Hosea was a prophet to the House of Israel, the northern kingdom, during the time of a great material prosperity. But it was the very time of a great spiritual/moral poverty.
REFLECTION – Responses to prosperity
• Generosity – bless others as you have been blessed
• Increase in the illusion of self sufficiency (look what I have done/achieved)
• Seeking after self-indulgence
• Turning from God – "we don’t need him anymore."
• Turing to other “gods” – other objects of worship
• In Israel’s case it was worship of Baal – WHY! Because…
RESULT in Israel – as described in Hosea
Social Injustice Hosea 2:7
• Violent Crime Hosea 4:2, 6:9, 12:1
• Religious Hypocrisy Hosea 6:6
• Political Rebellion Hosea 7:3-7
• Foreign alliances Hosea 7:11, 8:9
• Selfish arrogance Hosea13:6
• Spiritual ingratitude Hosea 7:15
Hosea – the STORY to teach the less
GOD is extremely hurt and angry
What is it that is described here?
•Worship of other gods (false gods)
•Ascribing to others what God alone provides
•No thankfulness to our God
•Betrayal of promises
Hosea – the STORY Continues – Correction and RESTORATION
• What appears to be retributive punishment – taking away the daily blessings
• Note this is being done to the beloved!!
• This is to show that others CANNOT provide her needs, and to restore proper relationship
• God’s desire is to restore, because of His love and for OUR good
Hosea –Gomer Backslides
• Despite the fact that Gomer is now in a relationship with a Godly man she goes back to her old ways
• She effectively become a slave
• Talks about another man loving her – but what person who really loves someone (1 Cor 13) is willing to sell them She is in an abusive and manipulative relationship – with the lover only seeking HIS gratification
Hosea – WE Backslide – MORE REFELCTION
Despite the fact that we are now in a relationship with God – we return to OUR old ways – to destructive practices
• We have all we need and walk away from it (prodigal sons and daughters)
• We willing become slave to sin and to the flesh
o Trust other things for our security
o Patterns of old behaviours and old excitements even when we know they CANNOT satisfy
Hosea – DEMOLISHED MYTHS
•God is a long way off and does care – isn’t emotionally invested at all (Deism)
•God will not forgive my sins
•The God of the old testament is full of wrath and punishment, but Jesus is fully of love and compassion
•True believers – true Christians do not sin
•God would not want a relationship with me because of my sins.
•God is about punishment
•Follow God and commit to him and you life will be perfect without any troubles
•If you as a Christian HAVE trouble in your life is because of sin/lack of faith
•You should only choose safe and socially acceptable options as a believer
•Christian language has always to be sanctified.
Hosea – THE TAKE AWAY
The one true God – YHVH – loves us ALWAYS and wants to restore fellowship with us. That process may be painful, but the end RESULT with far outweigh any cost.
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Series of "Living in the in-between"
“The Arrival of the Kingdom”
(Acts 1:3-8) (MP4)
What is the purpose of our lives? What are the things God is calling us to do? It’s to be his witness, not to do witness. To be his witness is first, then, since we live as his witnesses, all we do is witnessing for him. We as a church are not imitating, nor trying to be more like the world. But we church want to be more like the Gospel. We are imitating Christ. We are reflecting the character and nature of God. The key for this is the power of the Holy Spirit.
Today, we will look at the connection between the power of the Holy Spirit and the arrival of the Kingdom of God.
For Lifenet groups and personal reflection
1. The primary meaning of the Kingdom of God is God’s reign. Why is it essential for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit for the Kingdom to be recognized in the world?
2. John the Baptist testified three things about Jesus (John 1:29, 32-34). How can the Lord’s prayer (Matt 6:9-13) be answered in our daily life through Jesus?
3. Which state of being filled with the Holy Spirit do you most long for?
- Being free from sin (Rom 8:2)
- Living right (Gal 5:16)
- Demonstrating the truth (John 16:13)
- Caring for life and peace (Rom 8:6)
- Glorifying Jesus as the Holy Spirit does (John 16:14)
- Reflecting the characters of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18: 2:14-15)
- Having Jesus dwelling in us (Gal 2:20)
4. Read Isaiah 58:11 and John 7:37-38. What do these words mean for you?
NLIF is an international church in Yangon. Come and join our English Sunday worship service.
Series "Living in the in-between"
“The Church on the New Covenant”
(Ezekiel 36:25-28; 37:1-10) (MP4)
God gave Israel a new covenant. “I will give a new heart to those who were bound by sin. I will remove from them their stubbornness and their refusal of me, and their pride and reliance on themselves. My Words will be as their own thoughts, and their lives will overflow with righteousness and love. Through them, my Word will come true, and My will will be fulfilled. As people in my kingdom, they will praise Me and worship Me through everything, and glorify Me by whatever they do. I will cover them with my Spirit who is truth and love as those who belong to me, and as I redeemed them I will keep them in my glory and victory forever.”
It was an unbelievable word, because Israel was totally corrupted, and the promise of God was too good to believe. So, the Lord gave Ezekiel a vision and made him experience his mighty work in the vision so that he would know the Lord himself would carry out the new covenant.
For Lifenet groups and personal reflections
1. Ezekiel 36:25-28 shows the new covenant God had given to Israel. Which part of the covenant do you want to be real in your life most?
2. God had brought Ezekiel out in a vision. And it was in the middle of a valley, filled with dry bones (Eze 37:1-2). What situation in your life and in the society may this vison represent?
3. What would be your answer if you were asked, "Son of man, can these bones live?" (Eze 37:3) What would you think about regarding this question?
4. What words did Ezekiel receive from God? (Eze 37:4-6, 9)
- He could prophesy these words only by faith in God. Talk about the faith Ezekiel had.
- What can you learn about faith here? (cf. James 2:17; Phi 2:16)
5. God commands us and encourages us to pray and ask for the Holy Spirit to come and fill us. How will you respond? What may hider you to obey this? How will you overcome the hindrance?
NLIF is an international church in Yangon. Comer and join our English Sunday worship service.
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