED AND BLESSED – IT BRINGS ABOUT STABILITY IN OUR LIVES!
Proverbs 28:20 (NIV) 20 A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.
1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV) 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
b. THE OPPOSITE IS ALSO TRUE, ….
James 1:6-8 (NIV) 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
1) THE PERSON WITHOUT FAITH/TRUTH IS IN TROUBLE
2) HE HAS NO HORIZONTAL STABILITY WITH MAN
3) HE HAS NO VERTICAL STABILITY WITH GOD
4) THIS IS WHAT JESUS WAS COMMUNICATING IN THE PARABLE OF THE BUILDERS
WE CANNOT BE STABLE IN OUR WALK WITH GOD IF WE ARE PEOPLE WITHOUT FAITH
B. THERE IS NO LOVE
1. AGAIN THIS IS A CHARACTER OF GOD EXERCISED ON OUR BEHALF IN THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE.
John 15:13 (NIV) 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Romans 5:8 (NIV)8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV) 3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
2. THE DIRECT RESULT OF HAVING NO LOVE TOWARDS GOD, WE WILL HAVE NO LOVE TOWARDS OTHERS
John 15:12 (NIV) 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
LOVE IS SOMETHING WE OWE GOD
C. THERE IS NO ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GOD
1. LITERALLY, THERE IS NO KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
2. THIS MEANS MANY THINGS
a. NOT RECOGNIZING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH AND TO GOD
b. A DELIBERATE REBELLION OF GOD – ROMANS TELLS US THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO NOT KNOW GOD, ONLY TO BE IN REBELLION TO THAT KNOWLEDGE.
c. REFUSING OR DENYING GOD’S AFFECT ON OUR LIVES
Hosea 6:6 (NIV) 6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
Romans 1:21-26 (NIV) 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
1) GOD GAVE US REVELATION OF HIMSELF AND WE DEPARTED
2) WE TURNED FROM THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD THAT GOD GAVE US AND SUPPRESSED IT
3) THE ULTIMATE RESULT OF THIS SUPPRESSION IS WRATH
III. THE OUTCOME OF THE CHARGE – 4:3-13
A. ALL ARE GUILTY – NO ONE CAN POINT A FINGER AT ANYONE ELSE
B. WE ARE DESTROYED FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE (SAME WORD AS IN VERSE 1).
1. MEANS TO BE BROUGHT TO RUIN
2. MEANS TO BE UNDONE
3. MEANS TO BE UNSECURE
PEOPLE WITHOUT AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF GOD ARE DESTINED TO RUIN IN THIS LIFE AND ARE DESTINED TO HELL OR SMELLING LIKE SMOKE IN THE NEXT
Revelation 20:5 (NIV) 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.
1 Corinthians 3:12-14 (NIV) 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.
C. WE PERPETUATE OUR SIN TO THE HIGHEST RANKS OF OUR SOCIETY
1. THE MORE PRIESTS THEY GOT THE WORSE OFF THEY WERE.
2. HAS ANYBODY EVER ASKED THE QUESTION, WHERE DID THE PRIESTS COME FROM? THEY CAME FROM THE PEOPLE.
3. SO THE ACTIONS OF THE PEOPLE PRODUCED THE LEADERS AND PRIESTS WHO THEN TOOK IT TO NEW LEVELS – THEY PROFITED FROM THE ACTIVITIES, SO THEY LET THEM CONTINUE
D. WE LOOK FOR ANSWER APART FROM GOD – VERSE 12
E. WE REAP THE CONSEQUENCES OF A GODLESS SOCIETY
1. MORAL DEPRAVITY – VERSE 2
2. DESTRUCTION OF OUR ENVIRONMENT – VERSE 3
3. DEBASING OF OUR LEADERSHIP – VERSES 7-9
4. PERSONAL EMPTINESS – VERSES 10-12
5. NATIONAL RUIN – VERSE 14
F. WE REAP THE RESULTS OF BIBLICAL IGNORANCE – BIBLICAL IGNORANCE PRODUCED:
1. THE CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST
Luke 23:34 (NIV) 34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Matthew 22:29 (NIV) 29 Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.
3. DENIAL OF CHRIST (BECAUSE WE PRETENDED TO BE IGNORANCE OF GOD’S WORD WHEN WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN BOLD)
Luke 22:57 (NIV) 57 But he denied it. "Woman, I don't know him," he said.
Romans 1:20 (NIV) 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
IF THOSE WHO SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER THEN DID WHAT THEY DID, WHAT IS TO STOP US FROM DOING LIKEWISE?
ONLY ONE THING – TOTAL DEVOTION TO THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST!
DOES YOUR FAITH MATTER TO YOU, OR IS IT A CONVENIENCE OR MAYBE AN ANNOYANCE?
WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU REALLY SHOWED THE LOVE OF CHRIST TO OTHERS SIMPLY BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT JESUS DESERVES AND EXPECTS – IF YOU DID IT TO THE LEAST OF THESE YOU DID IT TO ME!
HAS GOD SO AFFECTED YOUR VERY LIFE THAT YOUR CONDUCT IN THE WORLD IS DICTATED BY YOUR WALK WITH HIM AND NOT THE TUG OF THOSE AROUND YOU!