The Dangers of Compromise
Hosea makes it plain that there was compromise on the part of the spiritual leaders. The priests seem to have adjusted their consciences to the standards of the people. Again and again the Bible emphasizes the importance of strong spiritual leadership. The pages of history testify to the rapid decline and disintegration of people whose religious leaders are corrupt.
Although it does not appear on the surface in Hosea’s message, it is to be remembered that there had been an integration of Jehovah worship and Baalism. This involved a definite compromise of conviction and a corresponding lowering of standards. Hosea 4:14 I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall. The rendering, “For the men themselves go aside with harlots and sacrifice with cult prostitutes,” is probably fairly accurate.
I) Denial. Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
A) Rejection due to lack of Study. Isaiah 34:16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them. John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
B) Rejection due to lack of Service. Psalms 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
1. Serve the Lord fearfully. Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
2. Serve the Lord fervently. 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
3. Serve the Lord faithfully. 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
C) Rejection due to lack of Subordination.
1. Obedience brings Success. Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
2. Obedience better than Sacrifice. 1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
3. Obedience is the best Service. Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
D) Rejection due to lack of Separation. 2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
II) Drifting. Hosea 11:7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.
A) God’s Word is ignored. Jeremiah 3:15-16 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.
1. People stop talking about the Lord.
2. People stop thinking about the Lord
3. People stop talking to the Lord
B) God’s Will is rejected. Jeremiah 3:17-20 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me. Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.
1. When rejecting the Lord, you are rejecting His grace. Psalms 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
2. When rejecting the Lord, you are rejecting His goodness. Psalms 25:8 Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
3. When rejecting the Lord, you are rejecting His glory. Psalms 8:1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
C) God’s Wealth is lost. Jeremiah 3:24-25 For shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.
III) Disobedience. Hosea 13:2 And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves.
A) Reasons of Disobedience.
1. Selfishness. “their silver”
2. Self indignation. “according to their own understanding”
3. Pride. “work of the craftsmen”
4. Love for this present world. “Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves”
B) Results of Disobedience. Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
1. Adam and the forbidden fruit. Genesis 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
2. Lot’s wife and her love for Sodom. Genesis 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
3. Jonah and his direction away from God’s call. Jonah 1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
4. Israel and her desire for sin. Zephaniah 3:2 She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.
Sir Winston Churchill said during World War II that the people of England had determined that they “would rather die as free men than to live as slaves.” It would be better for any nation to die in the cause of righteousness and justice than to prosper in the paths of deceit and dishonesty.