Return To The Lord

The book of Hosea is a warning that we would all do well to take note of. It tells of God's wrath with the nation of Israel, because they had turned away from Him to worship and serve other gods. It also tells of God's judgment against that nation: that because of their wickedness, they would soon be overtaken by their enemies, and would cease to exist as a nation.

Although these words were written to Israel, they still apply to us today. God is constant and unchanging; the way He was yesterday is the way He is today, and the way He will be tomorrow. What He said then still applies now. And the destruction that came upon Israel because of their wickedness, idolatry, and unbelief, may very well be the destruction that comes upon America, if we do not repent of our ungodliness and turn back to Him.

Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel: for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land: Because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break all restraint, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. (Hosea 4:1-2)

Does that sound like what is happening right here, in our own country? We have allowed even the mention of God to be completely eliminated from our children's education; in fact, our schools even deny God's role as Creator. They teach the theory of evolution as if it were a scientific fact, instead of the balderdash that it is. A whole generation of children now have grown up believing that man somehow evolved from a lesser being. How easy it becomes then to murder our babies and each other, when we are taught that life is just a coincidental series of events, rather than Divine creation. Swearing, lying, stealing, committing adultery --- all of these become merely a personal choice, when God is left out of the equation.

God has blessed this country more than any nation since Israel. Why? Because this was a Christian nation; we were founded by Christian men, based on Christian beliefs and values. Our laws were based on the laws of God, not the whims (and perversions) of man. God was acknowledged openly and reverentially, and the people who founded this country were humble enough to acknowledge that He is good, and His ways are right.

My, but we've certainly come a long way from our humble beginnings, haven't we? Unlike our forefathers, who prayerfully invoked God's name and humbly requested His blessings, people today want to use His holy name only as a curse word; it certainly cannot be mentioned in any public school or public building. People today arrogantly think that His laws can be changed to suit their own perversions. They think that they are able to get along just fine without His blessing; In fact, the prevailing attitude is that God is dead, or at least out-dated. They think religion is only a crutch for the weak minded. Hosea very clearly tells us:

A people without understanding will come to ruin. (4:14)
Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me. (7:13)

We have gone a long way down the road to ruin in this country. Where once God was revered and most people tried to live by His laws, people now seem to think laws can be changed to suit their own desires. We have allowed them to make a mockery of God's laws regarding marriage, regarding homosexuality, regarding the taking of innocent life, regarding how children are to be "brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Eph. 6:4)

We have deceived ourselves into thinking that there will be no consequences for such behaviors. And yet, if we would just open our eyes, we see the consequences everywhere we look. The number of babies born each year out of wedlock almost equals (and in some segments of our society, exceeds) the number born to married couples. The divorce rate is almost 50% --- every other marriage ends in divorce in this country, (and second marriages have even less of a chance!) Our children are increasingly turning to drugs and alcohol, and violence abounds in our cities, in the home, and even in our schools. AIDS is killing unbelievable numbers of people, yet they refuse to see it as the judgment it is against a wicked lifestyle. Pornography and violence on the internet is flourishing.

O Israel, you have destroyed yourself; but in me is your help.(Hos. 13:9)

Again, although these words were spoken to Israel, they apply equally to us today, right here in America. There is still hope. God is never far away from a repentant heart. He longs for us to turn back to Him, He longs for us to be saved. (see II Peter 3:9) He is our only hope, and will forgive our sinfulness, and bring healing to our nation, if we would only humbly repent and seek Him. (See II Chron. 7:14)

O Israel, return unto the LORD your God; for you have fallen because of your iniquity. (Hos. 14:1)

We would do well, as individuals, and as a nation, if we would heed the words God spoke to the nation of Israel. God is unchanging, and His judgments are sure. What He did then, He will do again. If we do not want to be destroyed by our enemies, if we want to continue to receive God's blessings, then we better return to the Lord. We better wise up and learn to believe that God means just exactly what He says.

Who is wise? He shall understand these things. Who is prudent? He shall know them. For the ways of the LORD are right. The righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them. (Hos.  14:9)

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