Why do we Play God Weak?

January 28, 2013

Sermon by, Pastor Gail E. Dudley ~ Jan. 20, 2013
Hosea 1:1-3; Hosea 3:1-3

Listening to Pastor Gail’s sermon on Sunday, the 20th, I was immediately convicted. I felt uncomfortable and attacked; I wanted to excuse myself to the restroom and not return until announcements – I venture to say that I was not alone. But every time I tried to muster up the courage to b-line to the bathroom, The Spirit scolded me like my Gammie used to (and still does when I need it) and told me to “sit right there and take it, haven’t I taken enough from you?” He has. In my twenty something years, I have managed to cheat on, degrade and abuse the constant and unconditional love of God. And if you were honest with yourself just for a moment, I’m confident that you could say the same. Although, the society that we live in today has blurred the lines so severely that what the Word clearly illustrates as an unhealthy relationship with God, we call normal. Secular living has infiltrated the Church and our homes and on Sunday, Pastor Gail Dudley challenged us all to do something about it by asking a very loaded question: Why do we Play God Weak?

In the day’s reading, we find the prophet Hosea receiving direction from God that most men those days would have run from. God instructed him to take a prostitute for a wife and furthermore, have kids with her! Hosea was a prophet, a man of God, a good and clean man and he would now have to explain to the community why he was taking a whore as a wife. That would be like hearing that a minister in your church was dating a stripper…talk about a scandal (we’ll get into that word play a little later on)! But Hosea did not run, he did not take a wife and move to a different community to start over and pretend that she was not who she was. No, verse three tells us that he went and took Gomer and conceived a son with her. And as we read on we see that the couple birthed three children in total. And after becoming mother to three of his children and receiving the love of a good and clean man of God, Gomer begins to take for granted the love of her husband and returns to her life of harlotry.

Isn’t that how we treat God? We are steadfast and devout as we receive blessing after blessing; a new job, car, home even the simple of blessing of waking up in the morning. We dance and shout on Sunday as we express gratitude for God keeping us sane, and keeping us clothed, and keeping us full in our belly and our spirit. We get home and we post a status or send a tweet about how moving service was that day, then we turn on the game and crack open a beer…then another…then another, and all that we praised God for that day becomes another drop in the bucket. We are no longer fully of gratitude and elated by God’s love because we expect the blessings that we receive. The dinner table is no longer special; it’s a commonality that we don’t have to be grateful for because after all, that’s what God is supposed to do. We indulge in what I call, smut tv. Soap opera sagas about doctors who have sex between operations, an hour long show about a woman who runs about town killing people for breakfast lunch and dinner, and when we finally get a black leading lady on primetime, she is a liar, an adulterer and for all intents and purposes a murderer by affiliation. She, Miss Olivia Pope, is the illustration of what it means to be a strong black woman. Sure you have an amazing job, an awesome wardrobe and are super intelligent, but none of that matters. You are driven by sex and power.

This is where the conviction really set in for me because I happen to love this show! But at some point we have to own up to our actions and take off the rose colored glasses. It is time for us to Return to God’s love. And the beauty of God, the perfection of His love, is that he will always take us back! If you were Hosea would you have gone to find Gomer and bring her home (3:1-2)? Beyond that, would you have actually PAID for her?! This man went into the whorehouse and paid to get his very own wife to come home with him. An obedient servant of God, he humbly went back for his wife and did not leave without her. And that is just how God loves us. We live foul, we cheat on God and we satisfy our flesh and our idols…our cars, our homes, our friends and family and spouses, the Kardashians, Olivia Pope and Fitz, Emily Thorn, the Forty-Niners and the Miami Heat, our Macy’s credit cards and our bottles of booze. And when we are ready, when we hear his call and feel that irresistible tug on our hearts, we can return to God and he will accept us with open and loving arms. And at times He will even pay to get us back. “Oh God if you get me out of this I promise I’ll never drink and drive again…smoke weed again…text that woman with my married behind again…spend my rent money and tithes on a vacation again…[insert sin of your choice here] again!” At some point we have to decide that enough is enough.

Once we have returned to God’s love, we then are charged with a task that we cannot decline: we must Do Something. As members of Christ’s Body, it is our responsibility to take action against what the world calls normal. After service on Sunday I had a talk with a friend, still trying to defend my loyalty to Scandal and the Kardashians. He defeated my stance in one simple statement: if my niece were influenced by the characters I brush off as being for entertainment purposes only, then I would feel differently. He was right. My appreciation for hip hop music which sparked my slight fandom of Nikki Minaj disappeared when I heard my niece singing Super Bass and staring at the television screen as if she were trying to find a face behind Nikki’s mask of makeup. The comedy I get from Kim Kardashian took a turn when I saw my college aged cousin post about being in the gym to “get her Kim K body right.” But why does it have to hit home before we opt to do something?! We are all one-body right? Shouldn’t my concern go beyond my bloodline? Rather than look at a young girl in trouble and thank God that she’s not your daughter, niece, sister or cousin ~ DO SOMETHING. And we don’t have to wait until she is on the corner or in a basement before we do something. We can do something by taking a change on the way we live daily. We can choose to post in opposition to the mockery that takes place on the silver screen seven nights a week, rather than resolve to watch the filth to see what all the fuss is about. We can celebrate healthy and wholesome celebrities rather than feed into the filth. When you receive that call from God you become set apart, you are chosen. Stand and be different.

It’s Time for Restoration. When Hosea went and got his wife, he told her “you are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you” (3:3). Translation -the games are over. You are my wife and it’s time that you start behaving as such. I’ll be a good man to you and you’ll be a good woman to me. That is what God has been saying to us. We are his! He is waiting on us to take us back and to restore us to his goodness (verses 4-5):
For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.
It’s time that we stop playing God weak. We need to return to God’s love by turning away from the things that rot this world, do something by adjusting the way we live and refocusing on who and what we live for, recognize that it’s time for restoration and return to the life that God wants for his people.

Share your thoughts. You can join the conversation by posting a comment or asking Pastor Gail a question.

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