Classic Pattern

Throughout the writings of the prophets there seems to be a fairly classic pattern.  God would bless Israel.  Israel would fall in to sin.  God would send prophets to warn of judgement.  Israel would ignore the prophets.  God would send judgement.  Israel would repent.  Israel would be restored.  The pattern would repeat.

Hosea 7:1-2

“When I would have healed Israel,
Then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered,
And the wickedness of Samaria.
For they have committed fraud;
A thief comes in;
A band of robbers takes spoil outside.
They do not consider in their hearts
That I remember all their wickedness;
Now their own deeds have surrounded them;
They are before My face.

I.  Iniquity Uncovered

If we have consciously given way to sin, choosing to live a life that is displeasing to God, we should know that it is not hidden from God.  God sees what is done in secret.  God sees right through our attempts to rationalize.  God recognizes sin as sin.  We may be able to fool others.  We may even be able to fool ourselves.  We will never fool God.

II.  Punishment

In these verses, the image of a thief is used.  God has a whole host of ways at His disposal.  The judgement of God can take many forms.  One problem that we face, is that we may not even recognize that the setbacks that are occurring in our life are sent from God.  It would be appropriate for us to regularly pray and ask God if we are living right before Him.  Search my heart oh God…

Hosea 6:1-3

Come, and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth.

III. Repent

When we recognize that we have sinned, there is only one correct response: repentance.  Far too many people try to excuse their sin, or declare that their sin, isn’t really a sin, or that it isn’t that bad.  When God reveals our sin to us we should ask God to forgive us, then go and sin no more.  Now, I recognize that it is not quite that simple.  It can be very difficult to change sinful patterns in our lives.  We do not make these changes in our own strength.  God will help us.  We must take the step of confessing our sin, and asking God to help us to do what is right and pleasing in His sight.

After we have repented, God will bring restoration to our lives.  God can bring healing to broken hearts and broken lives.

IV.  Pursue the Knowledge of the Lord

No matter how long we have been a Christian, there is more to learn about the ways of God.  Let us continue to pursue the knowledge of God.  This is available to us through the Word, and through prayer.  This knowledge of God will help us to face the challenges of this life.  God will give us wisdom and strength for each new day, for each problem that we might face.

As we grow in our knowledge of God, our appreciation for the blessings of God will grow as well.  We will appreciate more the beauty of the world around us.  We will treasure the relationships that we have with the people in our lives.   We will grow in our ability to experience the joy that God has for His people in His presence.  It is a very good thing to grow in the knowledge of God.

These are the sermon notes from 6/15/14.  Any advertisements that appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do  I receive any money from them.

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8 Responses to “Classic Pattern”

  1. Godless Cranium Says:

    Considering god supposedly knows everything, including the outcome, this god would seem to be incompetent.

    • Pastor Curt Says:

      This God would only be incompetent if the idea was to control everything. Since God has given humans free will, God knows what will happen, but does not cause human choices. Wrong choices result in bad consequences. Things look messy now, but the plan of God is still unfolding.

      • Godless Cranium Says:

        If you say so. Sounds like a horrible plan to me and a cop out on your end.

      • Pastor Curt Says:

        We obviously disagree. I think that it is a wonderful plan, allowing for human freedom and responsibility, while offering the possibility of forgiveness. The perfection that one might desire is found in the eternal nature of human existence. Those who choose to reject God will spend an eternity without God, those who accept the love of God will have an eternity with Him. The only cop out is that we must look beyond this life for final redemption. This world is not, and will not be, perfect.

      • Godless Cranium Says:

        I think you’re living in an insular bubble. Children die of starvation every day, while you preach about a perfect plan and then reach into your fridge for a snack. People suffer and die by the millions.

        It’s also not a rejection. Religious people need to stop saying that. It’s not believing your claim. It’s a lack of belief. It’s not a rejection.

        Your explanation is weak and shows how self centered your belief system really is. You seem fine with the idea that people will be tortured or forsaken for eternity, while you get to go to a magical wonderland kingdom in the sky. It’s so selfish it nearly brings you to tears.

