The Futility of Sin
A. As we continue the study of Hosea this morning chapter 4 marks a turn that continues through the rest of the book.
1. Hose 8:7a (NASB) Give us a hint as to the content of that redirection: For they sow the wind, And they reap the whirlwind.
a) As we know the Lord's people has turned their back on Him.
(1) As a result, their lives, and even their nation were falling apart.
2. Prov 1:24 (NASB) "Because I called, and you refused; I stretched out my hand, and no one paid attention; 25 And you neglected all my counsel, And did not want my reproof; 27 When your dread comes like a storm, And your calamity comes on like a whirlwind, When distress [and] anguish come on you. 28 "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they shall not find me, 29 Because they hated knowledge, And did not choose the fear of the Lord. 30 "They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. 31 "So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, And be satiated with their own devices. 32 "For the waywardness of the naive shall kill them, And the complacency of fools shall destroy them. 33 "But he who listens to me shall live securely, And shall be at ease from the dread of evil."
a) These verses in Proverbs 1 sum up what the Lord is going to describe in detail in the remaining chapters of Hosea!
(1) Israel and Judah had blown it big-time. And the Lord is going to tell them exactly how!
(a) We have heard much of this in our studies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel so we will condense as much as we can.
II. HOSE 4:1 (NASB) LISTEN TO THE WORD OF THE LORD, O SONS OF ISRAEL, FOR THE LORD HAS A CASE AGAINST THE INHABITANTS OF THE LAND, BECAUSE THERE IS NO FAITHFULNESS OR KINDNESS OR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IN THE LAND. 2 [THERE IS] SWEARING, DECEPTION, MURDER, STEALING, AND ADULTERY. THEY EMPLOY VIOLENCE, SO THAT BLOODSHED FOLLOWS BLOODSHED.
A. I think we can agree that this describes not only America but also many nations today.
1. There is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land.
a) And as a result every kind of sin and violence exists!
III. HOSE 4:6 (NASB) MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE. BECAUSE YOU HAVE REJECTED KNOWLEDGE, I ALSO WILL REJECT YOU FROM BEING MY PRIEST. SINCE YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN THE LAW OF YOUR GOD, I ALSO WILL FORGET YOUR CHILDREN. 7 THE MORE THEY MULTIPLIED, THE MORE THEY SINNED AGAINST ME; I WILL CHANGE THEIR GLORY INTO SHAME. 8 THEY FEED ON THE SIN OF MY PEOPLE, AND DIRECT THEIR DESIRE TOWARD THEIR INIQUITY. 9 AND IT WILL BE, LIKE PEOPLE, LIKE PRIEST; SO I WILL PUNISH THEM FOR THEIR WAYS, AND REPAY THEM FOR THEIR DEEDS. 10 AND THEY WILL EAT, BUT NOT HAVE ENOUGH; THEY WILL PLAY THE HARLOT, BUT NOT INCREASE, BECAUSE THEY HAVE STOPPED GIVING HEED TO THE LORD.
A. It was the sacred duty of the priests to guard the Law of Moses and to teach the commandments of the Lord and they had failed to do it!
1. It seems the priest were blaming the people for the Lord's judgment of the land, but the Lord is saying, "Like priest like nation."
a) We see this in every form of leadership. If a leader has a low standard set for his/herself most likely everyone under there care will adopt the same philosophy.
(1) It doesn't take long to see if a department flourishes or fails under someone's care.
(a) And the Lord's reply to His leaders the priests, "Don't blame the people." "It is you I hold accountable."
2. You have heard me say that the Lord "tightens the leash" on those he needs to, but gives even greater freedom to those He can trust.
a) Here is a verse that confirms that.
IV. HOSE 4:16 (NASB) SINCE ISRAEL IS STUBBORN LIKE A STUBBORN HEIFER, CAN THE LORD NOW PASTURE THEM LIKE A LAMB IN A LARGE FIELD?
A. The lamb is turned out free with lots of room to roam, but the stubborn heifer had to be bridled and controlled!
1. 1Sam 15:22 (NASB) And Samuel said, (Speaking to King Saul about his keeping part of the spoils of the Amalekites) "Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, [And] to heed than the fat of rams. 23 "For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from [being] king."
a) Life is just so much easier of we just do what the Lord asks us to do!
