Altars for Sinning

18. December 2006 Hosea 0

Text: Hosea 8 Theme: Idols and altars can both be contemptable to God Key verses: “Throw out your calf-idol…My anger burns against them.” (v. 5) “This calf – a craftsman has made it; it is not God.” (v. 6) “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.” (v. 7) “Though Ephraim has many altars for sin offerings, these have become altars for sinning.” (v. 11) “They offer sacrifices given to me and they eat the meat, but the Lord is not pleased with them.” (v. 13) What God said to me: Dwayne, be careful with good intentions and sincere motives. These can be deceptive. Some blatantly reject me and turn to other gods. Their intentions and motives are neither good nor sincere. However, many of my people really mean well. They sincerely think that what they are doing is ok in my sight. They come to their churches and bring their offerings to my altar. But their hearts are far from me. Holiness is an outward, occasional exercise for them. They ignore my law or look at it as something old and foreign. Somehow they feel they can make up their own belief system and decree their own standards, and I will accept it – or at least tolerate it. They are sowing into the wind. My wrath will stir up against them like a tornado. Warn my people. Blow the trumpet of alarm. I am coming soon. What I said to God: Thank you, holy God, for your Word. It is clear and concise. We can make no mistake about what you expect of your people. Forgive me when I want to ignore your laws. I know my offerings make you sick if my heart and life is not offered to you as well. Restore the altars of our lives and our churches. May they not be altars for sinning against you anymore. We humble ourselves before you today. Cleanse us. Use us in your Kingdom and in this world.