#4 (The “Forgetting” Series)
“FORGET THE FADS!”
TEXT: Hosea 13:1-6
INTRO: Remember the hoola hoop? How about bell-bottoms? Those who lived at the time they came out just knew that the world had finally arrived at “cool.” Fads have always come and gone, and with each fad there is the perception that this is the really cool thing that the world has been waiting for; yet, each one comes and each one goes! Fads are created to give zest to life, and then we get bored again and look for something new and different to give zest again to our life … hence a new fad!
History is replete with examples of fad doctrines and teachings too ... each new doctrine flourishes for a time and then fades away to be replaced by another new one. Fads in styles of worship come and go, they may help at times revitalize us but then we tire of these “new” styles and have to have something else “brand new” to make us feel great again.
We must be careful not to be drawn away
when fads hit, we must keep our basic foundation of faith in focus. These
fads can draw us away from the core of Christianity if we are not careful. Hosea watched this happen to Israel
during his ministry.
PROP. SENT: The Bible warns us against getting caught up with the more spectacular attempts to find or worship God; the basics are still the foundation of faith and must not be ignored or replaced!
I. SEEKING WHAT SHINES! 13:1-2
A. Bigshots! 13:1
1. Ephraim was the big-shot tribe, they tended to produce the leaders like Joshua, Jeroboam I, and Samuel the prophet.
2. They were accustomed to excitement,
to thrilling others and experiencing thrills as they tackled the tough roles of
a. When things slowed down though they easily got bored!
b. These times of boredom found expression in their seeking new thrills!
3. Why are Americans prone to fads while those in 3rd world countries are not?
a. Because we are the leaders of the free world and our prosperity gives us the opportunity to get bored, we don’t worry about basic needs anymore!
b. 3rd world countries have to think about basics, they don’t seek out flashy cars or new styles of clothing, of amusements, etc.
4. There are many times an inverse relationship between the wealth of this world and the wealth of the soul!
5. Ephraim – the Northern Kingdom had become guilty of seeking excitement by fads, these fads took on the form of silver idols!
a. How deceived they were, these silver gods were worthless!!
b. No matter how many fads they embraced, no matter how much variety they created, nothing could replace the basic needs of the human heart better than God!
6. The time would come when their following after these false gods were going to leave them bankrupt, then it would be too late for them to recapture the lost time and commitment no matter how powerful or prosperous they were, it wouldn’t help them later if they turned away from God!
ILLUS: THE AMBITIOUS QUEEN OF ENGLAND ELIZABETH WAS DYING ON HER COUCH. SHE WAS TERRIBLY UNHAPPY AND DIDN’T WANT TO DIE, TO THOSE STANDING BY HER BED SHE CRIED OUT “MILLIONS FOR AN INCH OF TIME!” WITH OVER 10,000 DRESSES IN HER WARDROBE, AND A KINGDOM ON WHICH THE SUN NEVER SET, AND ALL THE POWER OF ROYALTY; STILL SHE COULD NOT BUY ANOTHER MINUTE OF TIME TO STILL LIVE ... HER POWER AND WEALTH COULD NOT SAVE HER. ALL THE GLITTER AND GOLD COULD NOT CHANGE A THING! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
B. Boredom 13:2
1. They were bored with God and His style of worship, they wanted some new thing to challenge them and stimulate their lives!
a. They turned to more exciting stuff.
b. They turned to their own creative ideas, they sought fantasy over foundation!
c. They got caught up in “kissing the calf”... following the crowd and the fads of the day!
2. These were the gods of the other nations, perhaps they felt they were simply expanding their own culture by understanding and embracing others, this embracing of idols however would cost them more than they knew!
3. They appeared as international giants in courting all these foreign gods, how open minded they appeared to be!
4. They were having fun and no doubt their worship of these fads was exciting and novel; after all, the worship of these idols contained sex and violence:
a. Sex – the worship included temple prostitutes, no moral guidelines, anything was acceptable!
b. Violence – their worship included offering their own children as sacrifices to these idols, they cared little for the next generation, only as it served their own present entertainment!
