Like Old Testament Israel, We Have Been At Ease As Our Culture Crumbles
Woe to you who are at ease in Zion…(Amos 6:1 – NKJV).
Hosea 6:1-7 (NLT) – Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel! The Lord has brought charges against you, saying: There is no faithfulness, no kindness, no knowledge of God in your land. (2) You make vows and break them; you kill and steal and commit adultery. There is violence everywhere— one murder after another. (3) That is why your land is in mourning, and everyone is wasting away. Even the wild animals, the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea are disappearing.(4) “Don’t point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame! My complaint, you priests, is with you. (5) So you will stumble in broad daylight, and your false prophets will fall with you in the night. And I will destroy Israel, your mother. (6) My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children.
Israel had fallen into disobedience, and the prophet Hosea was called by God to prophecy to the sin plagued nation. God had even asked Hosea to marry a woman named Gomer who would become a prostitute, as an example of how Israel had given themselves to spiritual adultery by worshipping foreign gods.
Notice that in Hosea 6:1 that the Lord brought a charge against Israel for the lack of the knowledge of God in the land. In our nation, God holds the church accountable for what happens in our nation. We believers have the responsibility to pray and seek God, and to be salt and light so that our culture can see our God through us!
Next in verse 2, God decries the sins of His people in Israel. They had become involved in the sins of their culture as they broke their promises, killed, stole, and committed sexual sin. You will find the sins of our culture in the American church today. Adultery, fornication, lust, lying, backbiting, and gossiping are all sins that have crept into the church as a whole in America.
In verse 3, Hosea mentions that the land is in mourning, and the wildlife is affected. Nature turned against Israel due to their disobedience, and you will find in America today unprecedented strong storms, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes. God has no recourse but to lift His hand of protection from those who know better and yet continue to violate their relationship with Him through unrepentant sin. That is the state of America today.
Again in verse 4, God points the finger of responsibility towards the priests of Israel who should be opening the way spiritually for Israel to live, but they are themselves involved in sin! While in America we have many good and faithful men and women of God, it seems that on a wide scale church leaders have not lifted their voice in opposition to the rampant immorality and loose living in our country. We are watching a rapid downward spiral of looseness in our culture. Are we as the church speaking loudly enough for people to hear us?
So God tells Israel in verse 5 that because they have neglected His word and yielded to their own sinful desires, they will no longer receive His guidance. They will stumble during the day as you would over a piece of furniture in a dark bedroom at night as you make a trip to the bathroom with no lights on!
God ends this portion of His message to Israel by telling them that because they have forgotten God’s word, the blessing of God in their land would not continue to their children.
My friends, here we are as our values and the freedoms that go along with them have quickly eroded around us. FOr so long, we have enjoyed our wonderful praise and worship and some good preaching from behind the four walls of our buildings! But as a whole we have not challenged our wayward culture.
Are we making an impact on our culture by training our children and making sure they have godly values, speech, and lifestyles? Are we challenging the new norms in our society that say that men can marry men, and women can marry women? Are we lovingly confronting the those involved in sexual activity outslde the bonds of marriage, including homosexuality and lesbian lifestyles? Are we challenging the person throwing their money away by gambling in the “education lottery” (give me a break!), instead of giving to the poor, or to organizations that help the poor? Are we challenging the business practices in the company we work for when they withhold part of the truth when we know full well the company is taking advantage of people and being dishonest?
Are we lovingly confronting wrong when it is blatant and open for all to see? If not, then we are falling into a trap of compromise laid by the enemy of our souls. God is looking for believers today who love Him enough that they are willing to represent Him and be persecuted for lovingly telling the truth and being honest and upfront about the wrongs they see around them.
And now here we are. Under the guise of what was flattening the curve so hospitals could care for sick Covid-19 patients, we are still not back to normal after four months of lockdown and partial opening. Every single idol that American culture has erected to give us pleasure has been shaken. As much as I love sports just like everyone else, sports has become an idol and so many have spent more time following their favorite team than following God! Entertainment has been shut down for four months now. No movies, no concerts, no parks, no restaurants dining (now they have opened a little). God has allowed what we are experiencing because of our idolatrous hearts as American people who have enjoyed these pleasures we have more than we enjoy God’s Word and Presence!
God is calling the church in our generation to the offensive. It’s time for us to get out of our homes, get back together as His church and shine! He is asking us to once again be the salt and light in our circles of influence.
What can you do my friend, to make a difference where you live? Are you ministering to others as the Lord leads you? Or, are you allowing fear to keep you away from the mandate of being a light and sharing Jesus with people? Are you willing to advocate for purity and moral integrity in situations of compromise around you? It is past time for us to pray, and then ask God to place us where we can shine and make a difference by our actions, words, and lifestyle. God is counting on you to pray and act.
So much is at stake today. Our freedoms are being challenged in so many ways. It’s time to get up, get out, and get moving. God wants to use you to minister to others. He CAN”T do that while you sit at home in fear. Your Father God wants you to cast aside fear, and be lovingly bold today. Join me as we choose to lovingly confront compromise and share the positive promises and love of God with others. Can God count on you in this critical hour?