:) Finally had some time! Next week should be fun... we're heading into some messianic prophecies... :)

Happy studying!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hosea Chapter 8

Hosea Chapter 8


- The very first sentence... says “Sound the alarm!” I opened up to this sentence this morning... and it just continued something that came to me yesterday...

- I laid down to take a nap yesterday... and I was pretty exhausted.... usually that means weird random dreams... but usually I don't remember anything when I wake up... This time... it was so vivid that it stayed with me the rest of the day...

- I was driving down a hill in Westover, Morgantown. There's a stoplight at the bottom of the hill. I've only driven that road a few times... but for some reason... I recognized the intersection. We were about halfway down the hill and mom said “slow down. It looks like there's an accident or something.”

- We proceeded forward at a snail's pace. On the right, there was this huge sheet of newspaper blowing in the wind... it looked like laundry out on a line... but it was covering the hillside beside the car. It was covered in blood splotches.

- Mom had her window down and as we were creeping by... she gasped. Shock. Then she kinda leaned out the window and started talking to somebody. “Oh my. Were you hurt sweety? Is it alright if I come back and pray with you in a second?”

- And we creeped on by. I knew without looking... this man was laying in a ditch completely mutilated. His body was ripped to shreds... What hope was there?

- As we continued down the road, there was a man walking up the hill on the side of the road. Mom said “Oh good, there's a priest.” Coming to pray for the dead and dying...

- There was a policeman in the road. His leg was injured. It looked like somebody had side-swiped him with a car. He was trying to get up... Up on one knee with the other leg out behind him at a crazy angle... one hand down trying to push himself up... the other waving at me to stop before I hit him.

- “Stay right there! Don't go through! Just stay there!”

- As soon as the car stopped... mom got out and walked over to the gurney.

- The policeman proceeded to get up and go on about his duty as if he weren't in agonizing pain. He dragged his leg behind him. But he continued to work.

- I realized... I'm still sitting in the car. And I don't want to get out. I don't want to involve myself. I just want to get through this and be done with it. Let somebody else worry about it. I don't want to deal with all the bad stuff. But mom's out of the car. I can't leave without her... So I turned my emergency flashers on... that'll at least make the people behind me realize that there's something going on. I mean I would move on if I could... but I was told to stay... so I'm staying... begrudgingly...

- As I'm desperately hoping that mom will get back in the car and we can leave... I see this woman out of the corner of my eye. She's an elderly lady... She already has her left arm in a sling. She's obviously in shock. She's standing in the other lane... She looked at me... with dead eyes. There's nothing there. No recognition of anything...

- Looking forward... I see a car coming through the light at the bottom of the hill. He's barreling up the hill with no idea that something's going on. And the little old lady... is still just standing there... staring off into space...

- I can't just sit there and let her get hit! So as reluctant as I am... I jumped out of my car and grabbed her good arm to pull her out of the way of the car. As the car sped by and I felt the wind from his speed... I suddenly felt disgust.... why? Because her shirt was covered in blood... and somehow... I knew it wasn't hers... It was the man in the ditch. She hit him with her car. And here she stands... looking at me with those dead eyes... er... wait... something sparked in those eyes. She looked at me with... anger? With... hate? Had she been standing in the other lane on purpose? Had her eyes been dead just because of self-loathing? She hadn't really been in shock... just ready to die?

- I looked away... And I saw mom still standing at the gurney. She was still praying as the medics were working...

- There was the cop... still directing traffic and seeing to paperwork... still saying he didn't need any medical attention...

- And here I was... still holding this lady's arm... not really knowing... what to say or do...

- And I so wanted to pray! I so wanted to help! But what could I do? I couldn't pray with this woman... I couldn't even look at her. I couldn't even turn to ask if she were alright. All I could do was stand there, holding her arm... and watching everybody else do something meaningful...

- I just wanted to go home! I don't want the responsibility of any of this!

- And I woke up... feeling like a traitor. Feeling like... I had no right to even look at such a scene... even in dreams...

- And I was trying to shake it off... just a bad dream Charity... it'll go away... just sit up, shake it off, and go back to sleep...

- and the lyrics to a song popped in my head...
“It's like waking up, from the longest dream,
how real it seemed, until Your love broke through
I was lost, in a fantasy
That blinded me, until Your love broke through.”

- Here I was... trying to block out the world... just go back to sleep. Sleep in your ignorance. Don't worry about something outside of you... just go back to sleep...

- Then, like it had to... this thought came. “Get out of the car Charity. It's not enough to turn the emergency flashers on and hope someone sees them... you have to get out of the car.”

- It's not enough for us to shine a light into a dark world. Hope somebody sees the light and asks a question. We have to sound the alarm!

