Do you have the courage to speak against God's people like Hosea did?

Hosea 1:1 - The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.

Hosea is known as first among the 12 lesser Prophets not because he and the 11 others had lesser anointing or power in God but because of the volume of their prophecies. There was a period wherein all the twelve books of the 'lesser Prophets' were bond as 1 book.

The name Hosea is the same with Joshua and Jesus and signifies a saviour. He along with Joel and Amos were before Isaiah and the period given is about 800BC.

Hosea was used by the Lord to reprove His people for the idolatry and stubbornness against God. God warned the people about what He was going to do with them before He actually went ahead with it. He may have done little but he is honoured by God.

This message for today is very appropriate. We need to understand God is a very patient God. He tolerates a lot the wrong of the people who do not know Him, but has set limits. As the limits are broken, He takes action against them. But with His people the limits are different from those who do not know Him. We see as the glory of God was more on His people the limits became lesser.

Volcanologist will be able to tell when the volcano will erupt by the vibrations felt. He will never be 100 percent sure of the exact time of eruption until it happens but his predictions cannot be ignore for they are very likely to be accurate. On the surface ordinary people would be totally ignorant of what is going to happen. They may feel all is well until it does happen.

The Lord is given us this message because this is the state of the Church. We may think all is well and good things are happening, Church is growing, Gospel is getting preached to more and more people. I may not know the state of the Churches in other countries but here in India even though the message of Christ is getting preached to more and more people, even in remote places but yet the state is very, very bad. It is like a structure made of playing cards, one blow and the whole structure can come down, crashing to the ground.

The problem is not with the people but more with the leaders of the Church. The spiritual state of the leaders is very seriously bad. Many preach the Gospel of grace but in their lives they think the grace is a licence for them living a life of carnal desires. They are playing with the lives of little ones like they do not mean anything. They treat them like fowl that are consumed by the hunger of their desires.

Most Church leaders are more interested in running a Church than making people into Christians -Disciples of Christ led by the Spirit of God.

Many are doing wrong but then many more, which are aware of their brethren doing wrong, are keeping silent for their own vested interest. They cannot dare to speak against a person who is called as a representative of God even though he or she is abusing and misrepresenting the Name of God. They think it is taboo to speak against a man of God or a pastor, what if someone speaks against them? They do not realize during the times of Hosea, Jeremiah, Elijah and others there were Prophets of God who misled people due to their foolishness or due to their vested interests. God had to bring sense into them by sending someone.

During the time of Moses when God got angry against His people He sent fury serpents to kill them but He made available them a bronze serpent put on a pole (symbolizing Jesus who was cursed on a cross for us) such that when they looked up on it they were saved from the serpents. But when these people started to fornicate with the daughters of Moab (meaning 'of his father') then the anger of God again fell on His people and a plague started to consume them. Moab symbolizes the nature of Adam and 'daughters of Moab' symbolizes people weak in the nature of Adam. Even though the Israelites had the bronze serpent with them at this point of time yet we see they were consumed by the wrath of God.

The sacrifice of Jesus cannot be taken for granted. The sacrifice of Jesus pays for our sins when we come to God but when we come to know God and yet knowingly sin then this sacrifice cannot be used as a payment for our sins.

God understands weakness but when a person stubbornly and knowingly goes against Him then He crushes them in such a way that they are made a testimony forever.

People may say they are not among those who fornicate with the daughters of Moab but by just keeping silent and not doing anything will cause them too to be consumed by the plague. They need to be like Phinehas, the son of Eleazar who separated from those fornicating and then took a spear and acted on behalf of God. He did not kill or take action against everyone that fornicate with the daughters of Moab but the one before him, he did. This pleased God and caused the plague to stop. It did not save only those who were innocent of the deed but also those whose who were guilty for they got an opportunity to repent later.

Today we need people like Hosea and Phinehas who have the courage to come out and speak up for God and take action against those who are destroying the harvest of God. We may need to make example of even one person by this we will save all the others.

This problem is not only in India but even in other countries where famous preachers who themselves are not spiritually mature (not of age and grown in discernment) but by their operating under gifts are taking masses for a ride. They are becoming wolves to their own flock; the very flock they are to protect they are consuming.

[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we cry out for your people. They are being consumed by the very people You have sent to protect and nurture. Lord, we need people like Hosea and Phinehas, people of courage and valour, people who are willing to stick out their neck and do something drastic just to save your people from your wrath. Save your sheep from the shepherds who have turned into wolves...

This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.

[ Reference ]
Numbers 14:11-12
11 And Jehovah said unto Moses, How long will this people despise me? and how long will they not believe in me, for all the signs which I have wrought among them?
12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a nation greater and mightier than they.

Numbers 21:6-9
6 And Jehovah sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
7 And the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, because we have spoken against Jehovah, and against thee; pray unto Jehovah, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
8 And Jehovah said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a standard: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he seeth it, shall live.
9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it upon the standard: and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked unto the serpent of brass, he lived.

Numbers 25:1-13
1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.
2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.
4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.
5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.
6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;
8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
9 And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.
10 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
11 Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.
12 Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace:
13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.

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