Talks for Growing Christians
The Judgments of God that Would Come Upon Israel
Lesson Number 10
- Wayward believers are defiling and disruptive.
- Wayward believers are fruitless and aimless.
- Don’t be surprised if you are labelled a fool.
- Give a brief outline of the prophecy of Hosea:
- How did God use Hosea’s marriage to Gomer?
- About how long was Hosea’s ministry?
- What does this length of time tell you about God?
- Describe the threshing floors in Hosea 9:1-2.
- How was Israel using these high places?
- Ephraim is another name for what?
- In Hosea 9:3, Israel is referred to as the Lord’s land. Why?
- a. Unfaithful wife
b. Unfaithful people
- As an object lesson for the nation of Israel. Israel was considered the wife of the Lord, but she had committed spiritual adultery by turning away from the Lord to foreign gods and pagan religions.
- About forty years.
- That He is patient and longsuffering toward Israel.
- They were high places throughout the land of Israel where the wind could blow away the chaff of the threshed grain.
- They were using them for idolatry, even using the threshing floors for literal fornication, which was part of the fertility rituals of Baal worship.
- Israel, because Ephraim was the largest and most prominent tribe in the Northern Kingdom.
- That area of the world has a special place in God’s plans and program. It is still the Lord’s land.
- Read Hosea 9:4. Under the Old Testament law, the bread of mourners could not be given to the priests because mourners of the dead had possibly touched someone who had died. The bread therefore was defiled and unclean and defiled anyone who ate it, and it was not accepted at the house of the Lord. The Lord said the same was true of the sacrifices of His wayward people.
The obvious application for today is that you can’t be involved in a life of sin and expect your worship and praise to be accepted by the Lord. These are defiled sacrifices, and defiled sacrifices can affect others. They can affect others as they see your hypocritical life. See 1 Corinthians 11:27-29. Unconfessed sin has a defiling effect on ourselves, on others, and on our so-called worship of the Lord. Examine yourself.
Remember that wayward believers are not only defiling, but they are also disruptive, causing problems for the work of the Lord.
- Israel was God’s chosen people, and they were to bear spiritual fruit. God saw them as grapes in the wilderness and first fruits on the fig tree, but they were taken in by idolatry and immorality. Gilgal, where Israel had crossed the Jordan and set up the stones of testimony, became an idolatrous shrine. Therefore, Ephraim (Israel), whose name means fruitful, would be fruitless, both spiritually and physically as a result of the Assyrian takeover. Not only would wayward Israel be fruitless, but they would be aimless as well. They would be driven from God’s house, and they would be wanderers among the nations. What a description of the present state of Israel.
Many wayward believers today are fruitless and aimless, wandering in the wilderness of Christian experience and bearing little fruit for the Lord. They are unproductive and living without purpose. They murmur and complain and do their own thing. Check out the fruit you are bearing and the purposefulness of your life.
- Israel was so far down spiritually and morally, that the true prophet of God was considered crazy. This is where our culture is today. The Christian on fire for the Lord is laughed at, mocked and thought to be crazy. Don’t be surprised if this happens to you if you are standing up for the Lord.
- “Israel, you have played the harlot against your God.” Hosea 9:1
- “Their sacrifices shall not be pleasing to the Lord.” Hosea 9:4
- “The days of punishment and recompense have come. The prophet is a fool. The spiritual man is insane.” Hosea 9:7
- “I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness…as the firstfruits on the fig tree…but they separated themselves to the shame of Baal Peor, and became an abomination like the thing they loved.” Hosea 9:10
- “I will drive them from My house…they shall be wanderers among the nations.” Hosea 9:15, 17