Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev20080210.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Hosea: God's BALANCE Of Judging And Blessing His People
Part XI: God's Need To Judge An Obvious Evil Reaction To His Messengers
Lesson: The loss of fellowship between Hosea and the people came as he heeded God like a watchman to warn Israel to repent to avoid judgment! Their reaction was obviously evil as seen in their hatred of his exposure of their sin, and their deep-seated animosity toward him for it, so God judged them for it!
- Throughout Biblical history, God has sent human couriers to herald His message to His people.
- However, false messengers have often appeared whose words are to be rejected (Deuteronomy 13:1-4; Matthew 7:15-20), so it is helpful for us to DISCERN whether the negative response we or others exhibit toward a certain alleged messenger of God in a certain situation is an upright or an evil response to him!
- Hosea 9:7b-9 offers an insightful study on this subject since it exposes what is an evil response to godly messengers that differs from passages that reveal an upright intolerance to false messengers (as follows):
- God's Need To Judge An Obvious Evil Reaction To His Messengers, Hosea 9:7b-9.
- Hosea 9:7b presents a very negative response the people of Israel were eliciting toward the prophet Hosea, revealing that either the prophet was evil or the people were evil in their reaction to him, Hosea 9:7b:
- The people of Israel reacted to Hosea's warnings of judgment, calling him a "fool,", Hos. 9:7b; Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1399. This term translates the Hebrew word, 'ewil, meaning "sinful moral perversion rather than stupidity," Kittel, Bib. Heb., 7th ed., p. 904; The. Wrdbk. of the O. T., v. I, p. 19.
- They had thus concluded that he as a spiritual man of God was a "madman," or "insane," the meaning of the Hebrew word meshugga in Hosea 9:7b; Ibid., Kittel; Ibid., Theol. Wrdbk. of the O. T. , vol. II, p. 905. This does not mean Hosea was guilty of bad conduct, but that the people despised the content of his message, that of judgment that contrasted with the popular optimism of the false prophets, Ibid.
- However, this outlook by the people was itself very wrong due to their great iniquity and consequent errant views of what constituted righteousness and sin, cf. Hosea 9:7c!
- The evidence that it was the people who were wrong as opposed to Hosea is provided in Hosea 9:7d-8:
- Israel's people had "hatred" or "hostility" for Hosea, a mastema as the Hebrew text at Hosea 9:7d has it, a "deep grudge, a deep-seated animosity" , Ibid., Kittel; Ibid., The. Dict. of the O. T., v. II, p. 874.
- Hosea 9:8 clarifies how the people had developed their resentment toward him as follows:
- God had called Hosea to be a spiritual watchman who would warn Israel of conditions that would bring her a loss of God's blessing, Hosea 9:8a. God had set up Hosea for Israel's good, to help her!
- Yet, the people did not accept this his role, for in it he had needed to critique their sin, so they hated this, and set traps like fowlers to entrap and discredit him even when he entered the temple, 9:8b!
- Thus, the DEEP-SEATED ANIMOSITY of the people for Hosea that CONSTANTLY sought to ENTRAP him to DISCREDIT and thus HARM him EVEN when he WORSHIPED God in the TEMPLE had ARISEN from Hosea's CALLING of GOD to EXPOSE their SIN, showing the PROBLEM in the relationship was NOT with HOSEA, but with the PEOPLE! (John 15:18-22)
- God concluded the people had deeply corrupted themselves as in the days of Gibeah (Hosea 9:9a), as when worthless men in Judges 19 abused a levite's concubine until she had died, a horrible deed toward a spiritual leader: God compared the disrespect of these wicked men for the levite and his concubine to the godless hatred the people of Israel had toward His current messenger, Hosea, a great incrimination indeed!
- Accordingly, God declared He would remember the iniquity of the people against Hosea, and that He would thus punish them for their many plots rising from their hatred of him, Hosea 9:9b NIV, ESV.
Application: We discern GODLY from GODLESS RESISTANCE to spiritual messengers as follows: (1) Opposite the ungodly, godly hearers do not bear a deep-seated grudge, aiming to harm a messenger even as he worships, and that even in cases where they reject the ministry of false teachers. (2) Also, opposite the ungodly, godly people face and repent of their exposed sin where sinful people hate those who expose their sin and seek their harm. (3) May we react well and not errantly to ALL messengers.