Hosea 4 1Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel! The Lord has brought charges against you, saying: “There is no faithfulness, no kindness, no knowledge of God in your land. 2You make vows and break them; you kill and steal and commit adultery. There is violence everywhere.
Hosea 4 describes the problems in the land. The Prophet said there was no faithfulness and no knowledge of God in the land. As a result, there were these characteristics:
• No restraints
• Bloodshed followed bloodshed
It was the bad seed sown through the lives of the people that made life dangerous.
As I thought about these Verses, it became clear to me that the bad seed sown in society isn’t about us … it’s about me. My life is a seed and what is planted in me is exactly what I will plant in society at large. If there is no faithfulness and no knowledge of God in the land, it is because we return the ideas and concepts that were first given to us as children. If our teachers, parents, and other adult influencers tell us we are special and everyone gets a prize for participating, we are teaching narcissism at its primitive level … it’s all about me. The problem is never about me, it’s about everything else in life: the government, the social constructs, our history as a country, the rich, the politics, religion, and on and on and on it goes. Yet, when we analyze it, the problem in our world is me. Every human being is like a seed, and when planted will produce the product of how that seed has been engineered. If I don’t see myself as a problem, then all the attributes in the land mentioned above will be the byproduct of my life. If I am ignorant of God, I have no standard to judge my behavior.
We must start with God. As He plants His seed in me, I replicate that seed in my life to live out the fruit of that seed. The seed God plants in us gives us a standard to guide our:
• Knowledge of God
Our problems do not come from what or who we blame … our problems come because of the seed within me.
Goodness is about character … integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.
Today, the seed that is being sown in our land is the seed of self-deception: I am not to blame, I have no responsibility for what is wrong in society. Yet, the Bible says that is not true … we all have sinned and have come short of the glory of God. The seed within me is sinful, selfish, and deceptive. The Prophet Jeremiah said the heart is deceitful and beyond cure. Jesus said that out of the heart come the things that destroy a person. The seed within me is what is bad, and unless that seed is changed, it will only produce what that seed can produce, which usually results in godlessness.
So, here is my 2023 goal for my personal life. I don’t want to live looking for all the thorns in the body of Christ, and I realize we are a thorny bunch. What I want to do is to focus on the ‘seed’ that is inside of me. Does that seed represent Christ in attitude, behavior, character, lifestyle, and outlook? Does that seed border on influence or distraction to the message of the Gospel? Everywhere I go, in every conversation I have, am I spreading the seed of Christ that is in me? That is a lofty goal for 2023, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, I do think it is obtainable. To keep from getting self-righteous, the Holy Spirit reminds me that the only seed worth spreading is that of Christ. There is nothing good in who I am outside of Christ.
I hope you too will see that the seed of our human nature will never please God, only the seed of Christ pleases God, and it was done at the cross.
2023 is a year of the seed of influence … yours or the seed of Christ … a choice you need to make.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler