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Friday, September 29th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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Bible Commentaries
Hosea 4

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-19

  1. Intro:
    1. Q: What happens when people reject God? What happens when we reject knowledge about God? How do we respond to someone who says, “It doesn’t matter who or what you worship, as long as you have something/someone to believe in”?
    2. Here we have a court scene were God seems to be the Bailiff, Plaintiff, Witness, prosecuting Attorney, & Judge.
  2. ALL RISE! (1-5)
    1. (1,2) DEPRAVITY! (moral)
    2. Order in the court: Hear the word of the Lord! - God starts off by being the Bailiff, calling the court to order!
    3. Charges brought: Next the Lord dons His lawyer’s gown, & brings a charge(lit. a legal complaint)against the children of Israel.
    4. The opening indictments: No truth(faithfulness), no mercy(love), & no knowledge of God(see God’s heart on this also in 6:6)
    5. Pause…These charges also are brought before all the human race, in all ages, in all cultures,…to the U.S., to California, to Murrieta.
      1. See Romans 1:18-32
        1. God revealed Himself! – Man turned from this revelation! – Wrath is poured out!
        2. God gave them up to uncleanness in the lusts of their heart! (24)
          God gave them up to vial passions! (26)
          God gave them over to a debased mind! (28)
      2. (2) He lists 4 of the 10 commandments: Paul lists a similar list against our culture & age…“being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;” Rom.1:29-31 They are harsh…but accurate!
    6. Q: What is the cause of this depravity? A: The rejection of the knowledge of God!
    7. The moral depravity of men causes physical damage of all other creatures! (see next verse)
    8. (3) DAMAGE! (of the Environment)
    9. In Hosea’s time, as now, human sin & selfishness reap consequences in the natural world.
    10. Example: See pic’s of Kuwait.
      1. March 1991 Picture of Blazing oil wells in Kuwait.
      2. Iraq destroyed or damaged over 80% of the 950 operating oil wells. Each at 10-15 minute intervals.
    11. I think it has been great we have been improving our understanding of our ecosystems & advancing our technology which has made us better stewards of Gods back yard. - But in the 70’s we moved from “wise use” to “no use” & that I believe is all wrong!
      1. The shift went from “we need to fund more studies of our environment”, but soon became a very emotional debate!
      2. So, in the 80’s it became the acid rain fear; in the 90’s theories of the global warming & ozone depletion. (Michael Coffman; Saviors of the Earth? Pg.11-13)
        1. I just heard this week in the news about the Ozone layer is now shrinking!
      3. I believe that it is possible to find a balance between protecting the environment & human use!
    12. (4-9) DEBASEMENT! (of leadership)
    13. Speaking particularly to religious leadership here!
      1. Especially her priests & prophets!
      2. Remember though,…this was not a time of the drying up of religion, but instead the(their)priesthood grew numerically. Professional religionist capitalized on their debauchery!
      3. Boice said, “Godlessness is not incompatible with religion. In fact it goes along w/it nicely!”
      4. When knowledge of the true God is refused, false gods move in to take the true God’s rightful place.
        1. True religion is replaced by false religion; Godliness is replaced by superstition.
    14. (9) “People often get the leaders they deserve!”
    15. (10-12) DETERIORATE! (personal emptiness)
    16. (10) They’ll eat but nothing will satisfy them.
    17. Q: Remember the shallow reasons why Gomer left Hosea?
      1. For things & pleasure! (2:5b)
      2. We can sum these lures w/4 things: Food, sex, wealth, & religion.
        1. The world says, “hey, what else can one want?”
        2. God says, there’s nothing wrong with these if they are in their proper proportion; in His will; & immersed in holiness!
      3. With food our culture rushes to gluttony & waste. Regarding sex they speed more & more toward kinky forms of sex to satisfy. With money no amount ever seems to be enough. As per religion, everyone seems to be religious in some form they’ve concocted.
    18. (13-19) DESTRUCTION! (of a Nation)
    19. Here we hit the bottom of their slippery slope! (or…the tree at the bottom of the toboggan run!)
      1. It starts with individuals making shipwreck of their lives. Then families, then communities, then ultimately the nation is sunk!
      2. See example of this progression in Ps.128. (opp.)
      3. Even w/in Christendom! L - Husbands & wives split up; kids are abandoned; churches forsaken out of embarrassment or guilt; move out of town for a new start; soon the nation is overwhelmed by this phenomena.
      4. Thomas Jefferson said, “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just”.
      5. Main point in this chapter! - Unfaithfulness to God brings destruction to a society!
    20. (14) I will not punish your… - God won’t even bother…they will be their own worst punishment. (Isn’t V.D. in that category?)
    21. (15) Gilgal – Amazing, the site of the 1st memorial built to the Lord when they just crossed the Jordan. There Joshua erected a stone memorial to what “God had done.” - And now, Gilgal had been degraded to a place for sin.
    22. Beth Aven – “house of Idolatry”.
      1. Play off of Bethel “house of God”. {bet/beth=house}
    23. (16) Stubbornness – What are some of the results from your stubbornness?
    24. Here are some quotes regarding “stubbornness”!
      1. “She is so determined to get her own way, she writes her diary in advance.”
      2. “The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't.” (Henry Ward Beecher)
      3. “God's will is hard only when it comes up against our stubbornness, then it is as cruel as a ploughshare and as devastating as an earthquake.” [Oswald Chambers]
      4. None so deaf as those who will not hear. [Matthew Henry]
    25. (17) Let him alone – Mt.15:14(washing hands prob) “Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?"…"Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch."
    26. (19) The gavel comes down!
      1. Ps.89:14 “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne.”
        1. Now read the rest of Ps.89:14-18!!!
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Hosea 4". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/hosea-4.html. 2017.
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