There is no question that our world is in an eerie flux. Our society is changing in a very fast pace and in a very godless direction. The rise of radical Islam, the rise of militant Atheism, and the onslaught of the homosexual agenda all make the time in which we live nothing less than tumultuous. Add to this the current economic conditions that have all sorts of leading experts predicting breathtaking economic crisis. Add to this the sociologically complex and undetermined extent and effects that social networking, technological dependence, and media saturation will have on our generation and those just around the corner. What we are made to feel is a global, social, economic uneasiness which does not subside through more human ingenuity.
Then when we consider things on a more personal level the picture gets even more complicated. For many, personal finances are not reaching, placing great strain on our relationships. Our marriages and families come under great spiritual attack as we seek to sustain a certain quality of life. But when pressed in these ways, the deception is always to let up on spiritual things and give in to sinful responses in our everyday trials. Scripture is clear, however, that the more severe our physical and emotional trials, the more we should persecute a spiritual perspective of our trials (2 Corinthians 4.17). Instead of fleeing away from the Lord we should flee to the Lord. Instead of seeking to find relief in ourselves, our friends, family, or the resources of the world, we should “seek the Lord and live” (Amos 5.6).
The OT people of God often yield to us great moral lessons of the consequences of refusing to come to God in the midst of our afflictions (Hosea 7.10, 16). The Prophet Hosea is just one example of what happens to God’s people when we cease to seek Him for the solutions, whether economic, social, physical, or spiritual. What makes the world of Hosea so relevant to us today is rooted in the fact that the man-centered “gospel message” man was preaching in Hosea’s day has not changed because the nature of man has not changed. Like today, in Hosea’s world, man was the measure of all things. There was infinite potential locked inside of all human beings, man was taught that he was basically good, the aim of life was to maximize personal pleasure and prosperity, building big houses was a sure sign of blessing, “spirituality” took precedence over truth, and carnal passions still motivated the society's social norms so that nothing was taboo (Hosea 2.11-14).
But, as in the time of the prophets, when God brings an end to the world’s false gospels, man has only God to deliver him from his powerless ideologies. Sadly today, the many errors which Israel made in the 8th century B.C. are being perpetuated by our God-ignoring, God-diminishing, and as Romans tells us, even God-hating world. Although God may bring people to the point of frustration and complete personal, emotional, social, and physical collapse, man still seeks salvation in himself:
Hosea 7:13–14 13 Woe to them, for they have strayed from Me! Destruction is theirs, for they have rebelled against Me! I would redeem them, but they speak lies against Me. 14 And they do not cry to Me from their heart When they wail on their beds; For the sake of grain and new wine they assemble themselves, They turn away from Me.
The answer to all of this is that Israel forgot the Lord (Hosea 2.13) and they had forgotten His Law (Hosea 4.6). People say that the eye of the storm is the safest place to be. Once again, the precious doctrine of our union with Christ comes to the fore and rescues us from certain peril and perdition. Christ is our “storm’s eye” our place of refuge, our peace, and safety. Because we have been united to Him through faith, only the believer who, unlike impenitent Israel, will trust in the Lord has the blessed assurance afforded to us in Romans 8. Come what may from the world, the flesh, or the devil; the God of all peace remains for us and with us:
Romans 8:31–39 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.