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Now we enter into the second part of the book of Hosea, where he declares:
HEAR the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land ( Hsa Hosea 4:1 ),
God's controversy is this:
there is no truth, there is no mercy, there's no knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood touches blood ( Hsa Hosea 4:1-2 ).
God's indictment against Israel, God's controversy with them. As we look at these indications that created the controversy and we think of our present situation: no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land, but by swearing and lying, killing, stealing, committing adultery the land is polluted, blood touching blood.
Therefore [the Lord said] shall the land mourn, and every one that dwells therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fish of the sea and also shall be taken away ( Hsa Hosea 4:3 ).
Have you been reading lately how that there are so many various species that are becoming extinct? This is what this particular prophecy would seem to indicate, the extinction of various species, they'll be taken away.
Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest. Therefore thou shalt fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother. For my people [the Lord said] are destroyed for a lack of knowledge ( Hsa Hosea 4:4-6 ).
I think that one of the tragic things about even the church today is the lack of the teaching of the Word of God, which brings a resultant lack of the knowledge of God in the hearts of people. People really do not know the Lord, and the reason why is that it is hard to find a church that really teaches the Word of God. I wish you could read my mail for a week. I wish someone did. But it breaks your heart, the letters that I receive of people who have been transferred from this area or have moved to other areas of the country and have searched and searched for a church where they could just be fed the Word of God, to get some in the kind of environment where there wasn't a lot of hype and all but just the teaching of the Word of God in simplicity, in purity. And they write back and they tell of the dearth in the land for the teaching of the Word. And I have so many letters, "Would you mind praying about starting a Calvary Chapel here?" We've got a stack of letters from people all over that would like to have us start a Calvary Chapel in their community where they can again just go and simply hear the teaching of the Word of God.
My people [God said] are destroyed for the lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing that you have forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children ( Hsa Hosea 1:6 ).
You see, the whole problem with Israel began with the priesthood and with the prophets--the corrupted priesthood not teaching the people, not being responsible to teach the people the law of God. They themselves didn't know the law of God. You have forgotten the law of God, how can you teach the people if you've forgotten it yourself?
And as they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. And there shall be, like people, like priest ( Hsa Hosea 4:7-9 ):
And so it is, the people have become like the priests.
and thus I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings. For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and yet not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD. Whoredom, wine, new wine take away the heart ( Hsa Hosea 4:9-11 ).
These things take away your heart from God.
The Lord declares:
My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declares unto them ( Hsa Hosea 4:12 ):
And they're no longer seeking counsel from God, they're seeking counsel from these little wooden idols that they were making.
for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God. They sacrifice upon the tops of mountains, they burn incense upon the hills, and under the oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good ( Hsa Hosea 4:12-13 ):
The superstitions of, "Oh the shadow of this elm is good, you know, for your divinations and all."
therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, your spouses shall commit adultery. I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall. Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go up to Bethaven, nor swear, The LORD liveth ( Hsa Hosea 4:13-15 ).
Gilgal used to be the center of worship; it became the place of pagan worship. Bethel, the house of God, became name as Bethaven.
For Israel is sliding back as a backsliding heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place. Ephraim is joined to her idols: let him alone ( Hsa Hosea 4:16-17 ).
How tragic it is when God says of a people, "Just let them alone." Ephraim, the Northern Kingdom, joined herself to her idols. "Just let her alone. Don't warn her anymore, don't speak to her anymore, don't pray for her anymore." God said to Jeremiah, "Don't pray anymore for their good. If you do, I'm not gonna listen to you." As we said this morning, God has warned, "My Spirit will not always strive with man" ( Genesis 6:3 ). There is a line. You can go beyond those limits of God's grace. "Let them alone. Ephraim joined to her idols; just let them alone."
Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love, Give ye. The wind hath bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices ( Hsa Hosea 4:18-19 ).
And so, God's indictment against Israel, "Hear the word of the Lord," the Lord says, "Ye children of Israel," and this is God's indictment against them.
Father, teach us Thy ways. Our hearts thirst after Thee oh Lord, that we might walk before Thee in truth. Father, help us that we might learn from history and from the evil of Israel in forsaking Thee, in allowing other interests, other loves to exceed their love for You. Oh God, keep our hearts pure that we might serve Thee and worship Thee and follow Thee. Help us, Lord, to remember that it is You who has blessed us with the corn, and with the oil, with the abundance, and may we then use that which You have given to us not to defile Thee but to glorify Thee. And may we glorify You with our substance, with our lives. Oh God, we pray that You'll help us be drawn into an ever closer fellowship with Thee as Your Spirit works within our hearts. In Jesus' name and for His sake. Amen. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Hosea 4". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 13 / Ordinary 18