?É¬Ø 4:6 “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” The same things
is happening today, but it need not be God doing some kind of spiritual
cleansing. By simply not knowing Him and disobeying Him, people are
pouring judgement on themselves through disease, criminal suffering,
starvation as a result of greed, addiction, and violence as a result of
pride. God destroys nations by letting them suffer the natural
consequences of their actions.
The next verse says they have rejected knowledge and ignored the Law
of the Lord. This is more of that stuff of people not hearing the
prophet and wondering if he’s right, but flat out rejecting him as soon
as he speaks.
?É¬Ø Hosea 4:7 “They exchanged their [or *my*] glory for something
Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged
the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man
and birds and animals and reptiles.” They could have worshipped God-He
was there before them ready to receive praise and dispense glory, but
they chose other things. It says later they traded truth for a lie. How
much do we seek after technology, fun, a nice home, or personal pleasure
or happiness from created things or other people, when we should be
drawing all of that from GOD?
Cindy and I saw a HUGE SUV the other day. She asked me what kind it
was. It was an infinity something or nother. I said it costs more than
our house. She was astounded. “Even if we were filthy rich, I still
wouldn’t spend that much on a car.” That’s the Holy Spirit in her. The
desire to please ourselves and satisfy every fleshly craving will not
bear spiritual fruit.
Galatians 5: 16
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires
of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to
the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They
are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”
My sinful nature says “Preserve yourself, don’t risk embarrassment.
Enjoy yourself, don’t do things that require perseverance. Satisfy
yourself, don’t do things unless you get a feel good feeling about it.”
I am excited that some churches are taking this approach to their
short-term trips. They could go and build a house or pass out food, or
play games with kids, but instead they are going and interceding before
God for the people. It seems too easy, it seems too lazy or ineffectual,
because what do they have to show at the end of the week???? If we seek
after a good feeling or happy people, if we go to church or on a trip
just to have a good experience, or if we go someplace because it’s easy
and leave the hard-to-reach and difficult places for someone else with
more money and fewer dependents, we are doing the same thing Hosea’s
people and the Romans 1 people did, exchanging the GLORY OF GOD for
Galatians 5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the
sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the
Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
?É¬Ø Hosea 4:19 “a whirlwind will sweep them away.” elsewhere it says that
a spirit of prostitution has led them astray. Here we see that as people
do not seek God, their spiritual sensitivities are still played upon.
The word ‘spirit’ is ‘ruach’ which also is used of the Holy Spirit. This
unholy spirit makes events happen to lead the wanderer down the path of
death. The spirit of prostitution simply does it through lust and
idolatry. I wonder if this is the ruling spirit around here today. When
people leave church saying ‘I just didn’t get much out of that.’ or ‘I
didn’t like that one part.’ aren’t they giving heed to the ruah zanah?
(spirit of prostitution)
The wind that leads them will sweep them away, just as a desire to
be pleased will drive us to the deepest depravities of self-pleasure.
Instead let us go to give glory to God. Let us go to serve our brothers
and sisters. Let us go to poor ourselves out rather than to fill
ourselves up. AND THEN let us walk out of church to do the same things.
Let us go to God to receive from Him what He’ll give, whether it feels
good when we get it or not, then go out into the world to give His
Spirit away to others.
?É¬Ø Hosea 5:4 “Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God.”
The rich young ruler did not follow Christ because of his great wealth.
The Pharisees did not follow Christ because of the hardness of their
hearts. They loved to be noticed for being religious, but knew that
following God called for humility and would bring shame.
Today is the best day to turn back to God. With each sin, with each
disobedient thought, we harden our hearts towards God a little bit more.
And not just for those that don’t know God. Each day I buy myself some
trinket or keepsake or gadget, I make it harder to leave all I have at
the call of Christ. “How can I go to the mission field?” someone might
say? “I have a car payment, a house payment, a 2nd mortgage to pay for
this or that. I have family to take care of. I have to wait for my kids
to grow up or my parents to die. I have to finish college or get married
Hebrews 3:12 “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful,
unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one
another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be
hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we
hold firmly til the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been
said ‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did
in the rebellion.”