Love, loyalty — How we want it from others! How disappointed we are if our spouse strays, or our children disobey, or a friend goes away!
But think of God!

[SW070] 12/02/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
“Love Like a Morning Mist”

Hosea. 6:4 “What can I do with you, Ephraim?
        What can I do with you, Judah?
        Your love [2617 checed, loyalty] is like the morning mist,
        like the early dew that disappears.
        5  Therefore I cut you in pieces with My prophets,
        I killed you with the words of My mouth;
        My judgments flashed like lightning upon you.  (NIV)

Hosea 6:6 “For I delight in [2654 bend down, incline to]
          loyalty rather than sacrifice,
         And in the knowledge of God [1847 daath, from 3045 yada, an intimate experiential knowledge] rather than burnt offerings.” (NASB)

Love, loyalty —

How we want it from others!
How disappointed we are if our spouse strays,
or our children disobey,
or if a friend goes away!

But think of God!
My heart and His grieve together
for just as His people were disloyal in the time of Hosea,
they still are today, in the church age.

What is this love, this loyalty that is so fleeting in His people, that so quickly evaporates like a morning mist?

It is checed (2617) loving-kindness, steadfast love, grace, mercy, faithfulness, goodness, devotion. It’s used 240 times in the OT: 1) to describe God; 2) to call His people out for their unfaithfulness.

Checed is one of God’s most central characteristics.

It is a word used of marital love,
it is a relationship of the greatest intimacy,
greater than what we can think or imagine!

In the OT, He is “Husband,” (Isaiah 54:5, Jeremiah 31:32, Ezekiel 16:32, etc.), and in the NT, His Christ is the Bridegroom (Matthew 9:15, Matthew 25:1-10, John 3:29, Ephesians 5:25-27, Revelation 18:23, etc.).

No eye has seen, no ear has heard what God has for those who love Him!

The New Testament equivalent of this word is entire sanctification —
that is, to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit —
filled with His actual love for Him! His agape! No more straying!

Your love [checed] is like the morning mist,
        like the early dew that disappears.
        5  Therefore I cut you in pieces with My prophets,
        I killed you with the words of My mouth;
        My judgments flashed like lightning upon you.

He wants marriage, but we want a Sunday morning fling!

He cuts you now,
He strikes you as if to death,
His judgments are like lightning bolts,
so full of His power
that they charge the whole atmosphere of your innermost being —
for your own good!

He cuts you with the sword of the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12),
so it may judge the thoughts and attitudes of your heart.

Hosea 6:6 “For I delight in [2654 bend down, incline to]
loyalty rather than sacrifice,
         And in the knowledge of God [1847 daath, from 3045 yada, an intimate experiential knowledge]
   rather than burnt offerings.” (NASB)

Jesus quoted Hosea 6:6 to the religious of the days He walked the earth!
[Matthew 9:13, Matthew 12:7]

He said, “Go and learn what this means!”

He quotes it to the “religious” church of this day.

We have a form of religion
while denying its power to transform a stony heart
to a heart that responds to His every command,
and overflows with the actual love of God,
poured into it by the Holy Spirit whom God has given us!

Oh, no eye has seen!!

God laments! Do you hear it?

“Your love [checed] is like the morning mist,
        like the early dew that disappears.”

We may seek some kind of intimacy for a time,
like when we are in danger.
We may cry out then, from our hearts, like in Hosea 6:1-3 —

Hosea 6:1   “ Come, let us return to the LORD.
    For  He has torn us, but  He will heal us;
    He has  wounded us, but He will  bandage us.
2 “He will  revive us after two days;
    He will  raise us up on the third day,
    That we may live before Him.
3 “So let us  know, let us press on to know the LORD.
    His  going forth is as certain as the dawn;
    And He will come to us like the  rain,
 Like the spring rain watering the earth.”

We acknowledge His faithfulness,
we cry out for healing,
we say we want to know Him,
but then we go away,
leaving Jesus Christ at the altar, a forsaken Bridegroom!

I know.
That’s what I did
after He rescued me from drug addiction in 1975!

We sing, “I Am a Friend of God,”
but His very heart has been wounded —
in the house of His friends (Zechariah 13:6)!
These are His words, not mine!

God the Father and God the Son continue to lament through the Spirit-inspired Hosea:

Hosea 6:7 But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant;
    There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

We’ve double-crossed God, with our self-reliance.

Even if we have an inner uneasiness that something is amiss,
listen to this and speak it out loud, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God:

Hosea 5:13 When Ephraim saw his sickness,
    And Judah his wound,
    Then Ephraim went to  Assyria
    And sent to King Jareb.
    But he is unable to heal you,
    Or to cure you of your wound.

No weeping and fasting!
No rending of hearts instead of garments!

We seek after the powers of this world
to heal us and cure us of Holy Spirit conviction.

The wound is curable only by the Lord,
by whose wounds WE ARE HEALED!

O, Hallelujah!

Again, this time to His people who are about to be overrun by Babylon, about 150 years later, the Lord laments through Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 2:2 “Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying,
            ‘Thus says the LORD,
            “I remember concerning you the devotion [checed!] of your youth,
            The love of your betrothals, [you were lovesick for Me, as a bride is lovesick for her Bridegroom, O church!]
             Your following after Me in the wilderness,
            Through a land not sown.

And also through Ezekiel, exiled in Babylon, He laments:

Ezekiel 6:9 “Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols; and they will  loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed, for all their abominations. (my emphasis)

What? Our adultery, our following after the things of the world
and the wisdom of man,
hurts God?

Yes, and the word “hurt” is shabar (7665),
and it means His heart is broken in pieces, shattered,
by you who disobey,
by you who stray,
by you who go away.

