They Sow the Wind and Reap the Whirlwind

9/18/16

Jim Zes

Text: Hosea 8

#10 in Hosea Series

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For nearly sixty years the prophet Hosea has been preaching and confronting the people of Israel. But, it hasn’t done any good – the people have NOT listened to him. They have continued to worship idols and sin against the LORD. After all the repeated warnings to turn back to the LORD and repent, judgement is now coming. The nation of Israel is going to reap what it has been sowing. They are on the brink of destruction. The people of Israel incurred God’s anger because they continually transgressed their covenant with God. Hosea 8

God’s Unrepentant People

8/14/16

Jim Zes

Text: Hosea 7

#9 in Hosea Series

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The book of Hosea is a picture of Israel’s broken marriage with the LORD. We have seen how far the people of Israel had strayed from their relationship with God. In Hosea chapter 7, God continues to expose the sin and corruption of His people. Israel thought the LORD had forgotten their wickedness; they acknowledged allegiance to the LORD, but really their allegiance was to idols and the pagan world. God is showing us what the character of a stubborn, prideful, and rebellious people looks like in this chapter of Hosea. Hosea 7

 

Let Us Pursue the Knowledge of the Lord

7/17/16

Jim Zes

Text: Hosea 6:1-11

#8 in Hosea Series

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Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation. But what happens when you expect forgiveness without repenting?
This was the situation for the people of Israel. In the book of Hosea, we see that they were completely given over to idolatry and harlotry. In the face of God’s discipline, the Israelites thought that merely returning to the prescribed sacrificial offerings would solve their problems. But God rejected that kind of “repentance.” It was as fleeting as “a morning cloud” and “the early dew” that fades away with the first rays of sunlight. Repentance must result in a change of heart and a change in behavior.
God desires mercy and knowledge of Him more than sacrifice. Hosea 6:1-11

Idolatry in the Lives of God’s People

6/19/16

Jim Zes

Text: Hosea 5:1-15

#7 in Hosea Series

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Sometimes, we have no regard for the idolatry in our lives. “Idols” become more important to us than God – while at the same time, when we are out in public, we present ourselves as being “spiritual.” This kind of behavior brings God’s wrath, chastisement and judgment upon us. If we are not serious about our faith, it causes us to have a shallow relationship with God. The most important thing in the world for every Christian is to grow in the knowledge of God. Hosea 5:1-15

For Israel is Stubborn Like a Stubborn Calf

5/15/16

Jim Zes

Text: Hosea 4:7-19

#6 in Hosea Series

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When sinners cast off the yoke of Christ, they will continue in their sin until the Lord says, “Let them alone.”  The people of ancient Israel were like a stubborn calf – they were continually committing harlotry against the Lord.  They were worshiping idols and looking for leadership from false gods, rather than from the one true God.

In Hosea chapter four we see how Israel’s stubbornness and their devotion to idols resulted in their being “let alone.”  The people of Israel were abandoned by God and given over to their own sin and the idols they depended upon, left to reap the fruit of their idolatry and harlotry. Hosea 4:7-19

Hosea 4:7-19 (NKJV)

“The more they increased,
The more they sinned against Me;
I will change[a] their glory[b] into shame.
They eat up the sin of My people;
They set their heart on their iniquity.
And it shall be: like people, like priest.
So I will punish them for their ways,
And reward them for their deeds.
10 For they shall eat, but not have enough;
They shall commit harlotry, but not increase;
Because they have ceased obeying the Lord.

11 “Harlotry, wine, and new wine enslave the heart.
12 My people ask counsel from their wooden idols,
And their staff informs them.
For the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray,
And they have played the harlot against their God.
13 They offer sacrifices on the mountaintops,
And burn incense on the hills,
Under oaks, poplars, and terebinths,
Because their shade is good.
Therefore your daughters commit harlotry,
And your brides commit adultery.

14 “I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry,
Nor your brides when they commit adultery;
For the men themselves go apart with harlots,
And offer sacrifices with a ritual harlot.[c]
Therefore people who do not understand will be trampled.

15 “Though you, Israel, play the harlot,
Let not Judah offend.
Do not come up to Gilgal,
Nor go up to Beth Aven,
Nor swear an oath, saying, ‘As the Lord lives’—

16 “For Israel is stubborn
Like a stubborn calf;
Now the Lord will let them forage
Like a lamb in open country.

17 “Ephraim is joined to idols,
Let him alone.
18 Their drink is rebellion,
They commit harlotry continually.
Her rulers dearly[d] love dishonor.
19 The wind has wrapped her up in its wings,
And they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge

4/24/16

Jim Zes

Text: Hosea 4:1-6

#5 in Hosea Series

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God desires His people to be faithful to Him. The problem is that we often fail to fulfill our covenant responsibilities to God. In Hosea chapter 4, God brings a charge against the people of Israel. The people are accused of lying, killing and stealing. They have also committed idolatry and spiritual adultery. In Hosea 4:6, God says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” When God’s people are destroyed and waste away, it isn’t because God has lost either His love or His strength – it’s because His people lack knowledge of God Himself and they have forgotten His Law.

Hosea 4:1-6 (NKJV)
1 Hear the word of the Lord,
You children of Israel,
For the Lord brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land:
“There is no truth or mercy
Or knowledge of God in the land.
2 By swearing and lying,
Killing and stealing and committing adultery,
They break all restraint,
With bloodshed upon bloodshed.
3 Therefore the land will mourn;
And everyone who dwells there will waste away
With the beasts of the field
And the birds of the air;
Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.
4 “Now let no man contend, or rebuke another;
For your people are like those who contend with the priest.
5 Therefore you shall stumble in the day;
The prophet also shall stumble with you in the night;
And I will destroy your mother.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

God’s Redeeming Love

3/27/16

Jim Zes

Text: Hosea 3:1-5

#4 in Hosea Series

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There are many things about God that are difficult for us to grasp. One aspect that is especially difficult for us to understand is the love that God has for His people. In spite of Israel’s continual sin, God demonstrates His never-ending love for her. The perfect expression of God’s love is found in Christ redeeming His people from the slave-market of sin. God’s main concern for His people is to bring about their redemption and restoration. Hosea 3:1-5

Hosea 3:1-5 (NKJV)

Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover[a] and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.