5. They were spending their spiritual inheritance for immediate thrills, not realizing the terrible costs later!
ILLUS: REMEMBER THE PRODIGAL SON IN THE BIBLE, HE WANTED HIS INHERITANCE FROM HIS FATHER RIGHT AWAY, SO HE COULD GO TO TOWN AND LIVE IT UP. THIS HE DID AND HE HAD MANY FRIENDS WHILE HIS MONEY HELD OUT! HE LIVED AN EXCITING LIFE ALL RIGHT, HE PARTIED WITH THE BEST OF THEM, WORE THE NEW FADS IN CLOTHING, SOUGHT OUT THE COOL ENTERTAINMENT FADS OF THE DAY; BUT WHEN THE MONEY RAN OUT HE FOUND HIMSELF ALONE AND IN A PIG PEN! THE FADS WERE OVER AND NOW HE WAS ALONE AND POOR. HE FINALLY WALKED HOME REALIZING THAT EVEN THE LOWEST SERVANT IN HIS FATHER’S HOUSE WAS IN BETTER SHAPE THAN HE WAS, HIS FATHER REJOICED AT HIS SON’S RETURN AND RESTORED HIM. I BET HE HAD A NEW APPRECIATION FOR THE BASICS AFTER THIS! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
6. The need for more fads and greater
excitement led them to sin more and more, and drew them in deeper and
deeper! This is
II. SHORT ON SUBSTANCE 13:3
A. Brief! 13:3
1. Hosea tries to warn them of the temporary nature of fads, how they come and they go!
a. They are like a mist; it may be there early in the morning but it is gone as soon as the sun comes out! How true this is spiritually also! Spiritual fads appear like a morning mist but as soon as the SON appears they disappear forever too!
b. The world has seen countless fads come and go, so has the church, and in their wake they leave broken and empty lives; that is why we must keep emphasizing the basics, the very foundation of our faith.
2. No matter how elegant or how promising, or how spectacular the next “new thing” seems … it won’t keep its interest by those who seek it out!
a. “This too shall pass.”
b. The flashiest stuff can’t stand the test of time!
ILLUS: THE GREAT CONQUEROR OF EUROPE CHARLEMAGNE LIVED AND DIED CENTURIES AGO. WHAT A SIGHT OF SPLENDOR AND GLORY HE WAS. WHEN HE DIED THEY CARRIED HIM TO A SEPULCHER AND PLACED HIM ON A THRONE OF IVORY, GOLD, AND PRECIOUS STONES. ON HIS HEAD WAS A SCINTILLATING CROWN OF JEWELS AND IN HIS HAND A SCEPTER, THE SYMBOL OF POWER. ON HIS FINGER WAS A SIGNET RING; IN HIS LAP A SCROLL OF HIS DEEDS. HE WAS PROPPED UP WEARING A ROBE OF PURPLE FOR ROYALTY. CENTURIES LATER, THE SEAL TO HIS GRAVE WAS OPENED. TIME HAD EATEN THE FLESH AWAY, ONLY A SKELETON SAT ON THE THRONE, EVEN THE PURPLE ROBE HAD TURNED TO DUST AT HIS FEET. THE PROP THAT HAD HELD UP HIS HAND NOW HELD ONLY AN ARM BONE; HIS SKELETAL HAND HAD FALLEN TO THE FLOOR. IT NOW LAY ON AN OPEN DOCUMENT WITH HIS INDEX FINGER POINTING STRANGELY ENOUGH AT THIS PASSAGE BY CHANCE! “WHAT SHALL IT PROFIT A MAN IF HE SHALL GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL?” LUKE 9:25 HIS POWERLESS EMPTY SHELL SAT AS TESTIMONY TO THIS BASIC TRUTH! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
B. Bankrupt 13:3
1. The fads have no substance, they are not durable!
2. Power and dominion can even be a fad, today we might rule the world but the only one that has real power is the man who rules his own soul!
a. Governments have changed over the course of history, which system is the right system? NONE OF MAN’S for they will all pass away in time!
b. Some may last longer than others but the truth is that only God’s basic laws will stand for time and eternity!
c. All fads lead to emptiness in time, they all go bankrupt!
d. Today’s great stars will fade and be replaced by new stars, the cycle of fads will continue.
ILLUS: A BOWERY BUM WAS FOUND WITH A SLASHED THROAT IN 1864. THE DERELICT’S NAME AND ADDRESS WAS MISSPELLED ON THE HOSPITAL FORM, THEY ALSO MISSED HIS AGE, BUT NO ONE SEEMED TO CARE, HE WAS AFTER ALL CONSIDERED A BUM. EARLY IN THE MORNING HE STUMBLED OUT OF BED AND STAGGERED TO THE WASH BASIN WHERE HE FELL DYING. THREE DAYS LATER THE MAN DIED FROM MALNUTRITION, ALCOHOLISM AND LOSS OF BLOOD. A FRIEND FINALLY CAME AND IDENTIFIED HIM, THEY RECOVERED 38 CENTS FROM THE MAN’S POCKETS AND A SCRAP OF PAPER, THIS AMOUNT OF MONEY WOULD HAVE BEEN ONE MORE NIGHT OF LODGING AT THE BOWERY. ON THE PIECE OF PAPER WERE WRITTEN FIVE WORDS: “DEAR FRIENDS AND GENTLE HEARTS.” THE START OF A SPEECH NEVER FINISHED BEFORE THIS MAN DIED AT AGE 38. HE HAD GIVEN THE WORLD SOME OF THE GREATEST FAD SONGS OF THE TIMES, “CAMPTOWN RACES,” “OH SUSANNA,” “JEANIE WITH THE LIGHT BROWN HAIR,” “MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME,” AND HUNDREDS MORE; HIS NAME WAS STEPHEN FOSTER, A MAN WHO DIED BANKRUPT THOUGH HE GAVE THE WORLD GREAT SONGS THAT WERE THE FAD OF HIS TIME. – SOURCE UNKNOWN
