Hosea 6:4 What shall I do with you?
Sermon for Sunday June 11, 2023
Hosea 5:14–15 14 For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, and like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear and go away; I will carry off, and no one shall rescue. 15I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me.
We Christians believe our country was founded by those seeking religious freedom to worship God. The worship one came from was dictated by the ruling principality. Your denomination was decided by the principality. And the principality allowed priests, ministers, and pastors to preach as they were paid by the government. It is still this way in Europe in some places and Canada.
Ephraim (Israel) was given over to Assyria and Judah was not so far behind them in that they will fall and be given up to Babylon. Ephraim fell to Assyria because they turned their back on God! Judah fell to Babylon because they followed Ephraim by turning their back on God! Even knowing and witnessing Ephraim’s recklessness, Judah still turned their back on God and lost their country, their home of milk and honey!
God in His sadness, tears away and left Ephraim and Judah and went back to His place of Heaven. But God vowed to come back, if Ephraim and Judah repented and sought after God once more. God may leave us because we left Him, but if we repent, God will return to us and hold us to be His. We repent and seek God earnestly and He will claim us as His. That is, those who claim God as theirs, God will claim as His!
Hosea 6:1–2 1“Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. 2After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.
Have we returned to our Lord? We cannot return to Christ in self-righteousness attitudes. We can return to our Christ in humbleness and fear. This is the one who created the heavens and the earth, the seen and unseen, the very fabric of time and life. This is the one that brought on the flood, destroyed Sodom and Gamora, and swallowed up the army of Egypt, the 70 thousand who rebelled. Do you fear God?
This is God almighty, who gives life and can take life away. This is the one who offers and gives salvation through forgiveness. Do you fear God, do you humble yourself before God. And do you really know God if you do not fear Him?
Do we see, do we know, that we need God to heal us from our sin. This healing we seek from our sin is coming and has come. As Jesus Christ was raised from the dead we too shall be raised up. We will live before our Lord, we will be healed from our sin, we will be clothed in Christ’s righteousness.
Hosea 6:4 4What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes early away.
We die when we turn our back on God. We die when we do not love our neighbor. We die when we do not know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We die when we do not repent, seek God earnestly, and we die when we worship the world and other gods.
Hosea 6:3 3Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”
Let us know our God, let us earnestly seek knowledge of Him. Let us become true disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ who knows the Father. Let us listen to the word of God and hear the Holy Spirit talking to us every day. Let us know God and live in His example.
We live when we know why we love our God. We live when we forgive. We live when we love one another. We live when we do not put down but help build up each other. We live when we realize that we all belong to God. We live when we realize Christ came to save us all. We live when we help others see Christ died for them. Not because of our works, but because of the Holy Spirit who works through us.
Life comes anew in the spring rains as winter is washed away. The new leaves spring forth as they feed on the life-giving water provided by our creator. The brown of the earth turns green, flowers grow were dead leaves once laid, and the earth comes alive in a brilliance of colors. God paints a tapestry of beauty to catch our eyes and our hearts. God gives us the new spring through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hosea 6:5–6 5Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth, and my judgment goes forth as the light. 6For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
Love God with all of your heart, not as law, but as compelled to do so as you realize the fullness of your salvation. Jesus Christ suffered pain and humility for you. Jesus Christ took the punishment for yours and everyone’s sins.
Jesus Christ died for you, and Jesus Christ was resurrected for you, that you may live an eternal life in all its fullness. Living that life with Jesus is the fullness of life, living life in the joy of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of life with and through our Lord our God, even Jesus Christ. Amen.