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Summary: UNFAITHFULNESS IS SUBTLE, YET DANGEROUS TO OUR LIVES

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ON THE ROAD TO RESTORATION

A Study In The Book Of Hosea – Part 1

THE FACETS OF UNFAITHFULNESS

Hosea 1:1-2:1

PROPOSITION: UNFAITHFULNESS IS SUBTLE, YET DANGEROUS TO OUR LIVES

INTRODUCTION: THE PROPHET HOSEA WAS A CONTEMPORARY WITH BOTH THE PROPHET ISAIAH AND AMOS. A PERSONAL LOOK WILL ENABLE US TO SEE THE CONDITION OF GOD’S PEOPLE AT THE TIME HOSEA MAKES HIS DECLARATIONS FOR GOD. THE CONDITION OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL IS SIMILAR IN MANY WAYS TO OUR CONDITION. IN SO MANY WAYS, THE PHRASE OF CHARLES DICKENS IS STRANGELY APPROPRIATE, “IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES -- IT WAS THE WORST OF TIMES”.

IN APPEARANCE, THE COUNTRY LOOKED AS IF IT WAS BLESSED. LUXURY AND EXTRAVAGANCE WERE EVIDENT. AT THE SAME TIME, THE PEOPLE APPEARED TO BE BOTH DEVOTED AND ACTIVE IN SPIRITUAL THINGS; THEY WERE EXPERIENCING UNPRECEDENTED FREEDOM AND NATIONAL SECURITY. YET, IN REALITY THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE WERE EMPTY AND FAR FROM GOD, THEIR RELIGION WAS SHALLOW, AND CORRUPTION WAS RAMPANT.

GOD’S INITIAL COMMAND TO HOSEA TO TAKE A WIFE WHO WOULD BECOME A HARLOT WAS A VIVID ILLUSTRATION THAT AS AN ADULTEROUS WIFE WAS UNFAITHFUL TO HER HUSBAND, SO THE NATION OF ISRAEL WAS UNFAITHFUL TO THEIR GOD. GOD HAD BLESSED SPIRITUALLY AND MATERIALLY, AND AS A RESULT, THE PEOPLE HAD RESPONDED, NOT IN OBEDIENCE AND DEVOTION, BUT WITH THE ABANDONMENT OF SERVICE, MORALITY, AND INTEGRITY. INSTEAD OF LIVING FOR GOD, THEY WERE LIVING FOR THEMSELVES. DEVOTION TO GOD WAS FAST BEING REPLACED BY DEVOTION TO PLEASURE AND SELF.

GOD, NOW THROUGH HOSEA, ANALYZES THEIR UNFAITHFULNESS AND DECLARES HIS JUDGMENT ON THEIR ACTIONS AND ATTITUDES!

I. THE EXPOSURE OF UNFAITHFULNESS

A. GOD COMMANDS HOSEA TOO TAKE A WIFE WHO WILL BE UNFAITHFUL TO HIM

B. THE PEOPLE WERE GUILTY OF ADULTERY TOWARDS GOD – THEY WERE DEPARTING AND HAD DEPARTED FROM HIM

C. THE PEOPLE HAD FORGOTTEN GOD IN THE MIDST OF THEIR PROSPERITY

ADULTERY WAS BY FAR THE MOST SERIOUS OF CONDITIONS WITHIN THE MARRIAGE.

THE USE OF THIS ISSUE SHOWS GOD’S SERIOUSNESS WITH REGARD TO UNFAITHFULNESS

GOD IS LONGSUFFERING, YET THERE ARE LIMITS AND CONSEQUENCES TO CONTINUED DEFIANCE

II. THE RESPONSE OF GOD TO UNFAITHFULNESS

A. GOD’S RESPONSE IS SEEN IN THE NAMES OF HOSEA’S CHILDREN

B. CHILD ONE – JEZREEL

1) SPEAKS OF “SCATTERING”

2) ULTIMATELY THIS WOULD BE FULFILLED IN THE NATION OF ISRAEL WITH THE CAPTIVITY

3) FOR US IT IS A SIMPLE WARNING THAT TO REJECT GOD IS TO PUT OURSELVES IN HARMS WAY. REJECTION OF GOD IS TO GET OURSELVES IN TROUBLE.

4) IN THIS CONTEXT HOSEA SPEAKS OF THE BREAKING OF ISRAEL’S BOW – OR THEIR NATIONAL SECURITY

5) GOD’S FIRST RESPONSE TO OUR UNFAITHFULNESS TO HIM IS TO SEPARATE US FROM THE THOSE THINGS WE HOLD AS OUR SECURITY.

C. CHILD TWO – LO-RUHAMAH

1) COMES FROM TWO HEBREW WORDS LO – NOT, AND RUHAMAH – PITIED OR LOVED

2) Psalm 103:13 (NIV) As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

3) GOD’S COMPASSION IS TO THOSE WHO FEAR – REVERENCE THE LORD

4) ACTIONS WHICH REVEAL OUR LACK OF REVERENCE FOR GOD, HIS DESIRES, AND PERSON RESULT IN A CONDITION WHERE WE ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO SENSE THE LOVE OR SEE THE LOVE OF GOD WORKED OUT IN OUR LIVES.

5) A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD ALLOWS US TO SEE GOD’S LOVE AND GRACE EVEN IN HIS JUDGMENT

6) ISRAEL BY RESPONDING TO GOD WITH EMPTY HEARTS, SHALLOW RELIGION AND SPIRITUAL CORRUPTION AND AS SUCH HAD NO LOVE FOR GOD.

7) WHEN WE GET SO CAUGHT UP IN OUR OWN THINGS (LIKE THEY WERE EVER REALLY OURS) IS AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL ADULTERY TOWARDS GOD.

D. CHILD THREE – LO-AMMI

1) COME FROM TWO HEBREW WORDS – LO – NOT, AND AMMI – PEOPLE

2) NAME MEANS “NOT MY PEOPLE”

3) A DRIFTING AWAY FROM GOD TO THE POINT OF DISOWNED

4) LEST WE THINK WE ARE IMMUNE TO THIS -- Romans 11:17-21 (NIV) If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.

21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

CHRISTIANS TODAY HAVE NOT RUN AS FAR FROM GOD AS GOMER HAS FROM HOSEA BUT WE ARE CLOSE:

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