Consequences of a Culture in Decline

Today proved to be a busy day. I had a 7:30 a.m. meeting with the core group for men’s ministry at the church and then conducted two chapel services at Morning Star Assisted Living. Debbie and I went out to lunch and then I came home for short (for me) nap and then headed to Denver to see grandson Riley play a baseball game and attend the 60th birthday party for my friend Jim Brummett. I stayed for their Sunday evening service that featured my friend and long time pastor Bobby Wilson from Pueblo.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… There is no truth, no faithful love, and no knowledge of God in the land! Cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery are rampant; one act of bloodshed follows another.” Hosea 4:1,2 HCSB

Hosea is an interesting old testament prophet. God used Hosea to become a living object lesson for God’s people in rebellion. It all started with the Lord telling him to marry a prostitute by the name of Gomer. It was a sign that revealed the Lord was “married” to a sinful people who had turned toward other “lovers” in the form of idols of surrounding nations.

As we come to chapter 4, Hosea presents “God’s case against Israel.” While the description is long and varied, perhaps no verses summarize the state of the nation as the first two. I believe they serve as an indictment for cultures that would exist throughout time, even to our day.

Consider what was missing. “No truth, no faithful love, no knowledge of God.” I find it interesting that we live in a day where “truth” is viewed as relative, subjective and open to change. It seems that the age-old question of Pilate reverberates to our day, “what is truth?” except it has been changed to the assertion, “there is no truth.”

I notice the prophet doesn’t say there is, “no love” but that there is no “faithful love.” Faithfulness in many arenas of our world today seems to be in short supply. The political adage is, “if you want loyalty, get a dog.” A lack of faithfulness breeds insecurity. Even in his day Solomon observed, “Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6 NIV)

We certainly live in a day where knowledge of God and His ways is lacking. Even among those who claim to follow Christ we see rampant Biblical illiteracy. A core fundamental declaration of God’s Word is that, “it is our all-sufficient rule for faith and conduct.” Knowledge of God and His Word is to guide our beliefs and our behavior. That is why the founders of this nation, believed in the value of God’s Word as being indispensable for a “free people.”

What happens when these are missing? “Cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery are rampant; one act of bloodshed follows another.” When Proverbs talks about “without a vision, people perish” (Prov. 29:18 KJV) – it is best understood as, “Where there is no [divine] revelation, people cast off restraint.” (Prov. 29:18 NIV)

Without the knowledge of God and the guidance of God’s Word, the actions of humanity sink to an all-time low. When we look at these negative expressions, we can see evidence of them in our world everyday. The impact can be seen in the nation as a whole and individual lives, For this reason the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes…” (Hosea 4:3 HCSB)

The solution is found in repentance and “returning to the Lord.” Hear the cry of the prophet, Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, and He will heal us; He has wounded us, and He will bind up our wounds. He will revive us after two days, and on the third day He will raise us up so we can live in His presence.” (Hosea 6:1,2 HCSB)

The consistent invitation even in the most desperate and trying of situations is to “return to the Lord.” When we do we find mercy and strength to help us in our need. That applies to individual lives and to a nation.


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