Let us focus today on Hosea 4: 1-2. In this text we find that the Lord was revealing to Hosea there was a call for Israel to return to the Lord. Israel had strayed far away from God and was following paths of sins that totally displeased the Lord. The Lord called it a “controversy” which means to be in opposition to. The Lord was in opposition to the way that Israel was living, and they were bringing a reproach to the name of the Lord.
When we look at this text, we find the things that the Lord had controversy with: Israel had departed from the Lord in their worship. There was no truth in the land which meant that they were finding other gods and false religions to worship. There was no mercy in the land which means that people were ready to pass judgment on others but never wanted to admit the sin in their own lives. There was also no knowledge of God which meant they had forgotten the Lord; were not teaching their children about the Lord; were not going to a place of worship and were not faithfully doing the things that would bring honor and glory to the Lord. They were satisfied living apart from the Lord.
Israel had also departed from the Lord in the way they talked. In verse 2 Hosea told us that by describing the words they were using. Swearing and lying gives us a picture of those that used profanity; profaning the name of the Lord and were constantly lying about anything and everything.
Israel had departed from the Lord with their works because also in verse 2 we see three marks of decay: killing, stealing, and committing adultery. These were all very plainly forbidden by the Ten Commandments that were given to Moses by God. So, with all this we can see why God had a controversy with the nation Israel.
We live in the United States, which was founded on Christian principles, yet when we read this text and see that the Lord had a controversy with Israel, one must believe the Lord also has a controversy with our nation. Why, because we are doing the same things.
We have departed from the Lord in our worship. There is no truth because there are many false religions and teachings, and many people are being deceived into following these false teachings today. People also seem to be worshipping many things other than the Lord: things such as money, sports, material things, education, and the list could go on and on. There is no mercy because we are so easily ready to pass judgment on people who don’t think, talk and act just exactly like we do. So many times, we act as if we are without any sin in our lives and we condemn others. Scripture reminds us that “all have sinned.” There is also no knowledge of God because we have done everything possible to keep God’s word away from the people of our nation and especially the children. We have taken the Word of God out of our schools, our courtrooms, and many other public places. The saddest however may be that many have taken the Word of God out of our homes and churches. So yes, the Lord has a controversy with our worship.
We have departed from the Lord in our words. Profanity has become the accepted language of the day. It seems that we use it to be “cool” or to be accepted by the crowd and yes even those that profess to be Christians are using profanity regularly. We have also departed in our words by lying. People today seem to think nothing at all about telling an outright lie if they think it will help them or keep them out of trouble. We try to justify profanity and lying by saying everyone is doing it, but the Bible is plain when it tells us “To put off lying” and “let our words be acceptable in the sight of the Lord.”
We have departed from the Lord in our works. We have constant crime all around us, killing, stealing and adultery. These today are still just as much sin as they were when the Lord told Moses “Thou shall not…. kill, steal, or commit adultery.” Christian, sadly we cannot say “not me” because we do these same things. We kill by gossiping, backbiting, fussing, and fighting with one another. We steal each other’s blessings by tearing each other down. We commit adultery by being unfaithful to the Lord.
So yes, the Lord must have a controversy with us. Hosea 6: 1 tells us what to do to clear up this controversy. “Come and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up”. Solomon may have said it best in 2 Chronicles 7: 14: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. It is time that we follow the Lord to end His controversy with us or God’s judgment will soon come.