I. WHAT WAS MEANT BY A DIVIDED HEART?
A. Israel was still acknowledging God, but they were worshipping Baal.
1. If they were polled it would have shown that 95% of them believed in the existence of God.
2. 87% of them attended a worship service sometime during the year.
3. 92% of them believed that religion was an important part of a persons life.
4. 90% believed that they should have prayer in the school.
B. Israel had been blessed by God and was a prosperous nation.
1. The problem was that they did not bring forth any fruit to God.
2. They used their surplus funds to buy large screen T.V's season tickets for the Angels; and a condo in Aspen.
a. No the Bible doesn't say that, it just says that they were using their surplus funds to make altars and images to other gods.
b. But these other gods were representations of Molech who was their god of pleasure.
c. Images of mammon who was their god of material wealth.
d. Ashtoreth who was their sex goddess.
e. They were honest enough to admit that these were the things that were really ruling their lives.
f. These were the things that were really the top priorities in their lives.
3. Thus they may go to synagogue on Saturday, read from the Torah say a few prayers, then the rest of the week, they pursued their own passions.
a. God forbid that the super bowl should come on Sabbath, for they would have to miss Synagogue.
b. Their hearts were divided, for they were seeking to serve God and Mammon.
4. Jesus said, "No man can serve two masters, for he will hate the one and love the other or he will hold to the one and despise the other, you cannot serve God and Mammon."
C. During the time of Joshua, as he was nearing death after leading the people in the conquest of the land, he stood before them and declared,
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
D. Elijah stood before Israel the same nation that Hosea is speaking to and said,
And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD [be] God, follow him: but if Baal, [then] follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
E. In II Kings 17:33
it declares, "They feared the Lord but served their own gods."
F. When Satan had taken Jesus to a high mountain and showed to Him kingdoms of the world and suggested that if Jesus would bow down and worship him he would give to him these kingdoms and the glory of them, Jesus said to him, "Get out of here Satan, it is written Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve."
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
G. The divided heart is in actuality a lukewarm condition.
a. Being lukewarm is a combination of both hot and cold.
b. Jesus described the church of Laodicea as being lukewarm.
c. He declared that such a condition was intolerable to Him, that He would spew them out of His mouth.
II. DO YOU HAVE A DIVIDED HEART TODAY?
A. The difficulty in answering this question, for the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?
1. The Lord says that He searches the heart to give to every man according to the fruit of his doings.
2. Realizing all of this David prayed, "Search me O God and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
B. We also need to ask God to search our hearts, and to reveal to us what He finds there. Is it a divided heart? Am I trying to serve God and mammon?
C. Being in service here this morning is not a guarantee of a singleness of heart toward the Lord.
1. While you are here, your mind can be roaming as you plan your afternoon activities to rent some video and invite friends over for a beer party.
2. You may be in the house of the Lord this morning, but in some bar tonight.
3. You may spend Sunday in church, but have no further contact with God the rest of the week.
4. These are all symptoms of a divided heart.
D. David prayed, "Unite my heart to fear thy name."
1. O God give me a singleness of heart toward you.
2. Do not let me be in the place of deception where I think that all I have to do is to attend church on Sunday morning and everything is O.K.
E. The place of the divided heart is usually quite miserable.
1. You have too much of the Lord to be comfortable in the world.
2. You have too much of the world to be happy in Jesus.
3. You are being pulled by the desires for Jesus and the world at the same time.
III. THE RESULTS OF THE DIVIDED HEART.
A. God will not accept it.
1. As far as God is concerned, He wants all or nothing at all.
2. He will not share His glory with another god.
3. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all of thy heart, soul strength and mind.
B. For Israel, they were to lose the kingdom. "Now they will say we have no king."
C. Their god, the golden calf will be carried as a present to the king of Assyria, and they will be taken captive.
D. The worship of false gods always leads to bondage.
IV. WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT A DIVIDED HEART?
A. With David pray that God will unite your heart to serve Him.
B. Covenant with your heart, that you will serve only Jesus.