Summary: Message about the steps leading up to spiritual desertion and how God responds.
“Spiritual Desertion and What to Expect”
Steve Hanchett, pastor
Berry Road Baptist Church
January 28, 2001
Bring charges against your mother, bring charges; for she is not my wife and I am not her Husband! Let her put away her harlotries from her sight and her adulteries from between her breasts; lest I strip her naked and expose her, as in the day she was born, and make her like a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst. I will not have mercy on her children, for the are the children of harlotry. For their mother has played the harlot. She who conceived them has behaved shamefully. For she has said, “I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.” Therefore, behold I will hedge up your way with thorns, and wall her in, so that she cannot find her paths. She will chase her lovers, but not overtake them; yes she will say, “I will go and return to my first husband, for then it was better for me than now.” She did not know that I gave her grain, new wine and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold - which they prepared for Baal. Therefore, I will return and take away my grain in its time and my new wine in its season, and will take back my wool and my linen, given to cover her nakedness. Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall deliver her from my hand. I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her fast days, her New Moons, her Sabbaths - all her appointed feasts. And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees. Of which she has said, “these are the wages that my lovers have given to me.” So I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them. I will punish her for the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. She decked herself with her earrings and jewlery, and went after her lovers; but Me she forgot, says the Lord.
According to a January 15, 1989 article in the Lexington Herald-Leader, the family in a home in West Palm-Beach, Florida, told a film crew is was fine for them to use the front lawn of their home as a set for an episode of the “B.L. Stryker” television show.
While the show was being filmed, which included cars crashing violently in front of the house and the front lawn being blown up, a call came in from New York. It was the owner of the house demanding to know what was going on with his property. I seems the people living there didn’t own the house. They had no right to give permission for the property to be torn apart for a television show.
So often we live with the mistaken impression that our lives belong exclusively to ourselves. The truth is we belong to God. We have been bought by the precious blood of Christ. We need to know that the One who owns us is going to call upon us to give an account of what we did with the life that He has entrusted us with.
God will not allow us to simply go our own way and live apart from Him without acting to discipline us and bring us back into a right relationship with Him. This morning we are going to explore the first half of Hosea chapter two and what we will find is that the path that leads us away from God is a mighty poor stretch of road.
Hosea is filled with the passion, hope, love, of God but also with the judgment and terror of God upon sin. Chapter two lays out God’s case against Israel. In doing so we find The Common Pattern of Spiritual Defectors, The Consistent Problems of Spiritual Defectors, and The Certain Promise to Spiritual Defectors.
First consider with me the fact that there is a consistent pattern with spiritual defectors. The circumstance, the culture, the age may be different, but there are certain things that usually happen in a person’s life when they drift away from God.
If we can pinpoint the common elements of spiritual defection it can help us to keep ourselves on track. Once we know where people begin to drift away from Christ, we will be able to have warning flags in our own life. We will also learn some important keys to keeping ourselves from even beginning to drift spiritually.
It might be helpful to start at where the road of spiritual defection ends up. In verse 13 God says, “But Me she forgot.” That is where spiritual defection always ends up. But what does it mean to forget God? It means a person lives as if God doesn’t matter. In the case of Israel it specifically referred to their worship of Baal. They treated Jehovah God as if He was irrelevant to life. People do the same thing today. They chase after all kinds of things and people who they are convinced will bring a happiness to their lives and leave God completely out of the picture. So forgetting God is a kind of spiritual amnesia. The God that was once so important to a person’s life is treated as insignificant and irrelevant.