August 26, 2001
In preparation for this lesson I somewhat experienced
what the Apostle John did when the angel told him to
take and eat, that in his mouth it would be like honey but
in his stomach it would be bitter.
Such are the effects of sin of which we are all too familiar.
“Righteousness exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to
any people” - Prov. 14:34
v. 1 - “when he offended in Baal, he died”
The elevation of the tribe of Ephraim (Jeroboam) was soon
followed by religious declension sealing the doom of the
“A house divided against itself cannot stand”
The actual dying commenced with the introduction of
The modification of national worship by Jereboam - a
change of the place & plan of worship that introduced
calves - “let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves” v. 2
A relapse, at least in form, to the idolatry of Egypt.
It did not stop with Jeroboam but progressed in the
days of Ahab to where the Phoenician deity Baal became
the object of worship.
A violation of the second commandment neglecting the
solemn instruction that the worship of Jehovah must
be spiritual, not material.
A violation of the first commandment that requires
exclusive worship of Jehovah.
Pride brought Ephraim down from his exalted position
and laid his honor in the dust.
v. 2 - Persistent adherence to idolatry.
Own understanding, work of the craftsman.
A very debasing thing - man’s work, man’s wisdom, the
product of man’s willfulness becomes the object of man’s
First with Jeroboam-calves, second, with Ahab-Baal,
next thing you know the people are multiplying other idols
in II Kings 17:9-12
A departure - Ambrose’s Crazy Horse & Custer.
Natalie’s teacher application form - Political correctness gone crazy.
Little League team from the Bronx waving flag.
v. 3 - Sins of Israel so great & multiplied that punishment
could not long be delayed.
Four figures representing their political extinction:
Early dew } - that which is good but passing
Chaff of wheat
Smoke from the chimney } - that which is worthless
Senselessness of their idolatry from verse 2
Punishment of their sin sternly denounced.
Psalm 37:35-37 Daniel 9:7
vs. 4-5 - History of God’s favor to Israel from ancient
times, all which they forgot - “the Lord thy God
from the land of Egypt”
“There is no Saviour besides Me”
Acts 4:12 - “Neither is there salvation in any other:
for there is none other name under heaven
given among men whereby we must be saved”
Then, why is there always someone clamoring Deut. 13:2
“let us go after other gods” - “that dreamer of
dreams” they were not to follow but “shall be put to
Psalm 2:1-3, 6
v. 6 - “they have forgotten me” - in the Chaldean version
“they have abandoned my service”
Too luxuriant pasture, too good, become headstrong
Misuse of riches - forgetful of He who made it!
Not without warning - Deut. 32:12-20
Good gifts used to dishonor God & to neglect His service.
God naturally claimed, not only their knowledge, but
acknowledgment of Himself. It was their bounden duty,
in turn, to acquaint themselves with Him, to know Him to
be their God and no other, (see Genesis 17:7,9) to acknowledge Him in His ineffable perfections, in His glorious attributes, and in
the ordinances of His worship, and allegiance to Him alone!
His saving power is a SPECIAL REASON for knowing and
acknowledging no Saviour but Him.
vs. 7-8 - Israel compared to a flock fed in luxuriant pastures,
now the threat of wild beasts attacking the flock.
Ch. 4:16 - last week, backsliding heifer - this week their
Sinning with a high hand and vilest lust. Season of
punishment has arrived - God leaves them to themselves.
In these circumstances they will resemble a lamb taken
away into a wilderness and left there to range the wild &
live at large but without provision & protection.
A LOST AND PERISHING CONDITION - a bleating lamb
going to and fro without rest or feeding.
Isaiah 63:7-10 Amos 5:18-19
Remember Amos 3:12
Beasts of prey seizing victim & rendering there
on the spot!
v. 9 - “thou hast destroyed thyself” - their conduct
had been suicidal.
Micah 6:14 - “thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied”
Psalm 106:15 - “He gave them their request; but
sent leanness to their soul.”
This was brought on by their rebellious behavior
against Jehovah who otherwise would have been
their Shield & Deliverer!
v. 10 - “where is any other that may save thee?”
RUIN BY SIN - RECOVERY BY GRACE
Neither help nor hope from man, only in God &
Throughout history, wrath & ruin are the deservings
of man - goodness & mercy the dispensation from God!
v. 12 - Sin of Ephraim neither forgotten or blotted out.
Job 14:17 - “my trangression is sealed up in a bag,
and thou sewest up my iniquity”
Treasures usually counted - sinner pictured thus
in Romans 2:5-6
v. 13 - Sinfulness brings many sorrows & severe
Travail - Birth - I Thess. 5:3 - “For when they shall
say, Peace & safety; then sudden destruction
cometh upon them as travail upon a woman
with child; & THEY SHALL NOT ESCAPE”
“unwise son” - sheer folly that postpones repentance
and aspirations for a new spiritual life!
How lamentable the fate of those Israelites who had
reached Kadesh-barnea, within eleven days journey of
the promise, but who never set foot in that goodly land,
their carcasses having fallen in the wilderness.
God is a Spirit!
Do not remain another single hour in distress, but turn
to the Lord & He will deliver thee.
ch. 14:2 Prov. 1:23 - “Turn you at my reproof:
behold, I will pour out my spirit
unto you, I will make known my
words unto you”
v. 14 - Though men are now dead, there is nothing to
prevent God to quicken them. He is the ruin of
death and the excision of the grave.
Though death swallow up all men, though the grave
consume them, yet God is superior to both death and
the grave, for He can slay death and abolish the grave.
I Cor. 15:50-58
It is a peculiar prerogative of God to be the perdition of
death and the destruction of the grave. He is endued
with that incomprehensible power by which He can raise
us from a state of putrefaction; nay He will also raise us
up from the grave, for He is the death of death, the grave
of the grave, the ruin of ruin, and the destruction of
destruction; that incredible power of God, which is
beyond the reach of human understanding.
John 11:25-26 John 5:24-29
Psalm 78:41 - “they limited the Holy One of Israel”
Ps. 50:21 - “These things thou hast done & I kept
silence: thou thoughtest that I was altogether such
a one as thyself: but I will reprove thee and set
them in order before thine eyes”
Ransom & Redeem - the word rendered ransom signifies
rescued them by the payment of a price, the word redeem
relates to one who as the nearest of kin, had the right to
acquire anything as his own by paying that price.
Both words in their exactest sense, describe what
Jesus did, buying us with a price and becoming our
near kinsman by His incarnation.
v. 15 - Element of destruction is already on the way
not by chance but commissioned by Jehovah
as a minister of vengeance to execute His wrath.
v. 16 - Samaria - not only the capitol but the seat &
center of idolatry and from here it spread
throughout the land.
All the evil in the world may be seen in sin. Sin dries
up all our springs, stops our fountains, spoils our
treasures, and robs us of all our pleasant things, our
pleasant land, our pleasant food, our pleasant raiment,
our pleasant houses, our pleasant children.