Talks for Growing Christians
Consequences for Wayward Believers
Lesson Number 11
- Wayward believers continue to go downhill.
- Wayward believers eat the fruit of lies.
- Break up your fallow ground for it is time to seek the Lord.
- To whom was Hosea’s ministry primarily directed? When? Under which king?
- Why is the Northern Kingdom referred to as Ephraim?
- When the united monarchy divided after the reign of King Solomon, who became the first king of the Northern Kingdom, and what special rebellion against God did he commit?
- How did Hosea use a play on words in Hosea 10:5?
- The last king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel would be cut off like a twig on the water. See Hosea 10:7. Explain.
- Hosea’s ministry was primarily directed to the Northern Kingdom of Israel during the 8th Century B.C., when King Jeroboam II was on the throne.
- Because Ephraim was the largest and most powerful tribe of the Northern Kingdom.
- Jeroboam I set up two idolatrous golden calf shrines in his kingdom. Thus the people were kept from worshiping at the true temple of God in Jerusalem in the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
- Hosea changed the name Bethel, meaning house of God to Beth Aven, meaning house of wickedness, because of the idolatrous calf shrine.
- A twig thrown into a fast moving stream of water rapidly gets carried away. That’s the way it would be with the king.
- As God’s people, Israel was to bring forth spiritual fruit for the Lord. Instead, they brought forth fruit for themselves. The more materially prosperous Israel became, the more they increased and adorned their idols. Israel’s word as a nation could no longer be trusted. Israel had gone so far down morally and spiritually that when the Assyrians took away the calf idol at Bethel, the people and priests would actually mourn for their lost idol. But God could not let them escape His discipline.
What about us? Are we spending more time and money to adorn idols in our lives? As God’s people, can our word be trusted? Would we mourn for a lost idol? In God’s own time and way, He did and will discipline His people.
- Israel was eating the fruit of lies, because they trusted in themselves and not in the Lord. She had sown wickedness and would reap injustice. She had believed lies and would eat the fruit of lies.
“Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he reap.” (Galatians 6:7). God’s moral principle is without exception. Our culture right now is eating the fruit of lies. Which lies are prevalent in our culture? Are you eating of the fruit of any of these lies?
- Refer to Hosea 10:12. Here is God’s gracious call to repentance and promise of blessing right in the midst of a message of judgment. Breaking up the fallow ground applies to both the unbeliever and the believer. If you are not a Christian, how long are you going to wait? See 2 Corinthians 6:2. Why wait? The Lord loved you enough to die for you and pay the penalty for your sin. Break your hard heart and respond to His gracious invitation to come to Him for salvation. Unfortunately, many Christians have hard and bitter hearts. Have you, as a believer, lost your first love? Are you just doing your own thing and trusting in yourself? Have you lost your joy? Let the plow of God’s word break up your hard heart. God’s word and worship are the solution to this problem.
- “Israel empties his vine; he brings forth fruit for himself.” Hosea 10:1
- “Their heart is divided.” Hosea 10:2
- “The inhabitants of Samaria fear because of the calf of Beth Aven, for its people mourn for it.” Hosea 10:5
- “Sow for yourselves; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord.” Hosea 10:12
- “You have eaten the fruit of lies, because you trusted in your own way.” Hosea 10:13