March 5, 2012

Today you should read: Hosea 1

One nation under God.

This is what the United States was founded on. Although not perfect, the founding fathers tried to direct our country in such a way that honored God. Now we still have that tagline in our constitution and on our money, but it doesn’t mean what it used to.

If you want to see what our country truly worships, just go to a sporting event. No one has more passion then a sports fan. Many of whom have mini-shrines setup in their homes and would not miss a game if their life depended on it. Honestly, many Christians would fall under this banner. Even as a staff at Center Point Church we find ourselves scheduling church events around sporting events because we know that many will not show up. I do not write this to condemn sports or any other form of entertainment. I myself love to watch the games as well but for many it has become an idol and a god. An idol is not always a carved image or some sort of voodoo but it is anything that takes priority over God in our lives.

God demonstrated his hatred for breaking the first commandment in Hosea 1. God said “thou shalt not have any other gods before me” but during this time in Israel’s history (2 Kings 9) they had given themselves over to the worship of Baal.

Baal was known as the storm god and the fertility god. So the general practice of Baal worshipers was to take part in sexual promiscuity to conjure up rain for the crops from Baal. Not only was their worship of another god a sin but their acts of worship toward Baal were disgusting sin. God illustrates to Israel his relationship with them by having Hosea marry a prostitute named Gomer. When Hosea and Gomer conceived children God gave them names of prophesy to warn Israel of their fate. The name Jeezrel was a prophesy of the punishment that would come to the house of Judah. The next two children were named “No Mercy” and “Not My People” for God wanted a sign to Israel that because of their hearts turning to another God he would not have mercy on them because they had turned away.

However, God always comes through on his promises because of his character. Exodus 34:

Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

God will bring salvation through his judgment on his people Israel. God re-establishes his covenant to Israel in v.10. Through Judah will come one head and great will be the day of Jezreel. God will bring about a king to rule over all of his people perfectly through Judah. Thankfully we live in a time where we know the outcome of this story and the King is called Jesus Christ. In him we see the ultimate salvation through judgment as he bore our sins on the cross so that we may experience his grace through faith.

So why are our churches not filled every time the doors are opened? Why do more of us talk about yesterday’s scores, news, or who is dating who in Hollywood then we do the love of Christ and what he has done for us. Why is it an inconvenience to pray and talk about Christ with our families and children but we worship at the almighty T.V. every day? Has another God stolen your heart for the one true God?

Remember this:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:1-10

Posted by: Chad Wiles