Talks for Growing Christians
Prophecies of Judgment on the Northern Kingdom
Lesson Number 8
- God keeps a record of man’s evil deeds.
- God takes account of man’s ignorant ways.
- Is it possible we are unspiritual and don’t realize it?
- Name the number of kings in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. How many were bad and how many were good kings? Name the number of kings in the Southern Kingdom of Judah. How many were bad and how many were good kings?
- Why is the Northern Kingdom often referred to as Ephraim?
- “Ephraim is a cake unturned” (Hosea 7:8). Explain.
- “Ephraim is like a silly dove, without sense” (Hosea 7:11). Explain.
- “Israel is like a treacherous bow” (Hosea 7:16). Explain.
- Northern Kingdom: 19– all bad. Southern Kingdom: 20– 12 bad, 8 good.
- Because Ephraim was the most prominent tribe in the kingdom.
- This type of cake is more like a pancake than a birthday cake. When it is cooked on only one side (unturned), it has no structure; it can’t support itself. Ephraim (Israel) had no moral structure. She was weak and unstable, like a cake unturned.
- Ephraim had no moral compass. Rather than flying straight and returning to the Lord, she was flitting between Assyria and Egypt looking for help, but she couldn’t find any. Instead, she would be trapped and brought down. Because they looked for help in the wrong place, like a silly dove, Assyria would conquer Israel and Egypt would mock them.
- Such a bow is crooked, untrue, and undependable. It would miss the mark every time. Israel was undependable and missing the mark of God’s standard.
- All of Israel’s sins were known by God. Nothing was hidden. All of her fraud and robbery of the poor and other social injustices were known by God. All of their political lies were obvious to God. God knew all about the sexual sins in Israel. All their assassination plots were open before the Lord. And notice that God not only saw their acts and deeds, but He saw the motives as well.
The same is true today. God sees and knows every evil act and every evil deed and every thought and lust of every person. There is no such thing as a cover-up with God. Everything is an open book before God. He sees it all. He keeps a record of man’s deeds.
There is only one solution that covers sin– it is the blood of Christ. That’s not a cover-up of sin; it’s a removal of sin. When you, as a sinner, put your faith in Christ as Savior (your sin-bearer), then your sin is removed as far as east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12). God remembers your sin no more (Hebrews 10:17). But apart from salvation in Christ, God keeps a record of your evil deeds.
- Israel was ignorant because they were fools. God gave them every chance to turn around and come back to Him, but they would not. God wanted to heal them, but they would not let Him. God said, “I would have redeemed them, but they would not…” (Hosea 7:13) How foolish and ignorant they were to turn away from a free offer of redemption and salvation, yet many turn away from God’s free offer of salvation in Christ today.
Even when God had strengthened Israel militarily and made them prosperous, they never thanked the Lord, or even recognized that their strength and prosperity was from the Lord. Instead, in their idolatry they devised evil against the Lord and gave credit to the gods of wood and stone. Is this true today?
- “…his strength is devoured, but he does not know it…” (Hosea 7:9). Israel was unspiritual and didn’t realize it. They thought they were doing OK morally and spiritually, but they were wrong. They were unaware of their sad moral and spiritual condition. Is it possible that you are unspiritual and don’t realize it? We all need a reality check. How much time do you spend in prayer each day? That is one of many checks.
- “When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered…they do not consider in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness.” Hosea 7:1-2
- “All their kings have fallen. None among them calls upon Me.” Hosea 7:7
- “Woe to them, for they have fled from Me! Destruction to them, because they have transgressed against Me! Though I redeemed them…they did not cry out to Me with their heart.” Hosea 7:13-14
- “Though I disciplined and strengthened them, yet they devise evil against Me; they return, but not to the Most High.” Hosea 7:15-16