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Rev. Peter Greiner

Sun 15 May

For the lovers of books, in recent years there has been a tendency to release books with titles such as "Ten Easy Steps To A Healthy Life" or "Six Keys To A Debt Free Life". You read the book and you come away wondering if such steps or keys will work for you. Hosea, in Chapter 4, introduces us to one of those step books. "For Steps On How Not To Love God!" It sounds like a discouraging chapter. And it is as people thumb their nose at God. And it sounds exactly like the communities in which we live where there is no knowledge of the one true God. The chapter opens with a challenge for God's people to hear His Word. Stemming from that challenge is a series of implications for how not to love God. One step on how not to love God is to not keep God's commands. Notice when Hosea speaks of the commands they have failed to keep, it is not what they have actually done that is part of the problem. They are found guilty of "cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed." It is not only the sins they have committed, but it is also what they havre failed to do as God's people. There are sins of commission and sins of omission. We are told "there is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgement of God in the land." They have failed to be faithful. They have failed to love. They have failed to acknowledge God. How easy it is to embark on a path of how not to love God! Can you see where the people are not loving God in Hosea 4? How is your love of God showing?