III. STABLE SAVIOR 13:4-6
A. Basics! 13:4
1. Here God speaks and says, “FORGET THE FADS” ... “worship only me!” A very basic command!
a. Every time they looked somewhere else for fulfillment they got in trouble!
b. Every other “savior” they turned to left them bankrupt and under bondage!
c. The only real deliverer they had ever experienced was God!
2. God reminds them of where they came
from ... He had brought them out of
3. None of the more “exciting” gods of
4. Those things which take our attention away from Christ as Savior become just a new fad!
a. Time has tested the Lord, He has always been faithful to His people and He has never ignored their need for salvation!
b. History was full of examples; they had no excuse, however when they turned to other sources of fulfillment they only discovered loss and captivity!
c. Hosea was pleading with them to remember the very basic call to stick to the historic God of Abraham, the God of their forefathers!
5. Forget the fads, stick with time tested reality, God is always stable!
a. Don’t be pressured to follow the crowds, keep a straight path for yourself.
b. It is easier to follow the crowd but not always better!
ILLUS: SEVERAL YEARS BACK WHEN THE SOVIET UNION WAS STILL A VERY POWERFUL COMMUNIST COUNTRY IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT TO BE A CHRISTIAN. IN A SMALL HOUSE CHURCH THAT MET UNDERGROUND FOR FEAR OF THE KGB BELIEVERS MET AND QUIETLY HAD WORSHIP SERVICES. THEY WOULD ARRIVE IN SMALL GROUPS AT VARIOUS TIMES TO NOT AROUSE SUSPICION. BY DUSK THEY WOULD ALL BE THERE AND READY TO START THE WORSHIP SERVICE. SUDDENLY RIGHT AFTER THE FIRST HYMN WAS SUNG TWO MEN WITH AUTOMATIC WEAPONS BROKE THROUGH THEIR LOCKED DOORS AND SHOUTED, “ALL RIGHT, EVERYBODY LINE UP AGAINST THE WALL. IF YOU WISH TO RENOUNCE YOUR COMMITMENT TO JESUS CHRIST, LEAVE NOW!” TWO OR THREE LEFT, THEN ANOTHER, AFTER A FEW MORE SECONDS TWO MORE LEFT. “THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE; EITHER TURN AGAINST YOUR FAITH IN CHRIST” THE ONE MAN ORDERED “OR STAY AND SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES. ANOTHER GOT UP AND LEFT, FINALLY TWO MORE IN EMBARRASSED SILENCE ALSO SLIPPED OUT COVERING THEIR FACES. NO ONE ELSE MOVED, PARENTS WITH SMALL CHILDREN TREMBLING BESIDE THEM LOOKED DOWN REASSURINGLY. THEY FULLY EXPECTED TO BE GUNNED DOWN OR, AT BEST, TO BE IMPRISONED. AFTER A FEW MOMENTS OF COMPLETE SILENCE, THE OTHER SOLDIER CLOSED THE DOOR, LOOKED BACK AT THOSE WHO STOOD AGAINST THE WALL AND SAID, “KEEP YOUR HANDS UP ... BUT THIS TIME IN PRAISE TO OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, BROTHERS AND SISTERS! WE, TOO, ARE CHRISTIANS. WE WERE SENT TO ANOTHER HOUSE CHURCH SEVERAL WEEKS AGO TO ARREST A GROUP OF BELIEVERS.” AT THIS POINT THE OTHER SOLDIER INTERRUPTED, “BUT, INSTEAD, WE WERE CONVERTED! WE HAVE LEARNED BY EXPERIENCE, HOWEVER, THAT UNLESS PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO DIE FOR THEIR FAITH, THEY CANNOT BE FULLY TRUSTED!” THIS WAS THE REASON FOR HOW THEY STARTED THINGS OUT! THEY DIDN’T WANT TO FOOL AROUND WITH PEOPLE NOT FULLY COMMITTED TO THE LORD ... THIS WAS A BASIC NEED OF WALKING WITH GOD! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
B. Beneficial 13:5
1. God had been there for them in the very heat of trials!
a. Who had provided their basic needs when they had traveled through the desert after leaving Egypt? Only God had!
b. They had survived the journey because of His providential care; all their basic needs had been covered by the Lord.
c. They had not had to worry about FOOD, WATER, CLOTHING, SHOES, ENEMIES, OR FINDING THEIR WAY, etc. God had taken care of all those things!
