Hosea 6-10, Psalm 123
Our Pastor, Pastor Lloyd Pulley, gives a wonderful example in his message on Hosea 6-8 that you can hear from our website, app, also on the bottom of the commentaries on the One Year Bible Challenge. When he was younger he went through a phase where he would go to dry fields and play with matches to see how far he could let the fire spread before he could put it out. He kept challenging himself to let it spread further and further, until one day the wind picked up and it got out of control. He desperately put it out, burning himself in the process. This is the way of sin. Since God does not zap us each time that we sin, we mistakenly think that God either doesn't care or doesn't notice. This is how society and as individuals things deteriorate. Consider our society now. From the contentious debate in 1973 on abortion and the passing of Roe v. Wade when abortion was still frowned upon by society there is now an internet site to "shout out your abortion" in which those on it can brag about it or recount its greatness and merits. From the time when those who participated in same sex relationships did so secretly and under the shadows we now have gay pride rallies in many cities. In NYC it is openly and proudly exhibited. Even in social media it is glorified on multiple TV sitcoms. Caitlyn (Bruce) Jenner was the recipient of multiple awards when he became transgender including the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in the ESPY awards. The Kardashian's who have emphasized success based on sexual promiscuity were highlighted on front covers of magazines as "America's First Family". A patient of mine yesterday who is in charge of IT at a large company told me that many of the company's employees openly watch pornography at work at their desktop.
We read in Hosea 7:2, "They do not consider in their hearts That I remember all their wickedness; Now their own deeds have surrounded them; They are before My face." Jesus states the mistake of thinking we can hide our sin in Luke 12:2-3, "For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops." In Hosea 7:8-10, we read, "Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned. Aliens have devoured his strength, But he does not know it; Yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, Yet he does not know it. And the pride of Israel testifies to his face, But they do not return to the Lord their God, Nor seek Him for all this." Ephraim was the largest tribe of the ten tribes making up the northern kingdom of Israel and is often used as a synonym for the nation of Israel. As in our nation now, there was no shame for their sin and they believed that God did not notice. In Numbers 32:23, we read what God said through Moses, "But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out." Paul wrote in Galatians 6:7, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." When sin becomes exalted like it is now in America everything is reversed. What is wrong according to God is exalted, and what is right according to God is brought down. This was also the case for Israel before their destruction as we read in Hosea 9:7, "The days of punishment have come; The days of recompense have come. Israel knows! The prophet is a fool, The spiritual man is insane, Because of the greatness of your iniquity and great enmity."
God being 100% just can not overlook sin. He is incredibly patient with all of us, desiring all of us to turn to Him acknowledging our sins and repenting of them. We as a society, when there is no shame felt for our sin, are made to feel no need to repent. In fact, society is "loving" people right into hell. Since we are all sinners, none of us should be pointing our fingers at anyone else. In fact, if there is one thing that every human being shares (except for Jesus) is that every single one of us sins. The only thing that separates us is there are those that repent and get to experience God's forgiveness and there are those that continue along in their sin thinking that nothing will come of it. Like the nation of Israel we live in prosperous times and feel impervious to destruction. This was the thinking of every great empire before they fell. The mighty empire of Babylon fell in a single night (Daniel 5). We are trillions of dollars in debt, we have those espousing militant Islam living within our borders, our national borders have been open for years, and we fail to realize just how tenuous our national security is. May we as individuals and as a society trust less in our prosperity and "security" and more on our God. While there is still breath within our lungs may we all come to our God in a spirit of repentance and experience the joy and security which is only possible with a relationship with the One, True God.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: