Eighth-century Israel was panicking. They needed somewhere to turn.
The ten northern tribes were broken, sick, and dying. Assyria was gaining strength, threatening to take their land and enslave them.
After promising to be faithful to God and keep their covenant with Him, they’d disobeyed. After pledging to be His people, Israel had given themselves to other gods. After God had given them the land flowing with milk and honey, Israel had responded with rebellion and rejection.
God sent prophets, warning them of impending destruction unless they repented and changed. Prophet after prophet had been ignored.
Now, as the threat of conquest loomed ominously on the horizon like a dark storm, Israel knew she needed help.
How do you respond to the difficulties and challenges of life?
If you learned that a close loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal disease who would you turn to? If you were having financial, marital, emotional, mental, or spiritual issues how would you try to resolve them?
Do we try to solve them in our own strength, or own intelligence and intellect, or with the latest human-centered solutions?
Israel’s Choice: Avoiding Repentance at all Costs
Israel could have turned to the Great Physician and received healing, but they turned to the world power at this time for the cure. The cure was not only no cure at all, it was financially costly.
Israel was paying tribute to a foreign nation so that they would be at peace.
This worked for a little while, but it was only a Band-Aid, not the real cure. The Band-Aid gave way and Assyria demanded more and more, Israel refused and were right back in the same position as the beginning.
Man does not have the solutions for man’s problems. God is the creator and designer of all; He has the solutions to man’s problems. -tweet this!
What We Can Learn from God’s Response
In Hosea 5:13-15 God says,
“When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his wound, then Ephraim went to Assyria, and sent to the great king. But he is not able to cure you or heal your wound. For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, and like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear and go away; I will carry off, and no one shall rescue. I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me.”
- Israel knows they are sick and wounded. They make the wrong decision.
- Israel turns to Assyria (man-centered solution) instead of Yahweh (God-centered solution.)
- Because of their foolishness, they will experience the natural consequences of their choices.
- God will wait until they realize their foolishness and seek Him earnestly.
If Israel would have simply turned to God and sought His counsel, they wouldn’t have been in these circumstances.
Man-centered solutions always come up short.
Jesus is Still the Lasting Answer
As Christians we know where hope, peace, joy, and love come from.
We have the privilege of pointing others towards Christ, because he is the cure to man’s problems. This is the solution that our world desperately needs.
We live in a world of post modernism and relativity. Despite the view held by most of the world we have absolute truth. Jesus is “the way, TRUTH, and life.”
We need to ensure that we never compromise that for the fleeting philosophy of the day or what the majority of the culture views as right when it is in contradiction to God’s word.
If we do, we are no different than Israel of the 8th Century that was in desperate need of healing, redemption, and reconciliation. Instead of turning to the One that could have solved the issue, they chose to pursue a man-centered one that left them empty, desperate, and desiring something else.
Our families and churches desperately need God/Biblical centered solutions not man-centered ones.