HOSEA HAS AN AMERICAN ACCENT
Did you know that Hosea speaks with an American accent?
It is true. It is also true of Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi as well. They not only speak with an American accent, but they also speak with a European accent, a Latin accent, an African accent, an Indian accent, etc. In fact, they speak with every possible accent, and they speak to us today everywhere in the world.
Today’s world is filled with ungodliness of the rankest sort. As American citizens, we are being engulfed in crime, as a minority of the American population strikes fear in the minds of the rest of America’s people. Racial tension grows, the cold war grows hotter by the minute, immorality among us soars, immodesty and indecent behavior becomes fashionable, and we are amazed at the growing statistics of dishonesty, bribery, murder, drunkenness, adultery and homosexuality.
These are some of the reasons that the minor prophets are so important for man today. II Timothy 3:16 states: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
Even though modern man has changed the world in which he lives, that is, he has changed its style, reformed and shaped its cities, and discovered new truths about the physical world as well as understanding old truths better, he still faces the same basic problem that he has always faced–sin. That is why the Bible in general and the book of Hosea in particular is so relevant to every man, woman and child. The Bible continues to teach us doctrine, that is, God’s law, telling us just exactly what God’s commands are.
Secondly, they give reproof in a negative way, that the Bible convinces us of our faults and errors. It shows sin to be what it really is–evil. It proves us to be guilty when we transgress God’s law.
Thirdly, in a positive way, the Bible corrects us. It teaches us how to improve our lives.
Finally, the Bible “instructs us in righteousness.” Just as the Bible corrects and tells us which way to go, so it also instructs us and tells us what to be in terms of our moral character. II Timothy 3:17 tells us why these four factors are necessary: “That the
man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
The purpose is that man may actually become the kind of person that he ought to be and, consequently, the kind of Christian that God would have him to be. This purpose is vividly described in the message of Hosea.
The basic message of the book of Hosea is found in chapter 4:1-3, which states:
Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; 2 there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3 Therefore the land mourns and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens,and even the fish of the sea are taken away. (ESV)
As a nation, Israel knew of God, but they did not know God. They knew about God and His laws, but they did not obey them. This distinction is readily seen when one understands that there is a difference between knowing about someone and then knowing that person. So, there was a difference in Israel’s life in knowing about God and actually knowing Him, (that is, honoring, praising, and obeying Him as the only true God of Israel).
The ultimate outcome of a true knowledge of God is found in John 17:3, which states: “And this is life eternal, that they might know you, the only true God, and Jesus whom you have sent.” A mere intellectual knowledge about God and His Son is not sufficient. This was Israel’s problem in the days of Hosea, but today the true test as to whether we know God is if we obey Him (I John 2:3-6).
Hosea’s prophesy came true nearly twenty years after it was given. There was no return to God, no sorrow, nor repentance from Israel, and they were swept away because of sin.
All of God’s warnings came true, Israel refused to obey God. God has spoken to Hosea’s day as well as ours (I Cor. 10:6,11). There is no need to repeat Himself. Hosea’s accent is very modern as he tells of our own evil nation, headed for destruction if we do not repent.
-Jim Laws Via the Getwell Reminder 2/9/1989
I am again reminded how many things that were written and discussed some thirty-three years ago is so relevant and applicable today. We need to study the Old Testament and especially the prophets as they warned GOD’S PEOPLE against sin and against taking God for granted.
What would the prophets of old say about the church today?
Would they speak out against the sin and evil in the world? YES, ABSOLUTELY!
What am I doing to lovingly reprove again sin, and standing against the sin “which so easily besets us.”
What am I doing to show the world that God still loves us and wants man to have an eternal relationship with him?