The corruption of today’s church is ever increasing. The pattern found in Scripture and throughout church history, however, is this: Again and again God’s people have done what is right in their own eyes – Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” and God must call them back to obedience time and time again. The Law is given and the prophets are sent.
The message of John the Baptist, then Jesus, is delivered to the lost sheep of Israel – Matthew 3:2 “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The New Testament epistles are full of warnings against rejecting God’s laws and principles, disunity, and immorality. Yet, we let our fleshly desires reign and lead us away from the Godly morals that are really for our own good. This country is right there on the verge of God’s allowing the heathen nations to attack and take our great country captive in order to bring us to our knees in repentance, and draw us back to Him.
The prophet Hosea’s long-suffering love for Gomer is a parable of the price God will pay to woo His people back to Him – Hosea 3:1-5 “Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine. So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley: And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee. For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.” What a sad state of affairs that our loving God must woo mankind back to a right and good relationship with Him.
The prophet must show Israel their sin; show it to be exceedingly hateful. Their idolatry is the sin they are here charged with. Giving that glory to any creature which is due to God alone, is an injury and affront to God; such as for a wife to take a stranger, is to her husband. The Lord, doubtless, had good reasons for giving such a command to the prophet; it would form an affecting picture of the Lord’s unmerited goodness and unwearied patience, and of the perverseness and ingratitude of Israel. We should be broken and wearied with half that perverseness from others, with which we try the patience and grieve the Spirit of our God. (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
One of the key roles of Christ today is to sanctify and cleanse the church – Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Scripture strongly condemns religious leaders who lead others astray – Matthew 23:24, 27, 33 “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.; Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness; Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” Very strong words there stating how these who are leading astray will be held accountable even be sent to hell.