2. Yet now that these needs were commonly taken care of they had turned to more apparently exciting fad gods!
a. Once they benefited from their faith they looked somewhere else for something more titillating!
b. How many Christians have done this today? Once they are over the hump in a difficult trial they grow sloppy with the commitment to Christ and turn to more fun things to do on the Sabbath!
3. The only safe ground for them to stand on was the ground that God had already cleared by fire, the fire of testing that had already gone by!
a. They had been tested in the
wilderness, these tests were to drive
b. If they moved away from this safe ground to new ground they would be burned when the fires of judgment came!
ILLUS: A COUPLE OF HUNTERS WERE IN THE WILDERNESS AREAS OF GEORGIA HUNTING ONE DAY IN WIDE OPEN LANDS OF BRUSH. IN THE DISTANCE THEY NOTICED A LARGE CLOUD OF SMOKE BUILDING, THE WINDS BLOWING IN THEIR DIRECTION. THEY SUDDENLY REALIZED THAT THEY COULD NOT OUTRUN THE FIRE, THERE WAS ONLY ONE THING TO DO TO BE SAFE, THEY LIT A FIRE AROUND THEM AND WATCHED AS IT BURNED OUT AWAY FROM THEM IN A CIRCLE, SOON THE LARGE FIRE ARRIVED, AND WHEN IT DID IT BURNED EVERYTHING IN ITS PATH ... MOVING AROUND THEM BECAUSE THEY HAD ALREADY BURNED A CIRCLE AROUND THEIR OWN BODIES, THEY WERE SAFE! FIRE WOULD NOT PASS WHERE FIRE HAD ALREADY BEEN. THE CROSS OF JESUS CHRIST IS BURNT GROUND, GOD’S FIRES OF JUDGMENT SWEPT OVER THE CROSS AND BURNED AWAY EVERYTHING. THE ONLY ONES WHO WILL BE SAFE ONE DAY WHEN THE FIRES OF JUDGMENT COME WILL BE THOSE WHO STAND NEAR THE CROSS OF JESUS, HERE THE DROSS HAS ALREADY BEEN BURNED AWAY, AND THIS IS THE ONLY SAFE GROUND! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
4. They had moved to new ground, the ground of excitement and fads; they were not safe here!
a. Hosea’s message was a warning, judgment was coming and when it hits they will not be safe if they ignore the basics, if they choose to hold onto the fads of idols they will get burned!
b. All the benefits they had found in God would be lost to them if they walked away from God!
C. Betrayal 13:6
1. Sure enough, God had brought them great satisfaction at one time, but that very satisfaction had caused them to hunger for something new and different, and something more exciting ... idols or shining stuff!
a. The very benefits God had brought their way had created in their hearts pride rather than thankfulness.
b. This pride led them to seek their own ways!
2. They had betrayed the very God that had saved them; they had forgotten God in the midst of throwing themselves into the newest fad in the nation!
a. This was like going after another lover after the wedding!
Hosea was asked by God (chapters 1-3)
to marry a harlot as a living example of what
c. Hosea had been a faithful husband and at first his wife had been faithful too, but then she sought out new lovers, new excitement ... finally Hosea buys her back from the slave block when she was bankrupt ... he then confines her under lock and key for a time. Will she appreciate this basic attempt to save her? Will she understand real love against lust!?
3. They didn’t want to think about God’s gracious salvation, they wanted to satisfy their own desires. The fads won out over the faith! The results would be tragic loss; and indeed soon after this the northern kingdom fell, never to exist again!
ILLUS: THOUGH GOD
ATTEMPTS THROUGH HOSEA TO REMIND THEM OF HOW MUCH THEY HAVE BEEN HELPED, THEY
DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT ... LIKE A MAN MENTIONED IN AN ARTICLE IN NATIONAL
GEOGRAPHIC SEPT. 1991. A YOUNG MAN
4. When we choose to ignore the basics we will find ourselves searching for the fads!
5. Where is your search taking you, to the fads or to faith in God!?
CONCLUSION: We are attracted to the sensational! When basic needs are met we often find a new craving for something more sensational. This becomes the foundation for fads! Fads promise excitement but leave us empty and fickle! Faith however anchors us to a stable foundation that keeps us firmly established. Forget what outwardly “shines” ... grab onto what inwardly saves!