- There are those who look as if they are beyond our help. There is nothing we can do for them. They are laying in a ditch completely mutilated with their sin... bodies broken, spirits fading... they are ready for last rites. There is nothing more that we can do for them in this life... Deathbed confessions...

- There are those who have been injured... who have been hurt by sin, by life... and they still press on. Trying to do their jobs. Get the work done. “No they don't need help... they're fine... just worry about yourself.” So they press on... maybe doing some good... maybe causing further harm... to themselves or to others... If the cop had been more on his game instead of being injured... I wouldn't have had to get out of the car to help the old lady... he would have been right there... as it was... he was struggling to stand on his own... let alone go help someone else...

- There are those who have been injured by life... by sin... who are in shock... and even though the injury to themselves may not have been so bad... they have injured others... and the guilt consumes them. Their souls are dying within them... and they give up on life. They don't want to do anything anymore. They don't want to try... and so they become older than their years... and they let life pass them by... hoping that something will either wake them up... or take their life. Even if they wake up to anger... to hate... at least they'd be feeling SOMETHING.

- We aren't called to sit in the car. Sure... turn the emergency flashers on. Wait on somebody to come to your car window and ask you what's going on. “Oh well there's a really bad accident up here... you may want to go around another way... or go through very cautiously.”

- We're called to get out and go to the hurting and dying. No matter what stage they're in.

- We are called to be priests. Giving last rites... taking deathbed confessions... Barely squeaking through the pearly gates... Or they are spiritually dying. But a life is a life... and a soul is a soul... SAVE THE DYING!

- We are called to help those who cannot ask for help for themselves. Those who try to continue the work... when they are so broken... they can't even make themselves stand on their own. We are called to come alongside them and hold them up. See that they get the relief they need... The work must continue... but broken workers... means half harvested fields... COMPLETE THE HARVEST!

- We are called to take those who hate themselves. Who can't see past their sin... their pain... and we are called to pull them out of harm's way. Even if it means they then turn their hate and anger on us. We can't let go. We have to maintain a hold on this life. Don't let them fall off the cliff. Don't let them throw their life away. And definitely... don't let your disgust for their sin or for what their past has been... stop you from turning to pray for them... to take them into your arms and ask them what they need. A life is a life... and a soul is a soul... RESCUE THE BROKEN!


- Isaiah 21:1-12
- I Peter 5:8-9
- Ezekiel 33:7-9
- Psalm 127:1-2


- The enemy is descending like an eagle on it's prey. We have broken the covenant. We have walked away from our husband protector. We have revolted... mutinied!

- And now we turn to plead with God... “Help us! We're sorry! We messed up!” But it's too late...

- “The people of Israel have rejected what is good, and now their enemies will chase after them.”


- “The people have appointed kings without my consent, and princes without my knowledge. By making idols for themselves from their silver and gold, they have brought about their own destruction.”


- Look around you. No matter where you are in the world... people have rejected God. They have turned away from the precepts and the laws of God... to follow their own desires. All around us, laws are passed that deny that there's a God. Abortion laws that allow the murder of babies past the point even that they say “yes this is now a viable life.” Same sex marriage laws are being passed all over the place... And did you know, that even in the US, there are states that are passing portions of Muslim Shariah law into state law? How ridiculous is that? What happened to separation of church and state? Sorry... that's a whole other story...

- We have ceased to take God into account. We treat Him as a thing of the past. Something that has long since passed out of our daily consciences. Something that is an old way of doing things... that has been replaced by our “better” way of doing things today...

- We have begun to worship other things... gold and silver things perhaps... or maybe simply chrome things... we worship our cars, our houses, our jobs, our money, sometimes even people... our bosses, our spouse, our kids...

- We spend time and energy on things that take our attention from God. In doing so... we bring about our own destruction. When we lose sight of what's important and stop spending time with God... it acts like an infection in the body. It starts with small things... maybe just a small cut... then as the infection spreads throughout the rest of the body... slowly... the body's defenses cannot withstand the infection. At first, the body may fight it off... but eventually... it will succumb to the infection and die.

- Our relationship with Christ has to be maintained. We have to spend time with the Father. If we don't... little by little... our relationship will slip away from us. The next thing you know... you'll be estranged spouses... with not even a clue of how it happened. Little by little, sin with infiltrate your life... and what started as just a little time here or a little money there... ends in total obedience to the object... no fight left... no defenses... because the Defender... has not been called upon to Defend.

- Jeremiah 13:15-14:10
- I Corinthians 5:1-13

8:5-6- Creator vs. created

- “O Samaria, I reject this calf—this idol you have made. My fury burns against you. How long will you be incapable of innocence? This calf you worship, O Israel, was crafted by your own hands! It is not God! Therefore, it must be smashed to bits.”

