Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes -

Hosea: God's BALANCE Of Judging And Blessing His People
Part IX: God's Need To Judge For Man's Independence From Him
(Hosea 8:1-14)
  1. Introduction
    1. One of the signs a believer is in spiritual trouble is his noticeable independence from God and Scripture.
    2. For this reason, God directed His people to "cleave" to Him in Deuteronomy 10:20; failing to do so left them open to a gradual apostasy from the Lord due to the powerful evil influences around them.
    3. Viewing Hosea 8:1-14 reveals God had to judge His people for their spiritual independence from Him:
  2. God's Need To Judge For Man's Independence From Him, Hosea 8:1-14.
    1. Hosea 8:1-14 "includes several specific illustrations of the nation's rebellious attitude and announces God's coming judgment" to cite the Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, p. 1396.
    2. Viewing them in view of their historical development reveals that, in each case, Israel's failure to cleave to God led to independence from Him that in turn led to apostasy that God judges (Ibid., p. 1396-1398):
      1. In Hosea 8:1, God announced an alarm of impending judgment due to Israel's apostasy from Him.
      2. Israel voiced allegiance to the Lord in Hosea 8:2, but Hosea 8:3 reveals this was a hollow claim as she had actually cast off what was good as evidenced in her unbiblical deeds (cf. Hosea 4:1, 6; 5:4, Ibid.).
      3. The first illustration of Israel's sin is described in Hosea 8:4a: she had set up kings independent of the Lord's leading and approval in violation of Deuteronomy 17:15a.
      4. The second illustration of Israel's sin is described in Hosea 8:4b-7: she made idols of silver and gold, mainly gold calves, and viewing her history shows this came from acting independent of the Lord:
        1. God was the One Who had caused the Northern Kingdom under Jeroboam to split apart from the Southern Kingdom of Judah in judgment for Solomon's idolatry, 1 Kings 11:29-33; 12:12-15.
        2. However, when Jeroboam thought his subjects might shift their allegiance from him back to Judah's king Rehoboam when they went to the Jerusalem temple to worship God, instead of relying on God who had given him his kingdom with its subjects , he acted independently of God, making for himself golden calves for Israel to worship to keep his people away from Judah, 1 Kings 12:25-33.
      5. The third illustration of Israel's sin is described in Hosea 8:8-10: she had allied herself with pagan nations for security in independence from relying on God:
        1. Israel's alliance with Assyria was like the action of a wild donkey that was notoriously independent (Job 39:5-8) as she sold herself to unjust alliances versus trusting in God for security, Ibid., p. 1397.
        2. Nevertheless, for her faithless independence from God, the Lord would judge Israel, Hosea 8:10.
      6. The fourth illustration of Israel's sin is described in Hosea 8:11-13: she was guilty of "hypocritical ritualism" where she went through the motions of worshiping God while her heart was independent from God as seen in her failure to live in accord with His Biblical will (Ibid., p. 1397):
        1. The people of Israel had built many altars to offer sin offerings in appeasing the Lord, but had failed to heed much of His Law, demonstrating independence from God in the inner man, Hos. 8:11-13a.
        2. Hence, the Lord would reverse their deliverance from Egypt and send them back into captivity, this time captivity in the land of Assyria, Hosea 8:13b, Ibid.
      7. The fifth illustration of Israel's sin is described in Hosea 8:14: she was self-sufficient in having "proudly sought prominence (palaces) and security (fortified many towns . . . fortresses; cf. 10:14) through her own efforts" independent of the Lord, (Ibid., p. 1398):
        1. The prophet Hosea noted Israel had forgotten her Sovereign Creator, leading to her filling her vacuum of an All-Sufficient God with proud palaces and fortifications of her making, Hosea 8:14a.
        2. Accordingly, for such independence from God in false self-sufficiency, the Lord would send a fire in the invasion that would destroy these palaces and fortifications, Hosea 8:14b.
Lesson: In setting up kings, making idols, making allies of pagan nations, practicing hypocritical religious rituals and self-sufficiently exalting herself in proud human might all INDEPENDENT of God instead of rightly CLEAVING to Him, Israel slipped into apostasy to where God had to punish her.

Application: May we ALWAYS CLEAVE to the Lord that we NOT act INDEPENDENT of Him.