RETURN! MAINTAIN! WAIT!

“RETURN, MAINTAIN, WAIT” (Hosea 12:1-6)
(HOSEA SERIES #10) FBC Earlville 1-12-14 10:30 AM
Rev. J.B. Stopford, Pastor

INTRODUCTION SPECIAL: “A Duck”
A man in a movie theater looks over and sees a duck sitting next to him.
“Are you a duck?” he asks the duck.
“Why yes I am,” said the duck.
“What are you doing in a movie theater?” asked the man.
“Well, I really enjoyed the book,” replied the duck.

The last time we were in Hosea (11:1), it was Christmas time – and we were reminded of God coming where we are (our Egypt) so that we can go to Him (Heaven)! Today, Hosea brings up another judicial statement against Israel and Judah – and we will hopefully be surprised how “up to date” Scripture is, meeting us where we are today!
PRAYER

# 1 THE CONTROVERSY WITH ISRAEL (v. 1)
a. Purposeless (“feeds on/pursues the wind”) [Ecc. 1:14,17; 2:11,17,26]
Illus.: I have a daily habit of reading “those who died today in history” – and surprised how long ago many of them died, as if they have been forgotten! The purposeless life makes no eternal marks.

b. Destructive (“lies and violence”) We understand “lies” – it is senseless and in the newspaper every day. But what about “violence”? Look at these verses:
Gen. 6:11,13 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of VIOLENCE. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.
Psalm 7:9,16 Bring to an end the VIOLENCE of the wicked and make the righteous secure— you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts. The trouble they cause recoils on them; their VIOLENCE comes down on their own heads.
Psa. 11:5 The Lord examines the righteous,  but the wicked, those who love VIOLENCE, he hates with a passion.
Prov. 4:17 They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of VIOLENCE. [their communion!]
Jonah 3:8 [the repentance of the King of Ninevah] But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their VIOLENCE.
CHRISTIAN VIEW ON VIOLENCE: Isa. 53:9 He [Jesus the Messiah!] was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no VIOLENCE, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

c. Faithless (“treaty with Assyria, olive oil to Egypt”) – Note that Israel depended on Assyria and Egypt rather than on God

# 2 THE CHARGE AGAINST JUDAH (vs. 2-5)
a. Remember your perfidiousness (history of faithlessness/supplanting!) (v. 2)
– examine your history, what is your pattern? (Eph. 2:1-4, 8-10)

b. Remember your promise (“grasped heel” = “deceiver”) (v. 3a) (Gen. 25:19-26)

c. Remember your praise (“struggled with the Angel”) (v. 3b-5) (Gen. 32:22-32 – prayer, wrestling with God; 35:1- has altar at the house of God). Every one needs an altar where you can meet God daily, and then at church weekly with others!

CONCLUSION: (v. 6) This was God’s challenge through Hosea to Israel and to Judah, and to us today!
Return! [repent, surrender to His Lordship!]
Return to your first love, to the One Who should be loved FIRST!

Maintain! [observe, hold fast be loyal to, act with love and justice]

Wait! [trust continually]

CLOSE IN PRAYER

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