Religion (Hosea #6)

Text: Hosea 5

Religion is a Snare (vs 1)

  • If you believe in heaven and in hell, and you truly believe in the devil and evil and in Jesus Christ and goodness, then it follows that you should literally believe that there is a battle for men’s souls.
  • The problem with Israel was that they were religious.
  • Religion shows up 5 times in the Bible and 4 times it is bad.
  • Jeroboam lays the religious snare in Israel
    • The history of Israel’s snare in 1 Kings 12:25-33.
    • This sin (1 Kings 12:30) shows up another 18 times until the northern tribes of Israel are destroyed by Assyria.
    • God says Jeroboam made Israel to sin (1 Kings 14:16, 15:26, 34, 16:2, 13, 19, 26, 21:22, 22:52, 2 Kings 3:3, 10:29, 31, 13:2, 14:24, 15:9, 18, 24, 28).  For every king in northern Israel, God records that sin.
    • Mecca is a snare and a net
    • Vatican is a snare and a net
    • Buddhism is a snare and a net
    • Hinduism is a snare and a net
  • Superstition becomes more important than God
    • Acts 17:22-23 records a people as superstitiously religious
    • Isaiah 8:19-20 – seek the living among the dead,

Religion is Bloody (vs 2)

  • First murderer was a religious zealot named Cain who envied Abel
  • Matthew 23:34 – scourge in your synagogues
  • Acts 9:1 and Paul’s testimony
    • Galatians 2:13
    • John 16:2
  • Foxe’s Book of Martyrs
  • Psalm 106:36-39

Religion is Adultery (vss 3-4)

  • Idolatry is spiritual adultery
  • Proverbs she is the Strange Woman
  • Jeremiah 44 Queen of Heaven
  • Revelation 17 She is Babylon the Great
  • Psalm 115:4-8

Religion is Deceit (vss 5-7)

  • The very existence of the man-made religious altar in Ephraim was a testimony against Israel’s northern tribes
  • begotten strange children (vs 7) – Generational snare – 3rd and 4th generation growing up in vain tradition started by Jeroboam
    • Tradition becomes the darkness that blinds the soul from the light of God’s words
    • Tradition takes the place of God’s word – Mark 7:8-9, 13

Curse of Religion (vss 8-15)

  • Warning of the curse (vs 9) – Proverbs 26:2
  • Judgment like water (vs 10) – remember Noah’s flood?
    • Isaiah 59:19
    • Jeremiah 46:8
    • Amos 9:5
    • Matthew 7:24-29 – wise man built his house on a rock – curse of religion is in the foundation
  • he willing walked (vs 11) – There is no Calvinism here.  The will is involved and it is willingly disobedient.
  • The people become a prey (vs 14)
    • God will be to Israel like a lion. See Jeremiah 2:30, 4:7, 19:3, 5, 6.
    • Proverbs 28:15
    • 1 Peter 5:8