        It’s not a perfect plan. Every day you are surrounded by an uncaring universe. It’s up to us to do the caring. Wake up and put that ancient book of mythology down. Look outside that safe, first world bubble you live in.

      • Pastor Curt Says:

        I am quite aware of the suffering of many around the world. Christians from many different denominations are involved in helping to provide aid to those in need around the world. If we judge human existence only in the light of this world it certainly is unfair. However, if you believe in a life to come, then it is possible to have hope, even for those who have already died.

        You are correct. It is about belief. “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved”. The question is how do we come to a place of belief? We do not achieve belief through empirical proof or deductive reasoning. The Holy Spirit speaks to our heart about the truth of the message “Jesus is Lord” and we can listen to that voice, resulting in belief, or reject that voice resulting in disbelief.

        I am truly sorry for those people who do not believe in the love that God has for them. Since they have not believed in God, they will end up in an eternity without God. I feel sorry for those people and do everything that I can do to convince them of the truth of the message of the love of God. God, however, does leave people the right to not believe, even though I am sure that it breaks His heart.

        You may believe that you are surrounded by an uncaring universe. I believe that we are surrounded by a caring God. I do agree with you however, that we are to do the caring. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves, We are to help those who are in need to the best of our ability.

        I have to chuckle a little at your comment about the first world bubble that I live in. It is true that I live a comfortable life, by many standards around the world. It is also true that some of the fastest growing Christian communities are in poverty stricken areas. A belief in God gives people hope for both this life and the next.

      • Godless Cranium Says:

        It breaks his heart so much that he supposedly punishes them for eternity.

        He leaves people the right not to believe (and the majority of humanity doesn’t believe) knowing the outcome beforehand.

        I’m not sure why you ‘have to chuckle’ about my comment about your first world bubble, when you go on to admit you live in one.

        Of course they’re the fastest growing communities! They’re vulnerable and your faith preys on such vulnerabilities to spread your cult.

        If you’re so aware of the suffering of people around the world, you would see that your previous statements are utter twattle. Sure, religious organizations help try to feed them. So do secular charities. The point was that the one entity that could feed those poor children who starve every day is your god.

        But he doesn’t. This should provide you with a clue to whether such a magical being exists in the first place. So while you continue to pray for your first world comforts, millions of children die for having the misfortune to have been born in a third world country. The majority of people will be punished for eternity.

        Great plan!

        I can’t believe you buy into this. But then again, it’s fairly easy for you to ignore reality when you’re living a fairly luxurious life.

      • Pastor Curt Says:

        If you choose to jump off a cliff, is God punishing you by letting you fall? If you reject the love of God offered to you through Jesus Christ, is it God punishing you, or simply the consequences of your own free will? Does not responsibility come with freedom?

        I chuckle because Christianity has always been most accepted by the poor. You say that it is because they are vulnerable, I would suggest that they are looking for hope, while the well-off are comfortable with their existence. Incidentally, there is a phenomena called the “evangelistic lift” which is a part of the impact of the gospel. For the majority of people who come to faith in Christ, there is a corresponding improvement in their economic position. So, in fact, there is a material benefit that realizes the hope produced by faith for most Christians. Sadly, as economic status improves, often there is a decline in religious zeal.

        Regarding the fate of the masses. First, as you have acknowledged, Many Christians do try to help the suffering. We should do more. As to what God does, you should remember that God is not limited to this world. This world is not meant to be utopia. “Allow the little children to come to me.” I suspect that a very large number (if not all) of those children that die young will be found in heaven. They may have suffered on earth, but that is but a pinprick compared to eternity.

        It appears that you view life from a materialistic perspective, the understanding that only the material world is real. If materialism is correct, then of course, my religious belief is nonsense. If I am correct, then belief in materialism is tragic. My faith helps me to deal with the problems of this world, it helps me to find beauty in every day, it gives me strength for today, and hope for tomorrow. What does your materialistic perspective do for you? Your posts come across to me as angry and bitter. I hope for your sake that those are not dominating qualities in your life. I pray for you that your eyes may be open to the reality that goes beyond this world and the wonderful benefits that that faith can bring.

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