Wednesday, July 04, 2012


[Last Sunday morning, I preached a message called, “A Faithless Nation and a Faithful God.”  Some of our members were on vacation and missed it; others of my readers could not be there.  I think it such a timely matter that I present the first half of the sermon today in this post and will share the second half tomorrow. ~Pastor Dennis]

“In that day--[this is] the Lord's declaration--you will call [Me], ‘My husband,’ and no longer call Me, ‘My Baal.’  For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth;
they will no longer be remembered by their names.  On that day I will make a covenant for them with the wild animals, the birds of the sky, and the creatures that crawl on the ground.  I will shatter bow, sword, and weapons of war in the land and will enable the people to rest securely.  I will take you to be My wife forever.  I will take you to be My wife in righteousness, justice, love, and compassion.   I will take you to be My wife in faithfulness, and you will know Yahweh.” (Hosea 2:16-20 HCSB)

On July 4, 1776, America’s Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence.   It begins,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…” and concludes by appealing to God, the Supreme Judge of the world and says, “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” 

Indeed, Providence smiled upon them and America was birthed with the blessing of God.  He has been faithful through our meteoric rise, but we have been unfaithful to Him.  Systematically, we are stripping away all reference to God from the public arena.   If that first Congress were offering such a document today, the current Supreme Court would likely rule it “unconstitutional” a “violation of the separation of church and state” by the Founding Fathers including such references to God!  What lunacy! 

Forces are attempting to secularize America.  But, to suggest that America has become strictly secular, and placed Christianity into its ghetto, would not be fully correct.  Nature abhors a vacuum and if the empty hearts of the citizens are not filled with true faith, they will be filled with paganism, Islam and the cults, even as Christianity is held up to contempt.  So is the political and spiritual landscape of America rapidly becoming. 

God has a warning!  There are some lessons for us from ancient Israel.  God brought them into a land flowing with milk and honey, but they spurned Him for false gods.  They were ungrateful and unfaithful.  Hosea had a message for such people—a message for us today.


The word of the Lord that came to Hosea son of Beeri during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and of Jeroboam son of Jehoash, king of Israel.  When the Lord first spoke to Hosea, He said this to him: ‘Go and marry a promiscuous wife and [have] children of promiscuity, for the land is committing blatant acts of promiscuity by abandoning the Lord.’” (1:1-2) 

The prophet’s marriage would be a powerful message—a picture of the sermon he preached.

In the narrative we see A FAITHLESS WOMAN (1:1-11)

“So he went and married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.   Then the Lord said to him: ‘Name him Jezreel, for in a little while I will bring the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu and put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.  On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.’

She conceived again and gave birth to a daughter, and the Lord said to him: ‘Name her No Compassion, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel. I will certainly take them away.  But I will have compassion on the house of Judah, and I will deliver them by the Lord their God. I will not deliver them by bow, sword, or war, or by horses and cavalry.’

After Gomer had weaned No Compassion, she conceived and gave birth to a son.  Then the Lord said: ‘Name him Not My People, for you are not My people, and I will not be your God.’” (Hosea 1:3-9 HCSB)

Hosea is commanded to marry Gomer.  God tells his servant that the marriage will not bring happiness but heartache.  Although I do not think she was a harlot at the time, it was in Gomer’s heart.  She had no more got the marriage vows out of her mouth, until she got out of the house and into someone else’s arms.  A pattern of promiscuity developed. 

Some of you have known the pain of a spouse committing adultery.  You can sympathize with this man—and it was played out in the public arena.  In fact she has children, which aren’t even Hosea’s!    He looks at one baby and says, “Not mine!”  That becomes the child’s name!

This was the story of Israel’s unfaithfulness to their covenant with God.  It is being repeated in America today.

A faithless woman becomes A FORSAKEN WRETCH (2:1-13). 

Therefore, this is what I will do: I will block her way with thorns; I will enclose her with a wall, so that she cannot find her paths.  She will pursue her lovers but not catch them; she will seek them but not find [them].  Then she will think,I will go back to my former husband, for then it was better for me than now.’” (Hosea 2:6-7 HCSB)

Night after night of shameful living took its toll.  Having all those children affected her figure.  Time and gravity set in and she was not the beauty she once was, and her lovers began to desert her.

This is God’s way—the way of painful correction.  Hardship would drive Gomer back to her husband.  Remember the parable of the Prodigal Son?  Jesus told of a boy who fled his father’s house with a fortune to squander on wasteful and wanton living.  When the money ran out, so did his friends, and he wound up destitute and desperate.  Our Lord said that it was then the young man came to his senses and went back home to his father. 

Israel was going to be chastened severely.  Samaria would fall.  The nation would be conquered by the cruel Assyrians and those who were not slaughtered would become their slaves.  Might it be that we are headed for the same fate?  Why should we think America will be any different, when we are behaving no differently and God’s holy character is no different?

But, notice—and here is the hope—a faithless woman who became a forsaken wretch winds up A FORGIVEN WIFE (2:14-3:5) 

Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go again; show love to a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, just as the Lord loves the Israelites though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.’  So I bought her for 15 shekels of silver and five bushels of barley.

I said to her, ‘You must live with me many days. Don't be promiscuous or belong to any man, and I will act the same way toward you.’   For the Israelites must live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, and without ephod or household idols.   Afterward, the people of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come with awe to the Lord and to His goodness in the last days.” (Hosea 3:1-5 HCSB) 

Picture this: Gomer has sold herself into slavery to avoid starvation.  Hosea is commanded to go and buy this cheater and bring her home!  He will forgive her and restore her.  She has been faithless, but he will be faithful to his promise. 

This experience illustrated the relationship of God and Israel.  Though the people had been faithless, God will be forever faithful.  We may break our vows and break God’s heart.  We may be broken in discipline, accordingly, but even in this God is faithful in His love to bring correction and bestow compassion.

Is it possible for us to sing with conviction, “America, America, God shed His grace on thee”?  That’s what grace is all about, isn’t it?  We get what we do not deserve!  We do not deserve to be forgiven, but we can be. 

As the prodigal spouse named Gomer came back to her husband; as the prodigal son came back to his father; so may the prodigal state come back to her God.  It is time to seek the Lord!  This morning, the doors to the church building open for prayer at nine.  Join us there, or from home—but call upon God!  He is our only hope.

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