- Israel had replaced God... with what? With a piece of metal? Precious as it may have been? With the thought that... He could be appeased with a few yearly sacrifices if necessary? Had they forgotten everything? Had they forgotten the battles they won? Fighting against bigger nations, fighting against formidable enemies... and winning!? Had they forgotten the miracles? The sea opened up to dry land? The plagues that came upon the Egyptians? Their rescue time and time again?

- Why would you turn away? Because they loved their sin more than God. They loved themselves more than God. They loved the world... and the things of the world... more than God.

- They created a god of their own. The hands that were created by the Almighty Creator... turned from Him... rejected Him... and turned to try to imitate Him... by creating something “better” than Him. Can you do better than THE Creator? Can you recreate the universe? The heavens? Can you imitate all the complexities and intricacies of the Creator's hand upon His creation?

- All the things you have built your life on that are not of God... will be smashed to bits. Everything you have worked towards... will be crushed beneath the mighty fist of God. Why? Because God is a jealous God. Your time and your effort... should not be spent in bowing the knee to something you or He created. It's inferior.

- So marriage... in the old caste systems and social systems... you married within your system. You didn't marry below you. It was a great thing to marry a little above you... still in the same system... but enough that you got a little more money... but the aim was always higher or equality. It was never to marry below you. Granted people did marry below their status... and they were looked down upon because of it.

- God is above you. Nothing is equal to Him. So why are you looking in the gutters for a spouse? You're searching through the red light districts for someone to join yourself to for the rest of your life.

- Look to your husband! He loves you! He is the only one for you!

- And yet... our world... turns away... SOUND THE ALARM!

- Satan and all his armies are attacking! They're taking over this world! And we're letting them!

- Still reading on WWII... and you know... one of the things that struck me in the response of the world to Hitler leading up to the war... nobody cared unless it directly effected their lives. England kept promising to fight if Hitler did... this... or that... and when he did... it was like... oh well... we'll do anything to keep the peace... and... well we'll fight if he does THIS... they just sat back and watched... keeping the wolves at bay with little trinkets and appeasements... hoping they wouldn't go for their own throat...

- And here we are today... did you know President Obama is suggesting that in order to keep peace in the middle east that Israel should go back to the 1948 borders? Should give back the land they received in the later agreements? Here we go again... appeasing the wolves... trying to save our own necks.

- While innocent people die! “How long will you be incapable of innocence?” You can't claim innocence. You KNOW what's going on... but you choose to stay in the car. You choose to sit and pray and maybe turn on the emergency flashers... You won't get out of the car!

- Jeremiah 51:15-19; 2:1-3:5
- Ezekiel 16:1-63
- Galatians 5:13-26
- Job 8:2-22


- “They have planted the wind and will harvest the whirlwind.”

- They have planted fleeting things... and will reap the destruction from the same. “Stalks of grain wither and produce nothing to eat. And even if there is any grain, foreigners will eat it.”

- What fruit they bear... is fruit for Satan. IF there is fruit... it is not for the kingdom of God. It is tainted with sin. It is unfit to eat. They have thrown their lives to the lions. They seek only to feast... not to save.

- “The people of Israel have been swallowed up; they lie among the nations like an old discarded pot.”

- They have been scattered and left to be crushed underfoot. There is nothing left to save. They have thrown themselves down to the earth. They have shattered themselves.

- “Like a wild donkey looking for a mate; they have gone up to Assyria. The people of Israel have sold themselves—sold themselves to many lovers.”

- Israel went a-whoring after other nations. “Oh come to me! Save me! I need you!” Playing the damsel in distress so they could get what they wanted... Only to be left alone, crushed, battered, in need... and still thirsting for more...

- Instead of turning to God... crying out with a broken heart for help from the Throne... They turned to yet another nation... and another... and another... Selling themselves time and again... for what? For false security? For false promises of safety? For assumed self-sufficiency? For false freedom? To feel like they were still on their own? So they wouldn't have to bow on humbled knee to God Almighty?

- footnote- “... Like the wind that comes and goes, its idolatry and foreign alliances offered no protection. In seeking self-preservation apart from God, it had brought about its own destruction. Like a forceful whirlwind, God's judgment would come upon Israel by means of the Assyrians. When we seek security in anything except God, we expose ourselves to great danger. Without God there is no lasting security.”

- Without God... we don't produce any fruit worth having. And the harvest... goes undone.

- What good is looking like you're on top of things when in reality, your foundation is crumbling around you?

- Today, mom realized that the main foundation board that holds up the wall of our garage... is rotting... It doesn't really look that bad. It's still painted and the wall is still standing... but I guarantee... if we don't do anything about it... if we don't choose to take initiative action and reinforce the wall in someway... the wall's gonna fall down. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow... but give it a year... maybe not even that much... and that wall is going to fall over... and when it does... so will the roof... and when the roof goes... it'll probably pull all the other walls with it as well...

