Sin Exposed For Our Good
June 15, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
Understanding our sin (how it works, how it captures the imaginations of our hearts, how to repent of it, etc.) is vital to a healthy relationship with God. Ignoring our sin, downplaying our sin, or denying our sin are all recipes for bringing decay into our relationship with God.
The Old Testament prophet Hosea wrote to a people who grew complacent with their sin. Their relationship with God eroding much like a marriage relationship when one spouse is unfaithful. God called Hosea to use some vivid imagery to shake his people awake to the reality of their sin. Nearly 2,800 years later, we get to listen to this jarring message. Let this prophet open the eyes of your heart to new dimensions of your sin so that you can go deeper in your relationship with God.
We receive a snapshot of how God understands sin in Hosea 2:5, where God says of his people, “For their mother has played the whore; she who conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, 'I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.'” God reveals in this accusation that sin is relational, fruitful, and deceptive.
- Sin is Relational. God’s use of marriage language for his relationship with his people and describing their sin as prostitution (marital unfaithfulness) draws attention to the fact that sin is relational. Our rebellion and disobedience against God are not cold, isolated, detached transactions, but deeply personal inflictions against God. Our sin is a substituting of God and all that he has for us with someone or something else. Understanding that sin is relational helps us appreciate how heinous sin is against God.
- Sin is Fruitful. Most of the time we hear the word “fruitful” as a positive. We want to be fruitful; we want to produce good things in our lives. But we can easily forget that our sinful choices are also fruitful. God speaks of the “children” conceived from spiritual unfaithfulness. Every choice we make has consequences. We deceive ourselves when we think that our “little” sins won’t hurt anyone or anything. Every sin produces fruit, like a little infection that can grow and spread decay. Israel ignored their sin and found that it had grown disastrous consequences.
- Sin is Deceptive. God’s bride makes the statement that her “lovers” have provided all she has needed (bread, water, wool, flax, oil, and drink). A few verses later God says, “she did not know that it was I who gave her the grain…” (Hos. 2:8). Every sin promises some sort of fulfillment, which it ultimately cannot provide. We fall to temptation because we buy the lie. Our God is sufficient to meet our needs. Uncovering the deception of sin is vital to fighting against the temptations to sin.
Let’s heed the warnings of this Old Testament prophet. Let’s not become like the Israelites in their complacency about sin. Let us allow God to “allure” us and “speak tenderly” to us (Hos. 2:14) as we fight sin.