Lessons from
The Book of HOSEA
James J. Barker

Lesson 09
REAPING AND SOWING

Text: HOSEA 8:1-14


INTRODUCTION:


  1. One of the great themes of the Bible is that you reap what you sow.
  2. Job 4:8 says, "Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same."
  3. Galatians 6:7, 8 says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
  4. In fact, you reap more than you sow (Hosea 8:7; 10:13).
  5. The great evangelist, D.L. Moody, said, "No other truth in the Bible is more solemn," and he preached it often. His sermons are filled with true stories of this principle of sowing and reaping.
  6. Some of them are quite horrifying – tales of sons of liquor sellers committing suicide; Marie Antoinette going to the guillotine; King Henry III of France getting stabbed to death in the same chamber where he had contrived the cruel massacre of the Huguenots, and so on.
  7. Tonight, as we continue on in our series in the book of Hosea, we shall see how Israel sowed and Israel reaped. And they are still reaping, even today.

 

I. YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW WHEN YOU FORGET ABOUT GOD.

  1. S. Franklin Logsdon wrote a commentary on the book of Hosea and he entitled it, People Who Forgot God. His chapter on Hosea 8 is titled, "The Ultimate of Forgetfulness."
  2. Hosea chapter 8 starts off abruptly with a trumpet ready to blow and an eagle ready to descend (8:1). The eagle represents the Assyrian captivity.
  3. The reason for God’s judgment is given: "because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law" (8:1b).
  4. Israel claimed to know God (8:2), but in fact they did not know God, and that is why they were being judged (cf. 4:1, 6).
  5. In His Sermon on the Mount, our Lord said, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord..." but He said He will say to them, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:22, 23).
  6. Our Lord said in Jeremiah 4:22, "My people is foolish, they have not known me."
  7. They had "cast off" what was good, and were therefore in big trouble (8:3). Many people come to church, make a profession of faith, maybe even get baptized and join the church – and then "cast off the thing that is good" and go back to the world. It makes you wonder if they were ever genuinely converted.
  8. Another way Israel had forgotten about God is by setting up kings without first consulting God (8:4a). They had set up kings that the LORD did not sanction or condone.
  9. Within the 200 year history of the northern kingdom, there were ten dynasties with a total of eighteen kings, and every dynasty ended in violent death.
  10. When God says, "and I knew it not" (8:4), He means that He did not approve of it. God knows all things.
  11. The chapter ends with these sad words: "For Israel hath forgotten his Maker…" (8:14). What makes it even sadder is that God had warned them over and over not to forget Him.
  12. The LORD said to the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 4:9, "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons."
  13. And in Deuteronomy 8:11, "Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day" (cf. Deut. 8:17-20; 9:7).

 

II. YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW WHEN YOU MIX WITH UNBELIEVERS.

  1. The Israelites would not have indulged in idolatry if they had not learned it from their heathen neighbors (8:4b; cf. 1:2).
  2. They worshipped two golden calves. King Jeroboam set up one in Bethel and one in Dan. He did this to keep the people from going down to Jerusalem to worship (I Kings 12:26-31).
  3. Jeroboam said to the people: "Behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt (I Kings 12:28).
  4. But God said: "The workman made it; therefore it is not God…" (Hosea 8:6; cf. Isa. 44:15-18).
  5. If man made it, how can it be God?
  6. Idolatry is a wicked sin and must be judged. The apostle John ends his first epistle with these words, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen" (I John 5:21).
  7. They had "sown the wind," and they would "reap the whirlwind" (8:7).
  8. Because of their consorting with the heathen, they would be "swallowed up" among the Gentile nations and compared to a "vessel wherein is no pleasure" (8:8).
  9. This describes the history of the Jewish race – driven out of their land and scattered all over the world, they have been a vessel in which God takes no delight (cf. 9:17).
  10. When God chose Israel to bring glory and honor to His name among the nations of the earth, He intended for them to be separate from the world.
  11. Israel disobeyed God and mingled with the heathen nations. Therefore, they lost their reason for existence.
  12. Please allow me to make an application: When a church gets worldly and compromises with the world, it loses its reason for existence. Our Lord told the church at Ephesus: "Repent…or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent" (Rev. 2:5).
  13. When our light can no longer be seen, God removes the candlestick. Unfortunately, many churches have lost their light.
  14. When Israel lost her reason for existence, she became "as a vessel wherein is no pleasure," i.e. as a useless utensil, like a pot with a hole in it, worthless, displeasing to God, and nauseating to man, like "a cake not turned" (7:8).

 

III. YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW WHEN YOU DO NOT DO THINGS GOD’S WAY

  1. Israel was as stubborn and obstinate as a "wild ass" (8:9). Instead of doing things God’s way, she determined to do things her way.
  2. She went to Assyria for help instead of seeking help from God (8:9; cf. 7:11; II Kings 15:17-20).
  3. They "hired among the nations" and suffered for it (8:10). They tried paying off Assyria to leave them alone but it did not work.
  4. God gave specific instructions on where to worship and how to worship, but Israel disregarded God’s Word (8:11). The LORD called their altars, "altars to sin."
  5. God said that they "trespassed against my law" (8:1b). They worshipped devils and idols and false gods on these altars (8:11), and had the effrontery to say to God: "My God, we know thee" (8:2).
  6. They were so blinded by sin that God’s Word was "counted as a strange thing" (8:12).
  7. S. Franklin Logsdon says, "Sin distorts, diverts, degrades and destroys...it fills our asylums, crams our workhouses, demoralizes our youth, blights the nation, breaks homes, spoils happiness and stocks the cemeteries" (Hosea, People That Forgot God).
  8. God would not accept their idolatrous sacrifices. He would have to judge them. They would even return to Egypt (8:13).
  9. Judah too would be judged because they too had turned from God. Hosea 8:14 says, "For Israel hath forgotten his Maker." Logsdon said, "This is the ultimate in forgetfulness."

 

CONCLUSION:


  1. Israel forgot all about God. They have sown the wind and are now reaping the whirlwind.
  2. And though Hosea's messages were mostly aimed at Israel, he also addressed the sins of Judah (cf. 6:4).
  3. And in Hosea 8:14 the LORD says, "Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof."
  4. Sennacherib burned all Judah's fenced cities except Jerusalem.


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