Talks for Growing Christians
Hosea’s Sermons Against the Idolatry and Immorality
Lesson Number 6
- There is a limit to God’s patience.
- There is a suddenness to God’s judgment.
- Thank the Lord for His appointed afflictions.
- The prophet Hosea had a long ministry. About how long did he preach and prophesy?
- To which kingdom was Hosea’s ministry primarily directed?
- What was the condition of this kingdom during Hosea’s ministry?
- How did King Jeroboam I contribute to these conditions?
- What was Hosea’s call from God?
- Refer to Hosea 5:10. What is the significance of the landmark?
- At least forty years.
- To the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
- Under King Jeroboam II, times were good economically, but the nation was morally and spiritually bankrupt.
- Jeroboam I, the first king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel set up his own system of worship by establishing two golden calf shrines, one at Dan and one at Bethel.
- Israel continued to be involved in idolatry and gross immorality. For this, they would be judged and punished. Hosea was one of the prophets called by God to announce this judgment on the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
- Boundaries in the ancient land of Israel, and even today are marked by stones or piles of stones. At night, when no one was looking they could be moved in order to steal property. This evil practice is applied here in a figurative way to the leaders of Judah. They were moving the boundaries that distinguished right from wrong.
- Refer to Hosea 5:6. Israel had passed the limits of God’s patience, and He withdrew Himself from them. They had set up idolatrous shrines throughout the land and the people were ensnared in pagan idolatry.
There is a limit to God’s patience, then and today. Have you ever thought that you could toy with God and do your own thing, and then finally decide to turn to the Lord on your terms and on your time schedule? Don’t count on it. There’s a hardening process that sets in and there is a limit to God’s patience. As Israel could not hide from God, so you cannot hide from God. Your life is an open book before God. If there's something between you and God, settle it now.
- See Hosea 5:8-14. The attack of a lion is different from the attack of a moth. The attack of a moth is slow and progressive. Already that kind of decay and destruction was going on in Israel. But the attack of a lion is sudden and when you least expect it. This came about, right on schedule, right in line with Hosea’s prophecies when the armies of Assyria attacked and overran Israel. Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel fell in 722 B.C.
“He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” (Proverbs 29:1). If you are without Christ, you will be judged and perhaps suddenly. It is appointed for man to die once, and then the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Receive Christ before it’s too late.
- “In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me. ” (Hosea 5:15) In this verse there is both the present status and the future salvation of Israel. The sad news is that today, Israel still has not returned to the Lord as a nation, and the Lord still is withdrawn from them. The good news is that the nation of Israel will turn back to the Lord in the future. This will be because of their afflictions, both now and in the coming Tribulation Period.
God can use afflictions to turn people in the right direction. Are you undergoing afflictions right now that you don’t understand? Maybe the Lord is trying to get your attention so that He can save you, or begin to bless you. Turn to the Lord today, or turn back to Him today and thank Him for your afflictions. Check out Psalm 119:67, 71.
- “Hear this…take heed…give ear…for yours is the judgment because you have been a snare…” Hosea 5:1
- “They do not direct their deeds toward turning to their God, for the spirit of harlotry is in their midst, and they do not know the Lord…they stumble in their iniquity." Hosea 5:4-5
- “They shall go to seek the Lord, but they will not find Him; He has withdrawn Himself from them.” Hosea 5:6