Hosea 4:12 “My people consult their wooden idol,
        and their diviner’s wand informs them;
        For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray,
        And they have played the harlot, departing  from their God.”

In our consulting with one another, in our comparing ourselves with ourselves,
in trying to do things in our own strength,
following man’s wisdom,
using business models for the church (!!)
we bring into our own hearts
a spirit of harlotry (prostitution)
rather than the Spirit of God.

His church has departed from Him just as in the days of Israel.
Thus, He will go away.

Hosea 5:15 I will go away and return to My place
    Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face;
    In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”

He goes away from you
because you have gone away from Him.
You are in spiritual famine and drought.

But only until we seek Him and agree with Him —
when we are humbled,
we will indeed seek Him most diligently!
And He will return to us.

He humbles us so we will seek Him.
He uses Satan as His blacksmith! Thus says the Lord:

Isaiah 54:16 “Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals
    And brings out a weapon for its work;
    And I have created the destroyer to ruin.”

Oh, but that is the old covenant, you will say.
we are under the new covenant
and we have Christ.

Listen to our Christ, speaking to zealous Peter:

Luke 22:31   “Simon, Simon, behold,  Satan has  demanded permission to  sift you like wheat; 32 but I  have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again,  strengthen your brothers.”

Praise be to God, He is praying for us!
He is praying for us who do wrong —
Look again at Hosea 6, O church!

Hosea 6:8  Gilead is a city of wrongdoers,
    Tracked with bloody footprints.
    9 And as  raiders wait for a man,
    So a band of priests murder on the way to Shechem;
Surely they have committed crime.

This city of God’s people — even His church —
has become a city of wrongdoers (aven 205), overrun with
evil, iniquity, sorrow, unrighteousness, vanity, and wickedness.

We invite those who have darkened hearts
and no light of dawn (Isaiah 8:20)
to lead us and teach us —
unrighteous ones,
fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate,
homosexuals, thieves, the covetous,
drunkards, revilers, and swindlers.
(1 Corinthians 6:9).

“A city of wrongdoers, tracked with bloody footprints.”
What are the bloody footprints?
The wake of destruction we create as we walk in sin (Isaiah 59:7)!
We do not see it because it comes behind us,
but it affects everyone around us
and worst of all, our eternal future!

Hosea 6:9 And as raiders wait for a man,
    So a band of priests murder on the way to Shechem;
    Surely they have committed crime.

Indeed, the Lord refers here to King Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:31),
who established his own version of “priests”
for the worship of golden calves that I spoke of last week.

These “priests” literally robbed and murdered pilgrims
who were trying to reach Jerusalem,
the place of true worship.

Surely these “priests” committed a crime
(2154 zimmah), lewdness, loose conduct!
Encouraging the people to join them in committing spiritual adultery!

But what of today’s preachers?
Do we preachers not urge our congregations to be greedy and self-centered,
with our prosperity, success, and self-esteem messages,
do we not encourage them to love the things of this world?

Those who do such things hate God!

This is a crime, lewdness —
we encourage them to join us
in committing spiritual adultery against God.

Raiders — an army of robbers!
If we are preaching “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace
are we not robbers who rob His people of the truth?
Do we not send them down the broad path to destruction?
Do we not murder them?

Matthew 21:13 And He  said to them, “It is written, ‘ MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but you are making it a  ROBBERS’  DEN.”

Have we become a den of robbers, O church?

Hosea 6:10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible [8186 fearful] thing;
   Ephraim’s harlotry is there, Israel has defiled itself.
11 Also, O Judah, there is a  harvest appointed for you,
    When I restore the fortunes of My people.

Is God contradicting Himself?
May it never be!
Judah’s harvest would be like Israel’s that Hosea prophesied —
punishment for her own good,
so that Judah would return to the Lord,
and He would have mercy on her, and freely pardon her.

But meanwhile, He will restore (7725),
He will retreat, He will repay, He will pull up,
so she may turn,
so His people may turn back to Him.

Then He will return them to their starting point,
and free them from their captivity,
for as long as they sin, they are captives, slaves to it!
The outcome of these things is death (Romans 6:21)!
Oh, what is the answer? What shall we do? How shall we return?

Be baptized in the Holy Spirit —
that is the baptism done by Jesus Christ.
Water baptism is a baptism of repentance . . .
His baptism of fire burns up all that is not of God,
so all that is left fully belongs to God.

Listen to Christ’s answer through His servant, the Spirit-inspired Paul (my emphasis):

Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our  body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is free from sin.

Romans 6:17 But  thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that  form of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Then joy unspeakable and full of glory will come to you and you will be united with your Bridegroom whom you will love with God’s actual love:

Romans 6:22 But now having been freed from sin and  enslaved to God, you  derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.  23 For the wages of  sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

O Church, get real with God!
His heart is wounded and shattered by your waywardness!
Surely He will heal you of it when you confess it to Him!

Do not try to reason it out —
Don’t try to apply man’s logic!
Believe! Believe God’s Word!

His ways are higher than your ways,
His thoughts are higher than your thoughts.
As the heavens are above the earth,
so are His ways and thoughts higher than yours!
Why do you still look to man’s wisdom?

Hebrews 3:7   Therefore, just as  the Holy Spirit says,

O Church, do not fail to enter His rest!

Author: Susan Wynn, servant of Jesus Christ

Healed by Jesus Christ of MS in 2001, in the middle of the night! Proclaiming His gospel, His healing, His heart. Author of From Death To Life--A True Story of Healing, Hope and Being Set Free. Our ministry: My Father's Place, a ministry without walls, proclaiming Jesus Christ to the world.

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