Summary: The Gospel According to Hosea The Lord Will Heal You, part 5
The Gospel According to Hosea
The Lord Will Heal You, part 5
We are a third of the way through our summer series, The Gospel According to Hosea, looking at God's faithful love for an unfaithful people. Let me recap where we have been. The first three chapters set the foundation for how we see God responding to Israel's idolatry. God has been cast aside like a doting husband by a wayward wife. Last week we saw that vicious cycle starts with God's grace, God bringing us into his family. Then comes our disgrace, even though God lavishes us with love we don't deserve, we constantly wander from him. Then comes God's discipline, when he brings circumstances into our lives to induce us to return to him. Last comes God's amazing grace, where he warmly receives us with open arms. So whatever you did last night, last week, last month, or last year, the Lord does not look upon you with disgust when you run back to him but gladly welcomes you back. Your worth and your acceptance before God is not based upon your behavior at any given moment, good or bad, but is based upon what Christ did for you on the cross! Christ paved the path for you to return to him on the cross and then he empowers you to come back to him. God took your sin and unfaithfulness, past, present, and future, and put it on Jesus who willingly received it and then punished Jesus in your place. That means he cannot be indifferent to you. He displayed his love for you when he died on the cross and still loves you the same today. Today I want to look at another picture Hosea gives us of our disgrace and God's amazing grace.
A Picture of Our Disgrace (vs. 9-13)
Our disgrace is our running from God and running to spiritual adultery. It is not unusual for me to hear people say, 'I don't understand why I make the choices I do' when we talk about their sin. Let's look at few. First, we do not take God seriously. Israel had been warned repeatedly of coming judgment yet they ignored his threats. They also took for granted God's mercy, interpreting his being slow to anger as leniency. Then they twisted grace into a license to sin. For us this often comes in the form of, 'God will forgive me or grace covers me.' But grace is God's empowering presence, Jesus himself, there to empower us to overcome our sin. Then the last one we will focus on the rest of our time is that Israel numbed their pain with substitute gods. Israel began to see their problems as problems, sin was rampant and suffering from political instability. But instead of looking at the source of their problems, their hearts and their relationship with God, they looked to Assyria, making an alliance with them to keep them from attacking Israel. Their rebellious hearts did not want to turn to God. So instead of seeking God to rescue them, they sought out Assyria; they looked to Assyria to heal their wounds which only God could do. The fallen sinful heart naturally seeks gods as saviors. In our hearts we know something is terribly wrong and instead of turning to the Lord we turn to something else to heal our wounds. So with our time left I want to explore this with you.