Summary: There is a very predictable pattern to sin. If we understand the pathology we will be able to see more clearly and avoid the path that leads to distruction
Pathology of Sin Equals Death
Do you remember The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi? This 1883 classic book really puts our sinful nature into perspective. Pinocchio who was created by his loving father Geppetto as soon as he was created took off with Geppetto following after pleading for Pinocchio to return to the safety of home. In the end Geppetto is tossed into jail and Pinocchio was free from his seemingly oppressive father. But that lasted only a short time. Pinocchio became hungry. No one showed him mercy and he finally fell asleep at home with his feet near the fire, hungry and alone. In the morning Pinocchio finds his feet burned off. Geppetto finally out of jail, finds his son with his feet burned off.
With Pinocchio totally helpless he was very repentant. Geppetto fed the poor marionette with the meal that was meant for him. Finally after Pinocchio pleading for new feet for the day, Geppetto made new feet for Pinocchio.
Pinocchio promised to be good, to learn a trade, and be a boy that would make his father proud. Geppetto went out and sold his coat to buy Pinocchio an ABC book so Pinocchio could go to school. And we know that Pinocchio did not make it to school. Pinocchio took his eye off the path and as we know he went further and further down the path of destruction.
Isn’t it amazing how sin takes so far away from home and fills us with so much grief, guilt and hardship within our life? As we continue looking at Hosea we will see the pathology of sin.
In the last lesson on Hosea Chapter 3 we saw how far down the path of sin Gomer traveled. She had found herself a concubine slave and we saw how patient God is as he waits for Israel to return back to Him. The story of Hosea and Gomer ends in chapter 3 with Gomer living as a slave in Hosea’s home, with Hosea waiting for her heart to return back to him. No nice conclusion. All the ends of the story don’t tie up into a complete package. No happily ever after’s. The story stops as abruptly as it began.
The rest of the book of Hosea is a trial with God being the prosecuting attorney who is laying out His case against the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Today as we look at this trial we are going to see the path that leads to destruction laid out before us. Hopefully, this lesson will help us see the warning signs and help us stay clear of this most dangerous of paths.
Let’s go back in time from about 722 BC to 1406 BC or 684 years earlier in time. Moses is giving his final instruction to the Israelites before they were to enter the Promised Land. A generation has died in the wilderness because of their unfaithfulness. Now a new generation has risen up and they are ready to claim what was promised by God. Let’s look at some of the instructions Moses gave the people. Please turn to Deuteronomy 4:5-8
"5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
7 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?
8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?"
God has given Israel a very special gift. What gift was that? The gift of His decrees and laws. This wonderful gift if followed will allow them to be a great nation. A nation filled with wise and understanding people that will be seen by the nations around them. The nations will know that God is near to Israel because God’s laws are righteous and they are filled with God’s Wisdom and God’s Understanding. Israel was truly blessed! But…Yes there is a but in this story because Moses goes on to give them a warning starting in verse 9.
"9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;
10 Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children."