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Hosea 5:15-6:4 Our walk with God--Real or like the morning mist? A consideration of some of the marks of genuine faith
Our walk with God: Real or like the morning mist?
A consideration of some of the marks of genuine faith
Hosea 5:8-6:4

Scripture reading: Psalm 147 or Luke 15

Have you ever put your head up to another persons chest and listened to their heart beat. Whether it be a parent with a child or a husband and and a wife, it's an intimate and fascinating act.

I have found my digging into the Book of Hosea to be akin to putting my ear up to God's proverbial heart. The heartbeat of God in the Book of Hosea reflects his love for His people, His hurt over their rejection of Him, and His willingness to do what He needs to do to bring His people back into right relationship with Him.

Last week we began a 3 week study of the Book of Hosea.

The Book of Hosea introduces us to one of the more interesting marriages of the entire Bible-- the marriage of Hosea and Gomer. Hosea being a prophet and Gomer being a woman of unfaithfulness.

The point behind Hosea's marriage to Gomer was this: Hosea's faithful love for his unfaithful wife was a picture of God's love for his unfaithful people (Israel).

The marriage of Hosea to Gomer and the symbolically named children that Hosea and Gomer, as detailed in chapters 1-3, gave opportunity for Hosea to preach to the people of Israel-- who no doubt were quite curious as it regarded their marriage.

Chapters 4-14 consist of the sermons and messages that Hosea declared to the people. These messages reveal the heart of God-- His love for Israel, His disappointment over their rejection of Him, the punishments that were in store for them and why, the great future that God still had in mind for them.

Today we are going to study Hosea 5:8-6:4 - with a particular focus on 5:15-6:4. Our subject for today addresses this question: Our walk with God: Real or like the morning mist?

The subject of genuineness as a whole is one that we can easily connect with. We live in a world of fakes and forgeries. Forged money. Fake Gucci bags. Knock off running shoes. Copycat jackets. Cubic zirconium rings, etc. People fudging on their resumes about their accomplishments, and on and on it goes. The end result is this: We often ask the question: Is that the real thing? Are they for real? Is it genuine?


READ HOSEA 5:8-6:4

IS IT REAL? CLUES THAT INDICATE THAT A PERSON HAS REALLY TURNED TO GOD

2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-unless, of course, you fail the test?"

Bear in mind that at the end of the day the Lord knows those who are His. 2 Timothy 2:19

1. Repentance. See Hosea 5:15-6:1

What true repentance entails

1. A real hatred of sin
2. A deep sorrow over our sin (brokenness)
3. Confession of it
4. An actual turning from it. A 180
5. Restitution where necessary and possible
6. A humbling of oneself before Christ, who alone can and is willing to forgive sin

Affliction: One of God's big tools in leading people to repentance and the seeking of His face. Read Hosea 5:14-15 and Hosea 6:1a

Sometimes God creates a crisis in our lives to draw our hearts back to Him. Periodic crises are good for us for they are crafted to turn our hearts to or back to God.

Application thoughts and questions

Are you experiencing trouble and hardship? Consider this: One reason for hardships, afflictions, trials, is to bring people to God or back to God (the call to return of v.1) after a time of wandering and willfulness. Is there a point of contact in your life?

Have you repented of your sins? Have you confessed them? Have you gone to Christ in humbleness for the forgiveness of your sins--- for He is the only Savior.

In Isaiah 55:6-7 it says; "Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon."

In Acts 16:31 the Apostle says to the jailor "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved." Furthermore in 1 John 1:9 it says "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness"

Thought as it concerns the subject of genuineness of faith. Affliction sometimes results in a real, lasting, and genuine faith-- but it also sometimes leads to a temporary turning to God


FURTHER ON REPENTANCE

True repentance brings peace with God, restoration, refreshment, and the blessings of God. Hosea 6:3b

-God is waiting for people to seek His face
-He is ready to heal and restore. His ready to pour out his healing balm on the wounds of those who come to Him in faith and repentance. Note the beauty of Hosea 6:3b. "As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth." Such is God's plan for those who turn to Him with all their hearts.
-In Psalm 30:5 it says of the Lord "For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."
-Job 5:17-18 says; "Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal."

Do you want to experience God's best? Do you want to experience God's power? Do you want to experience His peace, His love, His joy, and the fullness of His presence?

Turn from all known sin and unto Christ-- the one alone who can forgive you and reconcile you to God

If you are already a follower of Christ- and yet have wandered- return to your first love. Return to Christ and experience what David speaks of in Psalm 51 "a restoration of the joy of your salvation"

2. Genuineness of faith entails the earnest seeking of God, a continual pressing on to know Him See Hosea 5:14 and Hosea 6:3

Philippians 4:13 says; "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus"

What does pressing on to know God look like?

a. it reflects an inward desire and hunger for the things and person of God.
b. it is seen in a holy desire to rid oneself of all that stains, contaminates, and holds one back in the pursuit of God.
c. Those who are pressing on to know God are avid readers of the Scriptures, committed to being doers of the Word.
d. To press on know God entails giving ourselves to prayer, being active and joyful in worship, serving others in love, and forgiving others of their trespasses.

Pressing on after God comes with a promise: James 4:7-10 says; "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."


3. Genuine followers are known by their constancy. Their commitment to Christ is not like the morning mist Hosea 6:4

In Matthew 24:13 Christ says to his disciples "But he who stands firm to the end will be saved."

Our love for and commitment to God needs to be sincere

Our love is not to be fickle. We are not to be fair weather Christians- following Jesus one day, ignoring him the next

Hosea 6:4 contains a very gripping word from the Lord regarding His estimation of Israel's commitment to him. It seems with a breaking heart that God says; "What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist like the early dew that disappears."

God knows our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). He knows how deep our commitment to Him really is. God knows who belongs to Him and who doesn't. God knows when a person really repents of their sins or just playing a game.

The implication of verse 4 is that the returning to God, the repentance, the seeking of God (which all reflect God's desires) of v.1-3 was fake/an attempt to manipulate God. Further credence to this is found in Hosea 7:13 wherein God says "I long to redeem them but they speak lies against me."

Our love for God is not to be fleeting like the morning mist. Our love for God is not to be like the early dew that disappears.

Some verses to think about as it regards sincerity of heart towards God

Isaiah 29:13 "The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men"

As it regards sincerity and true faith Luke 6:43-44a says; "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit."

CONCLUSION

The Bible teaches us that our greatest need is a right relationship with God. It also teaches us that our sin separates from God. God has made a way for us to be right with Him: Christ and the cross, Jesus' shedding of his blood on the cross as a once for all perfect sacrifice for sin.

The call of the Bible is that people would confess their sins and repent of them and put our faith in Christ as our only Savior and Lord.

Ones turning to God is not be a momentary thing. It is a lifelong calling

In Hosea 5:8-6:4 we see God using hardship and affliction to move the hearts of his people to repentance and a turning back to Him. Hardship and affliction remains one of God's tools in bringing people to and back to Him.

When a person turns to Christ in faith and repentance, forgiveness is granted- rich and free. With this forgiveness comes blessings and peace.

Evidence of a genuine relationship with Christ is seen in a pressing on to know Christ and His ways

Our love for the Lord is not to be fleeting like the morning mist. Our love for the Lord is not to be the early dew that disappears. Genuine followers of Christ are ones who persevere.