Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Are We Like the Morning Cloud? 

Hosea 6:4-6 “O Ephraim,  what shall I do unto thee?  O Judah,  what shall I do unto thee?  For your goodness is as a morning cloud,  as early dew it goeth away.

                          Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets;  I have slain by the words of My mouth:  for thy judgements are as the light that goeth forth.

                          For I desired mercy,  and not sacrifice;  and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”

The morning cloud promises much.  Maybe there will be the rain we need.  But the day gets hot and the morning clouds go away.        The early dew drys as soon as there is a little sun.

Both look good, but give no lasting benefit.

So were the “revivals” and changes of Ephraim and Judah. (These were the two kingdoms of Israel.)

God would send a prophet to preach repentance to them;  to restore them to His fellowship and blessing.  

But though they often would “repent” when God was chastening them;  yet as soon as that was removed,  they would resume their idol worship.

We all know what an idol is:  it is a fabricated god.   We worship it.  

Worship is worthyship:  counting God, or whatever, worthy of ourselves. (Our time, our awe, our confidence.)

Worship comes from the Hebrew “to fall down before”.

Sadly, though Israel saw miracle after miracle in deliverances, and blessing;  yet they kept choosing to put their confidence in stones, and wood;  rather than the Living God. (Jeremiah 10:10).

(If you really want to see God’s joke about the idols,  read: Isaiah 44:15-17.  One part of the tree, warms the man,   another he bakes bread with,   and the rest he fashions a god!  Wow,  how silly can we be!)

Many even came and brought sacrifices to the Lord; and then went out and offered sacrifices to idols.

God said,  “If your heart was not in the sacrifice you offer Me.  It is nothing.       I desired mercy and not sacrifice.”

Simply put,  The Lord told them from the first that He wanted them to obey Him.

Mercy is covenantal affection and loyalty.

It is love for both God and your bothers in the faith.   This is what He wanted for them:        For Israel to know Him;   to get their hearts right with Him, and their brothers.

This is what He has always wanted:  for His people to know Him.  To “see” Him as He is: the Almighty God, who rules the heavens and the earth;  and yet loves us.  And with this love,  He seeks fellowship with us.

I have been like the morning cloud.   The Lord has spoken, and I heard;  but put off making the change, and put it off…till:  there was the correction.  

It was not easy, seeing how I had done this to Him.  But He was right;  He had warned me many times.        Now, was the time to do something about it.

One time the Lord showed me how sad I was making Him, doing this.  

First:  He wants my love,  for He loves me.

Second:  He does not like to correct;  He would rather I agree with Him (Amos 3:3),  and walk (not be pushed) with Him.

Do we really know the Lord as we should?   He wants us to,  if we will.     He will help us make lasting change.

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