There is a correlation between the priests of the book of Hosea and the ministers of this day in age. Although there is no universal application to all ministers, there is an application for many of them through out this country. There are many believers that have been taught a compromised doctrine. Their ministers have failed to teach them the fullness of God's standards of expectation, its boundaries, and its consequences (both positive and negative) that come with them. Hence, there are many young and ill developed believers who find themselves swarmed with challenges that are attributed to a spiritual nature and yet lack the "knowledge of God" to work through these challenges.
At the start of the formation of God's "people", Israel, God would both choose and use great men and women to bring His instruction to them. At one point in time, He gave them a set of laws known as the Law of Moses or now known as the Ten Commandments. Yet these laws were never meant to be carried out as an absolute towards being in right standing with God and being with Him at the end of a person's lifespan. Additionally, they were not meant to be a means by which a person could obtain salvation for their offenses. They were always meant to be carried out as healthy boundaries from which to live a life that was acceptable unto God. He never expected people to adhere to His standards of expectation through their mortal capabilities, but instead through continual reliance on Him. Additionally, as a God of love and mercy, he always presented an extreme degree of patience and opportunities for the offender to repent of their offenses, ask Him for forgiveness, and receive His restoration work within their lives; when done with a sincere heart. Yet, if these standards were neglected or disobeyed willfully, God presented negative consequences to the offender; for He is a just God in both blessing and correcting people unto righteousness.
In the case of Hosea, we find that God's "people" did everything that they had been instructed not to do through the law of Moses. Yet, the problem was rooted down to the priests, the spokesmen of God and reflection of Him. They were no longer representing Him as God had called them to do so. In fact, they had come to the point where they no longer taught nor enforced the law. They were tending to themselves and feeding the lust of their own flesh. Furthermore, because the priests did not do their job, God's "people" forgot about the law, to the extent that they no longer held an "intimate experiential knowledge" of Him. In other words, they no longer had a healthy relationship with God; in some cases, there was a non-existent relationship with Him. It all came to a point where God had tolerated enough of their willful misconduct and began to remove the privileges and blessings which they held as His "people".
If we jump ahead into the days of Christ Jesus, we are now faced with two more laws. These two laws are grounded in unconditional love. The first law regards our love towards God. The second law regards our love towards others, in particular the people who are in the radius of our life, such as our neighbor. Furthermore, Christ Jesus never came to remove the law, but to fulfill it. He learned the law, but also lived it out. He did not try to match His actions to it and present Himself as a proud and righteous man for fulfilling it; as many of the religious leaders of His day had gone on to do so. Instead, He lived His life within the boundaries established by the law and with an attitude of humility. He wanted for people to know and observe through His life, that the law was there to guide them towards a continual healthy relationship with God.
In this day in age, it is very easy to exclaim the laws listed in God's Word as old, harsh, hard, and even "non-applicable to this day in age". However, these laws have been the foundation of both small and large societies all over the world for thousands of years. God instilled many of these laws into the hearts of people, that is why within the lifespan of a person, there is an age where a person learns the difference between "good and bad", "right and wrong", and "righteousness and offenses". It was all in His plans since the beginning of creation. The law is already a part of mankind, but mankind needs assistance from its Creator, God, to obey it to its fullest degree. To love God is to obey Him. To obey Him is to live within the boundaries of His laws. We have both an obligation and duty to submit under God, and to obey His laws through His assistance, as well as the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. Our obedience will not lead us unto salvation, but instead will assist us in remaining steadfast into its completion on the day we are called to be with our Creator.
Let us pray: Lord God, You who are Great and Grand, I come before You on behalf of Your people, both Jews and Gentiles all over the world. Please reach into the abyss of our hearts and remove all things (from the roots of their origin) that do not pertain to You. Cleanse us of all of our offenses with the Blood of Christ Jesus and restore us unto holiness; for You are holy and have called us unto holiness. Please fill us with Your Spirit so that we may not go astray again, but instead remain holy and separate unto You. Restore the ministers unto Your standards of expectation of a royal priesthood and redirect, back to You, all the people who have been misled by them. Oh Lord my God, please bring these things to pass before the day of Christ Jesus' return is here. May Your will be done in heaven as it is on Earth. Amen.
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R. A. Gómez