- It's just one board right? It's just one thing to cover up... But it can have disastrous effects.

- Israel had removed God from their foundation... and proceeded to replace the unshakable foundation... with one that would easily crumble and fall...

- Jeremiah 42:1-44:29
- Galatians 6:1-10
- Luke 6:46-49 (Matthew 7:24-27)


- “Israel has built many altars to take away sin, but these very altars became places for sinning!”

- Israel built altars to Baal. Built great temples and places of worship... to their gold calf. Their consciences were soothed. They had offered up sacrifices for their deeds... they would be fine in the long run...

- But in reality... all they did was add to their list of sin. And in adding to their list little by little... their sins grew to such an amount that the stench rose to heaven as if the earth had started to rot. Not only did their sins grow in number... they also grew in magnitude... no longer was it just lying a bit here or there... or stealing a little here or there... seemingly small things... it was now adultery. It was murder. It was homosexuality. It was idolatry. It was human sacrifices...

- With each law they broke, it got easier to break more...

- footnote- “Though the laws were written for THEM, the people of Israel acted as if those laws didn't apply to them. It is easy to listen to a sermon and think of all the people we know who should be listening, or to read the Bible and think of those who should do what the passage teaches. The Israelites did this constantly, applying God's laws to others but not to themselves to avoid making needed changes. As you think of others who need to apply what you are hearing or reading, check to see if the same application could fit you. Apply the lessons to your own life first because often our own faults are the very first ones we see in others.”

- Take the log out of your own eye first? Lol

- “The people of Israel love their rituals of sacrifice, but to me their sacrifices are all meaningless.”

- There's a song that says “you honor me with your lips, but your heart is far from me.” Israel made sacrifices all the time. Sometimes to God, sometimes to Baal... trying to appease both... but... their heart was never in it. They were just looking for a way to get around making any changes in their lives. Just trying to keep the gods happy while they lived life the way they wanted.

- We do this all the time today. We go to church, we read our bibles... we go talk to people who are sick, or we go minister to people all day... And all those things are good... but if our heart's not in it... we're just living a life of lip service.

- We are such a selfish people... we look at all the things we have done and say “oh look what I can do! Look at all the sacrifices I've made! I gave up time with my family to go work in the soup kitchen. I gave up my dream of a new house, just so I could give more money to the church. I gave up living at home to go be a missionary in a third world country. I gave up a friend so I could go to the church I wanted to... not my fault he doesn't like my church... I have given up SO MUCH for God! I am so righteous!”

- Because we make it all about us... God is not pleased. Maybe you weren't supposed to give up time with your family... maybe your mission field is your own house. Maybe you were supposed to give money to the church... but you're not supposed to brag about it! So on and so forth...

- A sacrifice isn't a sacrifice if it feeds your pride. Then it's just self-deprivation in order to look good. It's that painted board in the garage... it looks good. Looks neat and clean... but it's falling apart on the inside... and soon... it'll bring the world tumbling in around your ears.

- “I will hold my people accountable for their sins, and I will punish them. They will return to Egypt.”

- Our selfish sacrifices do not hold weight with God... it's trying to pay off a debt with wooden nickels. Lol They're not really worth anything. They're not real currency. Or trying to write a check out for money you don't have. Only blood... the blood of Christ... can pay our debt... no amount of self-sacrificing will get us in those gates.

- “Israel has forgotten its Maker and built great palaces, and Judah has fortified its cities. Therefore, I will send down fire on their cities and will burn up their fortresses.”

- footnote- “Israel had placed its confidence in military strength, strong defenses, and economic stability, just as nations do today. But because of the people's inner moral decay, their apparent sources of strength were inadequate. There is a tendency in many nations toward removing all traces of God from daily life. But if a nation forgets its Maker, its strengths may prove worthless when put to the test.”

- I remember reading somewhere a few years ago that when a nation or empire started to decline, it corresponded with the time they started a moral decline. When morals and basic human law were kicked out of the picture... the empire or nation would start to go downhill... It was one of the last stages of a nation...

- Look around my friend... this isn't just a trait of the nations... it's a trait of the world.

- “If God is with us, who can be against us!?” But if you turn away from God... who then will be for you?

- Sound the Alarm! Seek the lost and dying! And proclaim Christ to the world! Don't let Truth get swallowed up by apathy and rotten fruit.

- Isaiah 66:12-24
- Nahum 1:2-15
- I Corinthians 4:1-5
- Psalm 34; 22
- II Corinthians 1:3-11
- I Samuel 15:22-23
- Romans 5:12-21
- I Peter 1:13-25