V. HOSE 5:2 (NASB) AND THE REVOLTERS HAVE GONE DEEP IN DEPRAVITY, BUT I WILL CHASTISE ALL OF THEM.
VI. HOSE 5:15 (NASB) I WILL GO AWAY [AND] RETURN TO MY PLACE UNTIL THEY ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR GUILT AND SEEK MY FACE; . . .
A. As a result of the pain they have temporary repentance. Sound familiar?
VII. HOSE 6:1 (NASB) "COME, LET US RETURN TO THE LORD. FOR HE HAS TORN [US,] BUT HE WILL HEAL US; HE HAS WOUNDED [US,] BUT HE WILL BANDAGE US. 2 "HE WILL REVIVE US AFTER TWO DAYS; HE WILL RAISE US UP ON THE THIRD DAY THAT WE MAY LIVE BEFORE HIM.
A. "The Lord will forgive He always forgives and this hassle we're going through will only last a short time!"
VIII. HOSE 6:4 (NASB) WHAT SHALL I DO WITH YOU, O EPHRAIM? WHAT SHALL I DO WITH YOU, O JUDAH? FOR YOUR LOYALTY IS LIKE A MORNING CLOUD, AND LIKE THE DEW WHICH GOES AWAY EARLY.
A. As soon as the "heats off" you go back to your old ways like the morning cloud and the early dew that is gone before noon!
IX. HOSE 7:8 (NASB) EPHRAIM MIXES HIMSELF WITH THE NATIONS; EPHRAIM HAS BECOME A CAKE NOT TURNED. 9 STRANGERS DEVOUR HIS STRENGTH, YET HE DOES NOT KNOW [IT]; GRAY HAIRS ALSO ARE SPRINKLED ON HIM, YET HE DOES NOT KNOW [IT.]
A. The "cake not turned" was burnt on one side and raw on the other. A metaphor for just how mixed up their lives were.
1. And the "gray hairs" is a reference to their lifestyles. They were getting old before their time. SIN DOES THAT!
X. HOSE 7:14 (NASB) AND THEY DO NOT CRY TO ME FROM THEIR HEART WHEN THEY WAIL ON THEIR BEDS; FOR THE SAKE OF GRAIN AND NEW WINE THEY ASSEMBLE THEMSELVES, THEY TURN AWAY FROM ME.
A. Please notice that they are miserable and cry themselves to sleep, but they will not turn to the Lord!
1. Why? Prosperity. They like the materialism that comes with their rebellion.
XI. HOSE 8:7 (NASB) FOR THEY SOW THE WIND, AND THEY REAP THE WHIRLWIND . . .
XII. HOSE 9:7 (NASB) THE DAYS OF PUNISHMENT HAVE COME, THE DAYS OF RETRIBUTION HAVE COME; LET ISRAEL KNOW [THIS]! THE PROPHET IS A FOOL, THE INSPIRED MAN IS DEMENTED, BECAUSE OF THE GROSSNESS OF YOUR INIQUITY, AND [BECAUSE] YOUR HOSTILITY IS [SO] GREAT.
A. Numb 32:20 (NASB) So Moses said to them, "If you will do this, if you will arm yourselves before the Lord for the war, 21 and all of you armed men cross over the Jordan before the Lord until He has driven His enemies out from before Him, 22 and the land is subdued before the Lord, then afterward you shall return and be free of obligation toward the Lord and toward Israel, and this land shall be yours for a possession before the Lord. 23 "But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.
1. Moses warned them to COMPLETELY flush the land of the pagan idolaters and they did not!
a) One compromise led to another til finally the Lord was forced to judge them for their sin and rebellion.
(1) What is it about human nature that thinks we are "getting away with it"?
(2) It is quite simple - sin brings spiritual death!
A. And we will close with the Lord's desire for Israel and within these verse is also His desire for all of his children
1. Hose 14:1 (NASB) Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity. 2 Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to Him, "Take away all iniquity, And receive [us] graciously, That we may present the fruit of our lips. 3 "Assyria will not save us, We will not ride on horses; Nor will we say again, 'Our god,' To the work of our hands; For in Thee the orphan finds mercy." 4 I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from them. 5 I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily, And he will take root like [the cedars of] Lebanon. 6 His shoots will sprout, And his beauty will be like the olive tree, And his fragrance like [the cedars of] Lebanon. 7 Those who live in his shadow Will again raise grain, And they will blossom like the vine. His renown [will be] like the wine of Lebanon. 8 O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like a luxuriant cypress; From Me comes your fruit. 9 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; [Whoever] is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.