‘They shall not dwell in the Lord’s land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria. ‘ Hosea 9:3
Throughout the Book of Hosea we find that God’s people had turned against God and accepted some horrendous forms of idolatry into their person lives, their means of worship, and their public order. The indictment God has at this point is not against those in Egypt or Assyria but rather against God’s people. This text explains that sinful actions, rebellious attitudes, disobedient lifestyles leads God’s people back to a place where God had already granted them freedom. The decisions of rebellion had lead them back into a bondage that God never intended for them.
This sounds so familiar. I watch God’s people self destruct like this all the time. Through rebellion, sinful living, and disobedience to the instruction of God they find themselves experiencing the things God never intended them to experience. When God sets us free, we need to realize that he never intended for us to go back to the places that he had granted us freedom. It is a shameful experience to go back to Egypt. Please understand that none of us were ever intended to live in that kind lifestyle.
Once God’s people found themselves in Egypt their options became limited. The place they dwelled persuaded them to eat from the table of pagans. The text stated that they literally ate the “unclean things in Assyria”. What is my point? There are some things God’s people were never meant to consume. We as God’s people exist in a very wicked world. A world that is constantly trying to conform us into its model. The difficult and exhausting thing is that the culture of this world flows in the opposite direction of the plans, purposes, and principles of God. This makes living in this world very challenging. We all want to be accepted, however; God’s people are not to blend in with the world but they are to stand out from the world. You and I must understand that the idea of holiness literally means that God’s people are to be different. God does not want us to live a life of conforming, he wants us to live a life of transformation. Here is where God’s people had a problem while in Egypt. Since it was the only thing on the menu they just decided to eat the food in the pagan land.
I find it more and more difficult to do the right thing. The reason is because the options for righteousness is very limited. It is as though the world is removing all options to do what is right and thus forcing God’s people to choose all that is left on the menu. I see it when trying to shop for my daughters. The options are so limited when it comes to modesty and if not careful an exhausted parent will just say “oh well” and eat what’s on the menu. When skipping around on the radio. Are options for Godly music is limited so rather than turn the radio off we choose what’s left on the menu. When watching television and cannot find anything worth watching we just choose what’s on the menu. While on the job it seems you are the only one with Christian values, and it gets lonely serving alone…what do we do? We choose to eat the only thing on the menu. My point is that we do not have to choose what is on the menu…there is entire different menu. What am I saying? It is time for God’s people to quit eating at the table of the Assyrians. We have to determine that rather than eat what is on the world’s menu we must choose to close the menu and opt out of eating. We need the mindset that says: “I would rather starve than consume what the world is trying to force down my throat.”
This is why the church in America looks so much like the world. It has decided that since it is the only thing on the menu then it will just eat what is on the menu. It is time for God’s people to change menu’s. Open up their Bible’s and start walking and living in truth. That kind of mindset will get us out of Egypt and also fill us with things like joy, peace, grace and mercy. God has a menu and it is a lot healthier than what the pagan world is serving.