Study from God’s Word… Hosea, Chapters 5 - 9 … Passage for Reflection: Hosea 4: 5 – 9 … NIV 5 You stumble day and night, and the prophets stumble with you. So I will destroy your mother- 6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. 7 The more the priests increased, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their Glory for something disgraceful. 8 They feed on the sins of my people and relish their wickedness. 9 And it will be: Like people, like priests. I will punish both of them for their ways and repay them for their deeds.
My Journal for Today: These were chilling words [i.e., today’s highlighted passage] from God in Hosea’s day; and they are chillingly powerful – OR SHOULD BE - for today’s Christian leaders as well as those who follow them in their flocks. Please take a moment and meditate on those sentiments from God’s word to His people. What are they saying to you … to us in this generation of believers?
My friend, when I read this passage, especially knowing what I know from a similar stark warning from the Apostle Paul in Romans 1: 18 – 32 [linked here], I’m chilled to the core by the reality of where we are in the so-called “post-modern world” of today. When you read Chapters 5 – 9 of the Book of Hosea, I know that historically they chronicle the prophesies God, given to Hosea to level against the northern tribes of Israel in that day; but if you read them, as I have this morning, substituting the church in today’s post modern world for those peoples described as “Israel” or “Ephraim” in these chapters, you have to be stricken with some degree of concern – if not terror – for what God may have in store for a post-modern church which is prostituting itself by not preaching the truth and succumbing to worldly idolatry.
We cannot – or should not – point fingers. If we are Christian leaders we need to take heed to God’s word, even though He directed it to Israel almost 3000 years ago. We need to heed it as if it were directed to us; and we need to sound the alarm for God’s flock to repent, to return to God’s truth and His ways, and to follow those who are sounding the alarm of truth for the people to hear God’s warning. If we are – and we are – the flock of God, we need to be bolstered by the truth that God desires our repentance by praying our confession to Him, … by preaching the truth if we are in a position to do so, … and by partnering with other believers (and churches) to ring out God’s alarm for all to hear.
Fellow Christian followers, do you hear God calling to you, His flock, in the midst of a post-modern generation to stay close to the Good Shepherd, as we hear the roar of the lion (see 1st Peter 5: 8); and we, the lambs, need to take heart from the truth of Isaiah 41: 10 and 53: 6 where we hear the truth that repentance and restoration is found in following Christ Who will come to save and sanctify His people.
Fellow Christian leaders, do you hear the shofar calling from the wall of God’s city, where we, who have the responsibility as Pastors, Elders, or Overseers, are being called to shepherd God’s flock back to His truth so that they can hear His way and flock to the Good Shepherd rather than to run from the roar of the lion (again 1st Peter 5: 8) and be consumed. We have THE POWER on our side, but we are being misguided by the flesh rather than returning the truth. We are fleeing truth right into the mouths of waiting lionesses who know we frightened lambs will run from the roar of Satan’s worldly alpha-lion.
We need not fear and run; we need to repent and return to the promises and power of God from His word; but as the words from today’s devotional cry out, … My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge! And that’s why we, who know God, need to stay close to Him and to do all we can to be saturated in His truth and sharing it with all who might listen, learn, and – prayerfully in turn – lead.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, as a sheep in Your flock, keep me close to You, My Good Shepherd; and as Your sub-shepherd, give me Your power to sound the alarm and preach Your truth. Amen