I. WHO WAS THE CONTROVERSY WITH? THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.
A. It was with His own people.
1. Being the people of God has great advantages. You have special privileges.
a. No weapon formed against you shall prosper, this is the heritage of the people of God.
b. Rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees their fruit.
c. Peace in the land, you will lie down, and none will make you afraid.
d. You can leave your doors unlocked.
e. God said that He would chase their enemies.
f. God said that He would walk among them.
b. There are also special responsibilities.
2. You are held accountable to a higher standard.
a. What the world might do and get by with, the Lord will not let you get by with.
b. If you are driving by a bunch of boys throwing rocks through the windows of a vacant building you might think naughty boys. But if you notice that your boy is among the boys throwing the rocks that is a different story.
II. THE COMPLAINT OF GOD.
A. There is no truth in the land.
1. The people were defrauding and deceiving one another.
2. The newscasters were distorting the news.
3. The politicians were lying to the people.
4. Even the prophets and priests were giving false comfort to the people by lying to them concerning the nature of God.
B. There was no mercy.
1. They had received great mercy from God, but they were not willing to show mercy.
a. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
With the merciful you will show yourself merciful.
c. The standard of measurement that you use to dish things out to others is the standard that God will use as He dishes out to you.
2. Hosea had named his second child Loruhamah, (No mercy) as a warning to the people. God was going to show no more mercy to them.
C. No knowledge of God in the land.
1. Here was a people, a nation that owed its existence to God.
2. In the beginning they framed their laws by God's decrees.
3. They sought the Lord.
4. God made them strong, prosperous, and mighty among the nations.
5. Now there was no knowledge of God in the land.
6. The children were growing up in a pagan environment.
D. Could not God make the same case against our land today?
1. The parallels between Israel and America are so great.
2. Started out honoring and trusting in God.
3. Became strong and great among the nations of the world.
4. In their prosperity turned from God, the one who had made them strong and prosperous.
5. The next step is given over to their enemies, because there was no truth, mercy or knowledge of God in the land.
E. These are the foundations upon which a strong and moral nation are built.
III. THE RESULT OF REMOVING THESE FOUNDATIONAL PILLARS.
A. There was a moral breakdown.
1. The people were swearing, lying and killing.
2. People would swear to a lie.
a. Their word meant nothing.
b. They would make contracts that they had no intention of keeping.
c. They thought nothing of breaking their contracts.
3. Killings became very common.
a. You would not dare to go out on the streets after dark.
b. They had a very low value on life.
1. They thought little of taking another mans life.
2. They thought nothing of throwing their babies into the bonfires to sacrifice them to the god of pleasure.
3. One thing that the Christian faith teaches us is the great value of life.
4. Only a pagan nation could advocate and support abortions.
5. What does that tell you about our nation?
4. They were stealing from each other.
a. Nothing was safe, and nothing was sacred.
b. They had no restraints of conscience.
c. No remorse for their evil, the only remorse was that they were caught.
d. They had become an amoral society.
5. Adultery had become a common practice.
a. A man was ruled by his passions.
b. They had become like animals in their selection of their sexual partners.
c. The home is broken down, family values are trashed, children had become an inconvenience, and roamed the streets in gangs.
6. They break out, that is they burst through every restraint.
a. The laws had become so permissive, and lenient, that there were no restraints.
b. Nothing holding them back from giving themselves over completely to their lusts.
IV. THE ULTIMATE, INESCAPABLE RESULT, THE LAND WILL MOURN, AND THE PEOPLE SHALL LANGUISH.
A. There will be a total breakdown of law and order.
1. The police forces will be unable to protect the citizens from assault.
2. A society out of control, entering into a deadly tailspin without ability to pull out of it.
B. Is it too late for America?
1. Only God knows.
2. There is a refuge for the people of God.
a. The name of Jehovah is a strong tower, the righteous runneth into it and are safe.
b. Surround your family, home, church with prayer.
"Seek the Lord while He is near, call upon Him while He may be found. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, let him return unto our Lord for He will have mercy upon Him and unto our God for He will abundantly pardon."