Posted by: Brad Beaman | November 13, 2010

It’s about the Economy?

What does strong economic conditions and violent crime have in common? They were both used to describe the state of the Union in the USA and the state of the Union nearly 800 years before Christ was born.

Read Hosea 4

Hosea’s message came during the reign of Jeroboam II King over Israel for 40 years and a time of economic prosperity. Spiritually, to sum it up, it was a time of harlotry, idol worship and rampant Baalism.

There is a change of gears in the book of Hosea. In chapters 1-3 the focus was on Hosea’s family. According to God’s instruction Hosea is to marry Gomer. Her unfaithfulness, adultery, harlotry, prostitution, slavery. The children were named Jezreel, not loved, no kin of mine.

Broken hearted Hosea could preach with empathy. He knew experientially what our sin does to God. His unfaithful wife would serve as an illustration for God’s unfaithful people.

Hosea is a contemporary of Amos. Both prophets confronted the sin of idolatry directly. Hosea preached with a broken heart where Amos preached with fierce righteous indignation. Hosea saw the Lord’s people headed down the same path as his own family. This book warns us to guard against the influence of evil.
Sin hurts God and destroys people. The root of the problem is seen in chapter 4 verse 1. There is no acknowledgement of God in the land. They didn’t really know God. Hosea’s preaching includes an appeal to repent.

Destructive Lifestyles vs 1-6

When a book was written the writer’s critic replied it is both good and original. But he went on to add what is good is not original and what is original is not good, but it is both good and original, some review. Verses 1 &2 are something like that.

There are two types of qualities mentioned.

1. Faithfulness, love, acknowledgement of God. This is what God seeks.
2. Cursing, lying and murder, stealing adultery and breaking all bounds. This is what God does not want.

They had many qualities. All their qualities were bad. The good qualities were not there. The good and bad qualities can’t coexist. Faithfulness, love, acknowledgement of God does not coexist with lying stealing, murder, adultery and breaking all bounds. Jesus said you can’t serve God and money.

When true knowledge fills your heart, love of God and faithfulness to the one true God, then there is no room for cursing and lying. Israel had let cursing lying and murder fill their hearts.

How did it happen? It was because of their inner desire for prosperity. The religion of Baalism claimed to control fertility. Agricultural bounty was desired, so they pleased these fertility gods at the temples of Baalism and with temple prostitutes.

The sensuality of their lower nature ensnared them to the more debase lifestyle; temple prostitutes and idol worship. This was accompanied by a violent crime wave. Yes the economy was strong, but they were in the brink of ruin unless they turned to God.

This spiritual problem would manifest itself in economic and environmental disaster. In verse 3 it says the whole land would waste away.

You find today countries with great resources are in ruin because of greed, violence and war. Israel would be a place of waste.

At a time of crime wave in the USA the leader proposed 100,000 new police. If the country would have a real spiritual awakening there would be a difference. If individuals, local churches would let a real knowledge of God, love and faithfulness rule their hearts. A change would be made.

Israel had outward marks of success. There were big houses and fancy chariots. But the spiritual bankruptcy spells disaster. Verese 1 says that these are the words of the Lord. A state of the union from the Lord’s perspective isn’t about the economy. Is there an acknowledgement of God in the land?
We get a snapshot in verses 11-12 of the nation in drunkenness. It steals away their understanding. With all the drunkenness no wonder there is no understanding. No wonder there is no acknowledgement of God in the land.

A spirit of prostitution leads them astray (verse 12). They are unfaithful to their God.
Would the Lord have the same state of the Union analysis for you? Beware of worldliness. Beware of letting sensual desires destroy your spiritual vitality. This can easily happen when a culture says seeking pleasure is first priority. Do you see faithfulness, love of God, and acknowledgement of God in the land? Do you see these in your life?

Brokenhearted Hosea tells it straight. Verse 14 a people without understanding will come to ruin. Believers in Christ who live by the worlds system are paralleling the Israelite Baal worship. Keep the worldliness outside the church and of your own life.

In verse 15 Beth-El which means the house of God is not found. That is the place where Jacob met God. Instead Beth-Aven house of destruction because of no acknowledgement of God. The lack of knowledge of God will destroy a society or a life. The crying need is to hear the Word of the Lord respond. Is your life Beth-el or Beth-Aven?

Seek what God desires for your life; Faithfulness, love of God, acknowledgement of God true knowledge and relationship.

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