“It Is Time to Seek the Lord” (Hosea 9-10)
(HOSEA SERIES #8) FBC Earlville 12-8-13 10:30 AM
Rev. J.B. Stopford, Pastor
INTRODUCTION SPECIAL: “Married Life”
A little boy asked his father, “Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?”
And the father replied, “I don’t know, son, I’m still paying for it.”
Read: 9:7-11 What do we give to a hopeless society? Religion? (Which one? Dalai Lama tweeted! “His Holiness expresses condolences at the passing away of Nelson Mandela” Isn’t that the title the Pope has for himself?) Church? (do I have to choose which one? One of the reporters left the church of her father because she couldn’t breathe there – now she is, in essence, her own church – and perhaps as hopeless as before).
What do we give a hopeless society? Hosea will tell us today! PRAYER
# 1 The HUNGER (10:11)
“Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh (grain)” – the beating of stalks of grain to separate them from the grain, getting them ready for use
This was Israel’s love – to fulfill her hunger.
God has done at least 2 amazing things in each of our lives today. #1 He has placed us here together – giving the impression that we are either hungry for truth OR we have found our hunger met and want to nourish it;
AND #2 He has placed people in our lives that are hungry, and He wants us to be instruments of meeting that hunger. How will YOU/WE feed them?
Look at Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 everyone is familiar with
Look at Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 “eternity in their heart” – an eternal hunger for substance, for TRUTH. This is the BASIC of ALL truths – that God has made us all hungry for HIMSELF, and until that hunger is met, we will stay, well, HUNGRY!
So… the question today is two-fold:
#1 Have you had the hunger of your soul met – and has it been met by that which is SUBSTANCE, or that which has no foundation?
#2 Do you know how to help others who are hungry and without God and without hope?
# 2 The HARVEST (10:12) WHAT GOD OFFERED ISRAEL/US:
Sow righteousness – a right standing before God (Romans 5:1)
Reap in mercy – fruit of unfailing love, lovingkindness
Break up your fallow ground – that which has been uncultivated
Seek the Lord ? Illus.: Having Mr. Robert Smith put on a presentation at my high school – his son Chris was 1 grade behind me. He began: “What time is it?” And everyone in the auditorium knew the answer: He was BUFFALO Bob Smith, and it was now “Howdy Doody Time!” In our text, it is “Seek the Lord” Time!
Point: God is meeting the hunger of our lives through a gift!
Until He comes and rains righteousness on you – showers His goodness, rains His righteous gift of salvation on you (Amplified Version)
# 3 The HORROR (10:13-15) We can call this “Heather’s Horror” because she wisely knew what word begins with the letter “H” that describes a “devastation” – a nation which has refused the gift God has offered to her.
What would happen here in the U.S.? What HAS happened here? Millions of aborted babies. Euthanasia – the act whereby a human life, especially the elderly, no longer has any functional value to its society. Society is being told that the government can run your life well, even though government has proven it can’t run itself well.
The HORROR. Paul says in Ephesians that if we leave people right where they are, they will be “without God, and without hope”, living in a God-less day and in a Christ-less eternity. What do we do?
Look where we began – and if we give them religion, or even church, we leave them the way they came – without God. So what do we do?
We give them HOPE! (10:8; see Luke 23:30; Rev. 6:16)
We take them to the cross! We point them to the One Whose blood was shed for their sins. We take them to the ONLY One Who is worthy of their trust – the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you come to the cross and trusted the Lord Jesus as your Savior?
Do you want to?
Do you know anyone who needs to be saved, and are you equipped to tell them, “it is time to seek the Lord”?
CLOSE IN PRAYER