4/1 at The Gathering
Tony Diamond and Rick Evans each taught from Hosea 4 on Sunday, April 1. The videos and listening guides from both those lessons, followed by the scripture, are below.
Core Lesson (Tony Diamond)
He’s here. Why leave?
Core Listening Guide
Without God, anything positive is turned negative. By turning away, we leave a void that is filled with ugliness and waste.
Have you ever experienced a time when you did not have God in your life? What was it like?
We know what we should do. Yet we still don’t do it. Rejecting God’s directions means we’ve walked away from Him. Our punishment is, essentially, self-imposed exile.
What price is paid for rejecting God’s directions for us?
Ultimately, people will always turn to something. The emptiness of life will be filled by something. But it has no eternal value. It leaves us in a state of chasing something, anything to find happiness. But it’s empty.
What have you seen people turn to
when they didn’t have God in their life?
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
Venture Lesson (Rick Evans)
Venture Listening Guide
Background, Setting & Style (Hosea):
- Along with Amos, Hosea preached to the northern Kingdom (Israel) of the divided nation ofIsrael.
- Last half of 8th Century, BC ( ~745 BC) during Jeroboam II’s reign of prosperity and influence
- God used Hosea’s life as an “object lesson” to show His continued faithfulness is spite of His people’s sin, i.e., God told Hosea to take – and keep – an adulterous wife Gomer who Hosea repeatedly took back – (NOT an example of adultery being OK, or a command to put up with it!) But this lesson is not in today’s lesson, at least not very much.
- Priest’s were employees of the State (King), so were motivated by King’s approval
- The people were very religious but…
- YHWH worship had become mixed w/ Baal (god of storms) & Ashtera (goddess of fertility & violence)
- Oppression of poor & marginalized was rampant; affluence (“blessings”) justified their actions
Style of Chp 4 is a “covenant lawsuit” – Accusation, Evidence, Judgment
The Charge Against Israel
1 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.
2 There is only cursing, lying and murder,
stealing and adultery;
they break all bounds,
and bloodshed follows bloodshed.
3 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.
4 “But let no one bring a charge, let no one accuse another, for your people are like those who bring charges against a priest. 5 You stumble day and night, and the prophets stumble with you. So I will destroy your mother— 6 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. 7 The more priests there were, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their glorious God for something disgraceful. 8 They feed on the sins of my people and relish their wickedness. 9 And it will be: Like people, like priests. I will punish both of them for their ways and repay them for their deeds.
10 “They will eat but not have enough; they will engage in prostitution but not flourish, because they have deserted the LORD to give themselves 11 to prostitution; old wine and new wine take away their understanding. 12 My people consult a wooden idol, and a diviner’s rod speaks to them. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God. 13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar and terebinth, where the shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution and your daughters-in-law to adultery.
Next week: Hosea 11:1-11; 14:1-2