Hosea 10 – The Only Way Out is to Return to God 何西阿书10 – 惟有回转归向神才是出路
Thursday, 11th May 2023
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
When the Judgement Day comes, God will first judge the believers. The Heaven is near, we must repent, this is also what Jesus preached when He was on the earth. When He went to a city, He would first go to the Synagogue and preach to the Jewish, because as believers, they already had the Word of God, but they were unwilling to leave their old life. We are often like this, we already have the assurance of salvation, but we continue to sin in this world, we continue to live our old ways, and we refuse to let go of the world.
Section One V1-8 The Heart is Divided 心怀二意
V1-4 ‘Israel empties his vine; he brings forth fruit for himself. According to the multitude of his fruit he has increased the altars; according to the bounty of his land they have embellished his sacred pillars. Their heart is divided; now they are held guilty. He will break down their altars; He will ruin their sacred pillars. For now they say, we have no king, because we did not fear the Lord. And as for a king, what would he do for us? They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant. Thus judgment springs up like hemlock in the furrows of the field.’
The Israelites did not believe God gave them everything they had, they thought what they had was from this world and not from God. They built altars and pillars to worship idols, and they sinned against God. When we think that our lives are good, when we are satisfied with the things we have in this world, then we will fall into the traps of the world. We don’t need to be disciplined and we don’t want to receive teaching, we thought God will bless us no matter what we do. God’s judgement will come, when we don’t live a life set apart for God, when we indulge in the worldly desires, then everything we rely on will soon fade away.
V5-8 ‘The inhabitants of Samaria fear because of the calf of Beth Aven. For its people mourn for it, and its priests shriek for it—Because its glory has departed from it. The idol also shall be carried to Assyria as a present for King Jareb. Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel. As for Samaria, her king is cut off like a twig on the water. Also the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed. The thorn and thistle shall grow on their altars; they shall say to the mountains, “Cover us!” And to the hills, “Fall on us!”’
V5-8 ‘撒马利亚的居民必因伯亚文的牛犊惊恐，崇拜牛犊的民和喜爱牛犊的祭司都必因荣耀离开它，为它悲哀。 人必将牛犊带到亚述当做礼物，献给耶雷布王。以法莲必蒙羞，以色列必因自己的计谋惭愧。 至于撒马利亚，她的王必灭没，如水面的沫子一样。 伯亚文的丘坛，就是以色列取罪的地方，必被毁灭，荆棘和蒺藜必长在他们的祭坛上。他们必对大山说遮盖我们！对小山说倒在我们身上！。’
We call ourselves the people of God, but when we continue to serve this world, when we rebel against God, and when we turn away from the Way of God, then disaster will strike us. The golden calf cannot help us, the world cannot help us, and all we will have left will be our shame.
Section Two V9-12 The Law is Despised 无视律法
V9-12 ‘O Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah; there they stood. The battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them. When it is My desire, I will chasten them. Peoples shall be gathered against them when I bind them for their two transgressions. Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh grain; but I harnessed her fair neck, I will make Ephraim pull a plow. Judah shall plow; Jacob shall break his clods. Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.’
Jesus remined us God’s commandments for us, which is for us to love God with all our hearts, and to love our neighbours as ourselves. But the Israelites did not listen, they chose this world, they chose to rely on the neighbouring countries, and God’s judgement came upon them. Numbers 26:41 says, ‘These are the sons of Benjamin according to their families; and those who were numbered of them were forty-five thousand six hundred.’ But in Judges 20:47 says, ‘But six hundred men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and they stayed at the rock of Rimmon for four months.’ The number of Israelites decreased greatly when they followed this world.
God led the Israelites out of Egypt, He prepared the Promised Land for them, He fed them and protected them. But at the end, they wanted to establish a king for themselves, when they were attacked by the enemies, they relied on the neighbouring countries to help them. They did not have God in their lives. Are we also like this? We are unwilling to be taught and to be disciplined, we are hiding in the caves, we only want our own selfish desires to be fulfilled, and we don’t repent. God is angry at us, He is calling us to repent, He is giving us all the signs around us, urging us to return to Him.
The floods, the storms, the earthquakes, the economic crisis, the plagues, the virus… God is urging us to return to Him! The well-known banks around the world are bankrupted, there is nothing we can rely on in this world, but do we see it? Are our eyes open to see everything that is happening right now?
Section Three V13-15 Seek Jehovah 寻求耶和华
V13-15 ‘You have plowed wickedness; you have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, because you trusted in your own way, in the multitude of your mighty men. Therefore tumult shall arise among your people, and all your fortresses shall be plundered as Shalman plundered Beth Arbel in the day of battle—A mother dashed in pieces upon her children. Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel, because of your great wickedness. At dawn the king of Israel shall be cut off utterly.’
V13-15 ‘你们耕种的是奸恶，收割的是罪孽，吃的是谎话的果子。因你倚靠自己的行为，仰赖勇士众多，所以在这民中必有哄嚷之声，你一切的保障必被拆毁，就如沙勒幔在争战的日子拆毁伯亚比勒，将其中的母子一同摔死。 因他们的大恶，伯特利必使你们遭遇如此。到了黎明，以色列的王必全然灭绝。’
We call ourselves Christians, we establish churches one after another, but our city is becoming poorer, the people are becoming more corrupted, and the crime rate is becoming higher. God wants us to be planted in the soil, He wants to bless the land through us, He wants to plant us into trees to nourish the land. But when the Christians refuse to be taught, they just want people to love them and understand them, they don’t want to receive disciplined, and they don’t seek spiritual growth. We want to stay in our comfort zone, we want to be loved and to be spoiled, we want people to please us and to follow our ways.
We know the world is full of wickedness, we know the better life is in Heaven, but we are unwilling to face the Truth, and we still want to live a smooth and comfortable life in this world. We know to pray for the Kingdom come and God’s Will be done, but we continue to seek our own will and build our own kingdom on this world. Do we really know our belief? Do we really know the Truth? We must seek God, not this world! It’s time to change around our ways, to be planted in God’s righteousness, to seek God earnestly, to repent from our wicked ways, and to only rely on God.