Lessons from the book of Hosea

Published 1:57 pm Thursday, April 23, 2020

We can learn much from the prophets of old. The prophets record that Israel followed a deadly and continuous cycle. From Egypt to Christ, they followed a cycle that went from a period of peace to apostasy, then into a period of oppression that was followed by a national period of repentance, but why? Hosea gives us at least 10 reasons that Israel fell away from Jehovah God. These reasons, if acknowledged by the church today, can help us avoid apostasy.
For more than 200 years, America has existed as a free nation. But are we really free or are we living in a period of apostasy? Early in our nation’s existence our forefathers for the most part acknowledged the existence of God and governed and designed our constitution based on His Word. However, in later years of America’s existence we have seen a great shift in what she once called sin as what is now called acceptable. Sin is prevalent in every facet of our society. As a nation, as a church and as individuals we must remember God’s feeling about sin (Romans 15:4).
First, in Hosea 4:6, we learn Israel fell because of a lack of knowledge. Under the Law of Moses the heads of the families were responsible for the family learning about God (Deut. 6:4-12, 20-25). Today, Christians are held to the same standard (2 Tim. 2:15, 1 Peter 2:2). Peter said, “but sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord, being ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you…” Lest we fall, we must continually grow in knowledge of God.
Second, we learn in Hosea 4:12, that Israel fell because of spiritual adultery. Time and time again, Israel followed after the false gods of other nations. Such was the case in the example of the golden calf, which they worshipped while Moses was receiving the law. The practice of idol worship was brought from Egypt; it was one that God despised (1 Kings 18:21).
Third, Hosea teaches that a nation will fall because of pride (Hosea 5:5). Solomon said, “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). To their own demise, many today will not worship Jesus because of Pride? We must practice humility to receive blessings from God (James 4:10).
Fourth, Hosea says that a nation will fall because of a wavering character. God despises double minded people. This is why Paul said, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58).
Fifth, Nations will fall because of disobedience to God (Hosea 6:6ff). We must remember that the way of man is not in himself (Jer. 10:23). Man does not have the ability to guide his own steps to eternal security and peace on earth. Jesus said, “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21ff). Yes, God has given us guidelines to follow; but will we, are we?
Sixth, a nation will fall because of her relationship to the world. Jesus warns us that no man can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). (I John 2:25) “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” See also (Ephesians 2:1-3).
Seventh, a nation will fall because of dishonesty towards God (Hosea 7:13). When men lie about God, He holds them accountable (Proverbs 6:16-17; Acts 5:1-11), Ananias and Sapphira.
Eighth, a nation will fall because of corrupt morals (Hosea 9:9). This often had to do with sin of a sexual matter. Paul teaches us to rid ourselves of such immorality (1 Corinthians 5).
Ninth, Hosea says that a nation will fall if they see God’s law as a strange thing (Hosea 8:12). Rather than sin, many today see God’s law as the profane thing (2 Timothy 4:1-4).
Tenth, Hosea says a nation will fall for backsliding. Once obeying God, we should never go back to our past evils (Luke 9:62).  See also (2 Peter 2:20-22).
According to Hosea, any nation or person can fall from God. May it never be us, rather we must be the reason our nation turns to God in faithfulness.
(Tony Hoss is minister of the Cedar Grove Church of Christ, Elizabethton)

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