Big Idea: An idol is something that we look to for things that only God can give.

7 The more they increased, the more they sinned against me; I will change their glory into shame. 8 They feed on the sin[a] of my people; they are greedy for their iniquity. 9 And it shall be like people, like priest; I will punish them for their ways and repay them for their deeds. 10 They shall eat, but not be satisfied; they shall play the whore, but not multiply, because they have forsaken the Lord to cherish 11 whoredom, wine, and new wine, which take away the understanding. 12 My people inquire of a piece of wood, and their walking staff gives them oracles. For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have left their God to play the whore. 13 They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar, and terebinth, because their shade is good. Therefore your daughters play the whore, and your brides commit adultery. 14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the whore, nor your brides when they commit adultery; for the men themselves go aside with prostitutes and sacrifice with cult prostitutes, and a people without understanding shall come to ruin.

15 Though you play the whore, O Israel, let not Judah become guilty. Enter not into Gilgal, nor go up to Beth-aven, and swear not, “As the Lord lives.” 16 Like a stubborn heifer, Israel is stubborn; can the Lord now feed them like a lamb in a broad pasture?

17 Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone. 18 When their drink is gone, they give themselves to whoring; their rulers dearly love shame. 19 A wind has wrapped them in its wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.
— Hosea 4:7-19

In Israel, idolatry leads to indulgent priests, ignorant practices, and stubborn people. Contrary to  what we might think, the more priests that Israel had the worse off they were. 

God didn't punish the women's immorality in Israel's day because they learned it from their fathers, so it was their fathers who were punished. So too, it is the husbands and fathers that will be held responsible for the fall of any culture.

Tweetable Quotes:

“I saw Gomer as a sinner that needed grace. Just. like. myself.” Hosea. #iamgomer

Idolatry is the root of all sin. #iamgomer

"When we cease to worship God, we do not worship nothing, we worship anything." G.K. Chesterton #iamgomer

Do not think that you are okay because your are religious. Whoever told you that told you a damning lie. #ScandalousLove

We need the Word of God to be both the impetus and the content of our communities#ScandalousLove

Worship was never meant to be convenient. It was meant to be done in community to sharpen us and pursue each other's needs. #ScandalousLove

You can listen to the sermon here: