Message Tab

God Loves Loyalty

 

Hosea 6:1 – 7:2
Bible Studies for Life, Feb 13

 

Loyalty, as defined by Webster is “faithful adherence to a person, government, cause, duty, etc.” Suffice it to say, faithful allegiance to God is not only expected, but demanded by Him.

When my wife and I were married, I expected her to remain faithful to me until one of us died. She expected no less from me. We entered into a covenant relationship that has not been broken.

 

Unbroken covenant

“God expects the same from His people. Whether they were ancient Israel or the present day church, His people are in a covenant relationship with Him that should not be broken.

A covenant relationship is not passive. It requires action from both parties involved. Our text reveals five characteristics involving God and His people.

 

Return to the Lord! - Hosea 6:1

In chapters 4 and 5 of Hosea, Israel had sinned against God and He rebuked them. The normal process for God’s people after they have been rebuked for their sin is to return to Him. We see that Israel did that in verse 1. God had given them a good verbal spanking and they quickly discovered that with His rebuke, the healing process begins.

Like Israel, the church needs to return to the Lord. She has forsaken Him and turned to other gods and is involved in idolatry. Returning to the Lord is the first step in loyalty.

 

Revived by the Lord! - Hosea 6:2-3

Upon returning to the Lord, being revived by Him is sure to follow. As God’s people should realize, being revived by Him will involve intimacy. Being revived and raised up after two days indicates a quick response for their repentance. As always, true repentance will involve a deeper desire to know God. Verse 3 is vitally important for God’s people.

The Hebrew word for “know” in this text is “yaw-dah.” It is the same word used in Genesis 4 concerning Adam and Eve and their intimate relationship. It is not so much a physical act as it is an emotional and spiritual journey with someone. Knowing God should be the number one priority in every believer’s life.

 

Retribution from the Lord! - Hosea 6:4-5

The best Christian life that can be lived is a day-by-day walk with our Lord and Savior. It was never meant to be mountain-top-to-valley-and-back-to-the-mountain-top living. When I served as a student minister it was not uncommon to have retreats when our students would get “on fire” for the Lord, only to go back to daily living in school and “fall away” from Him.

As a pastor, I often see the same type of fickle lives in adults. To be fickle is to be unstable in our loyalty. God expects us to be faithful to Him in everything we do. He accuses Ephraim of this when He says their loyalty is like a “morning cloud” and the “early dew,” both of which fade quickly.

Far too many marriages fail today because of a lack of commitment. A man or woman who can’t be continuously committed to God will have a difficult time with loyalty to a spouse.

In verse 5, we see that we serve a jealous God and He will not tolerate spiritual adultery.

The judgments pronounced here are to be taken seriously. When words like “hewn” and “slain” are used in response to unfaithfulness, it is obvious that God expects our loyalty to Him and no one else.

 

Reverence for the Lord! - Hosea 6:6-11

Not only should we get to know God, He desires that for us. His heart is for us to love Him with all of our mind, soul and strength. He wants an intimacy with us that can’t be equaled anywhere. We will never be able to love our spouse, our kids, our family or our fellow man like we should until we first love God.

These verses paint a picture of His people who are guilty of spiritual adultery, iniquity, bloodshed, lewdness and other horrible sins. Even the priests were corrupt.

Does this sound like something that happened over 2,700 years ago? To be honest, someone could read the current newspaper about the latest church scandal and they would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

In a world that is filled with sin and strife, God expects more from His people. He wants us to know Him, so we are qualified to make Him known.

Quite often the church has lost her influence in the community, and it is because she is living like the days of Hosea, where her spiritual adultery disqualifies her to be the salt and light she is suppose to be. God help us to repent of our infidelity and to love Him as He desires.

 

Remembrance by the Lord! - Hosea 7:1-2

One of the most terrifying statements in the book of Hosea – if not all the Bible – is found in verse 2. “But they never consider that I remember all their evil …” (HCSB).

Herein lies the problem. When a man cheats on his wife it is obvious that he is not considering her feelings. When a Christian commits infidelity to God, he is not considering that God remembers everything.

If a true believer would only consider that God knows every thought they have and every act they commit; it would bring us to our knees if we only considered God in all of our actions.