Hebrew Bible Reading: Hosea 4: 1-3; 5-6 (NIV) Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites, because the Lord has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. There is only cursing, lying and murder,stealing and adultery;they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Because of this the land dries up,and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea are swept away. You stumble day and night, and the prophets stumble with you. So I will destroy your mother—my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.“ Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.
Good morning, church! Every time I am away, I realize how much you all mean to me. But, it had been years since I saw my sister friend! And she was in Virginia, so that’s where I was. As we talked and caught up with all the chismes, there was a message that kept coming up…do you know any better? The message went both ways!!
Today’s message has not been easy for me to handle. I have tried writing it a bunch of times! I have been reading and praying; and researching and praying; and writing and praying; and praying and listening and… well, today’s reading came from the Book of Hosea, chapter 4.
Let me give you some back story. From the words, “In the beginning” to Hosea 1, there are 27 Books. And in each of these books is the story of a group of people who love the Lord, but do silly, stupid and immature things. Sound familiar?
Now, by the time we get to Hosea, the natives have proved restless, repeatedly. They have created a cycle that seems to have no end. Some of you may have read about this cycle in the Book of Judges or may remember hearing about it:
- People, in this case the Israelites SIN/PECAN;
- Because of their sin, people SUFFER/SUFREN;
- When they get tired of suffering, people REPENT/SE ARREPIENTEN;
- And God DELIVERS them.
And now what do we do? Well, if you know better you should do better! But instead, we start that cycle all over again…
- We do wrong;
- We suffer;
- And then we beg for forgiveness;
- And God sends people to help us. AGAIN!
Let us pray… Creator, God who made everything and everyone. We thank you. We thank you for running water that we drink; that hydrates and strengthens our bodies. We thank you for running waters that wash away the days dirt. We thank you for running water that flushes our bodies waste. Lord, we thank you for running water that nourishes our soul, but more than that, we thank you for living waters that You give us every time we read your word. Amen.
If You Know Better, Do Better So now, here we are in Hosea: my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you…; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.” (Hosea 4: 6 NIV)
Now the book of Hosea is about a prophet, a man of God who marries a prostitute named Gomer. The Lord told him to do it. And not just to marry her, but to have kids with her.
Now in my research I read that the relationship between Hosea and Gomer is a metaphor for the relationship between God and God’s people.
Think about it, Gomer was making ends meet by selling her body, and today we are still prostituting ourselves like she did. What else would you call it, when we know better and do wrong? How many times have you committed yourself to do “God’s work” and done a less than worthy job? How often has your heart held a message that you know needs to be shared with a person and you have kept it to yourself? How often have you said, God told me to do or say something and you know you are lying? Pride is at the root of that…And you know what the worst part is?
See God is doing what only God can do, being good, being awesome, and shinning bright. And we are doing what we do best, chilling, being lazy, and taking the easy way out. One of my favorite expressions says it all, “it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission!” When we make it to church on Sunday and walk out “renewed” and still act the same way all over again…SIN-SUFFER-REPENT-FORGIVEN! We are trying to turn tricks in the church!
Sometimes we wonder why people leave and others stay, GOD does that. We can’t stay in HIS presence and be the same way we were in the past. God changes us. And if you can’t be part of the change, you’ve got to move!
Now back to Hosea and Gomer:
Imagine that instead of talking to her husband about their problems, she jumps the gun and cheats and when she gets caught, she says I’m sorry! But her husband wants MORE than that. He wants a true reconciliation! The story of Hosea and Gomer is the story of God and I! PERSONAL! It is a personal story that has NOTHING to do with your husband/wife, NOTHING to do with your boyfriend/girlfriend, NOTHING to do with the Pastor or the Board or the Church. But it has everything to do with that intimate space and time between You and God. It’s Personal…between me and God.
God loves me and while loving me, God is being the Lord of everything. Perfect in every way. God does not expect much from me, just LOVE and ADORATION. God deserves that and more. And all we need to do is LOVE! But we love everything else more:
my favorite show, my favorite ring, el baile de esta semana. Everything can make me take a detour from giving God my all…
- my show is on today, I can’t go to Bible Study.
- I can’t find my Bible, I can’t go to church without it! We are so full of shhhhhhhhhhh-CRAP!
God is trying to teach us, trying to lead us, trying to prepare us and we are too full of it to realize it! I told you this week’s message was not easy for me to handle… I had to call the pastor and ask for permission to say what has been yelling inside of me all week.
WE ARE FULL OF sshhhh–excuses and empty promises.
There is a prophesy into our lives and if we don’t do what we are supposed to do, Malachi 2 says that our descendants will be rebuked and smeared with–(dung, feces, CRAP).
And that’s where we are, full of EMPTY PROMISES AND BROKEN SACRIFICES. Where is our fealty? Our loyalty? Our faithfulness? If God gave you a message give it. If God gave you a song sing it. And if God gave you a seat…sit in it. Each of us has a reason and a purpose and we can’t do more than what God wants from us.
I don’t know about you, but I get it. Do you realize that there is NOTHING that you can do to be worthy of God. There is NOTHING that I personally have that I can use to bribe God. But we act as though we have the upper hand. This is not a card game, if it was I would stay loosing.
Si tu me das ____________, yo ago ______________. Fill in the blank.
God if you give me health, next week I’ll donate my time … Bull!! God knows you, God made you and knows that you won’t do that, stop trying to play chess against an all-powerful God, it’s embarrassing. Not for God, but for you!
If you want to know how to be better, turn to God.
If you want to know how to do better, pray and ask God for guidance. Read His Living Word.
MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FROM A LACK OF KNOWLEDGE…
But if you don’t know better, are you willing to learn? What are you willing to learn?
Are you bold enough to seek justice for you and your household? When was the last time that you truly gave it all to God???
I don’t know about you, but I am tired. I am tired of the lies, and empty promises. I realize that I need God more than God needs me! If you are ready to enter into a personal covenant with God, come up here and join me.
Take your time, give God everything you have in you. Pledge your loyalty. Pledge your fealty. Pledge your faithfulness to God. Jesus came as a willing sacrifice to die a physical death for our yet unthought-of of sins, we don’t have to do that. We just have to turn all our love over to Him!
If you are ready to pledge your love and loyalty to God, please join us.
If you don’t know better, you can’t do better UNLESS someone teaches you. If you are ready to let God be your teacher, come forward and talk to Him.