This morning, I was reading the book of Hosea, and couldn’t help seeing the similarities between the condition in Israel then, and the condition in our country now. In chapter 4, we read:
“LISTEN to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel, For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land, Because there is no faithfulness or kindness Or knowledge of God in the land. There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes…Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being my priest… And it will be, like people, like priest; So I will punish them for their ways, and repay them for their deeds. They will eat, but not have enough; they will play the harlot, but not increase, because they have stopped giving heed to the LORD.”
This week has seen great unrest across our community and in greater part our nation, and there is much speculation as to the actions to take in order to calm the unrest. Unfortunately, the voices speaking the truth are often silenced, because of the unwillingness of the people to accept the knowledge of God. We in the American church must ALL cling to the knowledge of God and speak the truth in love to people, for the gospel is the only solution to the unrest and dissatisfaction of the people. The people of the country will never have enough of anything without Christ, without acknowledging the Almighty God, and the gift of His Son. Churches across this nation are struggling to survive, not because they are too offensive to the community, but because they are offense to God by forsaking to preach the truth of sin and repentance. We have stopped preaching the whole truth, and softened the message of Christ to the point where God is snuffing out our lampstands, and like the time of Hosea, rejecting us from being his priests!
Throughout the Bible, God teaches us that there is a purpose to his correction. Hosea’s message is to “RETURN to the LORD,” so that He may turn his anger away from them. The message to us is no different, that we must RETURN to Him. As believers in Christ, we are priests who must pray for our communities and our nation, and speak the words of the Good News to them. We must share the message especially during this Christmas season that Christ humbled Himself, while we were yet sinners, suffered and died for us, to take our place in death. After he completed his work, then was He glorified. His gift of forgiveness is freely given to all who accept it, but He calls us to repent of our sin, and live for Him. Let us do that daily, so that we can continue to serve as his church. The message of God’s love, forgiveness, and restoration must be in the forefront of our lives. We must not allow it to be obscured by any other conversations or priorities, or we will fail in our obedience to His calling. Let us all remember this every hour of every day, and may His light shine through us.