So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley. And I said to her, “You shall stay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man—so, too, will I be toward you.”

For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.

 

The Greatest Chapter in the Bible

2/28/16

Jim Zes

Text: Hosea 2:14-23

#3 in Hosea Series

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There is a gracious, loving relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church. God the faithful Husband will come to His unfaithful people and woo them back to Himself like a suitor pursuing his first love. In spite of Israel’s harlotry, God promises to betroth her to Himself forever. This is the promise of a new covenant. In Hosea chapter 2 we see Christ’s covenant union with His people a picture of God’s love and mercy. Hosea 2:14-23

Hosea 2:14-23 (NKJV)

14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
15 I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
16 “And it shall be, in that day,”
Says the Lord,
“That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’[c]
And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’[d]
17 For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals,
And they shall be remembered by their name no more.
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them
With the beasts of the field,
With the birds of the air,
And with the creeping things of the ground.
Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth,
To make them lie down safely.
19 “I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the Lord.
21 “It shall come to pass in that day
That I will answer,” says the Lord;
“I will answer the heavens,
And they shall answer the earth.
22 The earth shall answer 

With grain, 

With new wine, 

And with oil; 

They shall answer Jezreel.
23 Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; 

Then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’
And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’”

 

A Door of Hope

1/24/16

Jim Zes

Text: Hosea 2:2-15

#2 in Hosea Series

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In our culture today Hollywood tends to glamorize adultery and prostitution. In the book of Hosea we find a very different picture. Here we see sin as it really is – in all of its ugliness! The nation of Israel is described as both an unfaithful wife and mother! So, God declares that because of her sin He is going to bring judgement upon Israel. There are dreadful consequences for her sin. But, because of God’s love and mercy for His people, the ultimate goal of His judgement is to bring reconciliation and restoration.  Hosea 2:2-15

Hosea 2:2-15 (NKJV)
2 “Bring charges against your mother, bring charges;
For she is not My wife, nor am I her Husband!
Let her put away her harlotries from her sight,
And her adulteries from between her breasts;
3 Lest I strip her naked
And expose her, as in the day she was born,
And make her like a wilderness,
And set her like a dry land,
And slay her with thirst.
4 “I will not have mercy on her children,
For they are the children of harlotry.
5 For their mother has played the harlot;
She who conceived them has behaved shamefully.
For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
Who give me my bread and my water,
My wool and my linen,
My oil and my drink.’
6 “Therefore, behold,
I will hedge up your way with thorns,
And wall her in,
So that she cannot find her paths.
7 She will chase her lovers,
But not overtake them;
Yes, she will seek them, but not find them.
Then she will say,
‘I will go and return to my first husband,
For then it was better for me than now.’
8 For she did not know
That I gave her grain, new wine, and oil,
And multiplied her silver and gold—
Which they prepared for Baal.
9 “Therefore I will return and take away
My grain in its time
And My new wine in its season,
And will take back My wool and My linen,
Given to cover her nakedness.
10 Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers,
And no one shall deliver her from My hand.
11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease,
Her feast days,
Her New Moons,
Her Sabbaths—
All her appointed feasts.
12 “And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees,
Of which she has said,
‘These are my wages that my lovers have given me.’
So I will make them a forest,
And the beasts of the field shall eat them.
13 I will punish her
For the days of the Baals to which she burned incense.
She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry,
And went after her lovers;
But Me she forgot,” says the Lord.

14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
15 I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.

Introduction to Hosea

12/27/15

Jim Zes

Text: Hosea 1:1-2:1

#1 in Hosea Series

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What does our idolatry and rejection of the LORD look like to God?

In Hosea chapter one we see that God commands the prophet Hosea to take a wife of harlotry. It is a vivid picture of an adulterous marriage. In the spiritual marriage that Israel has with God we see the unfaithfulness of God’s people. God has promised judgement, but the days of judgement won’t last forever. After God’s judgement there will come a day of restoration, increase, and blessing. Hosea 1:1 – 2:1

Hosea 1:1-2:1 (NKJV)

1 The word of the Lord that came to Hosea the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.

The Family of Hosea
2 When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea:

“Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry
And children of harlotry,
For the land has committed great harlotry
By departing from the Lord.”
3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4 Then the Lord said to him:

“Call his name Jezreel,
For in a little while
I will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu,
And bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.
5 It shall come to pass in that day
That I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.”
6 And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him:

“Call her name Lo-Ruhamah,[a]
For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel,
But I will utterly take them away.[b]
7 Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah,
Will save them by the Lord their God,
And will not save them by bow,
Nor by sword or battle,
By horses or horsemen.”
8 Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. 9 Then God said:

“Call his name Lo-Ammi,[c]
For you are not My people,
And I will not be your God.
The Restoration of Israel
10 “Yet the number of the children of Israel
Shall be as the sand of the sea,
Which cannot be measured or numbered.
And it shall come to pass
In the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’[d]
There it shall be said to them,
‘You are sons of the living God.’
11 Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel
Shall be gathered together,
And appoint for themselves one head;
And they shall come up out of the land,
For great will be the day of Jezreel!
2 Say to your brethren, ‘My people,’[e]
And to your sisters, ‘Mercy[f] is shown.’