It is happening all around us and the evidence of this reality can be observed in the attitudes and actions of people everywhere. Our Maker has been forgotten! This is not a new problem and we are not the first ones to observe this troublesome reality. Hosea announced long ago that Israel had forgotten his Maker (cf. Hosea. 8:14). This forgetfulness is not a temporary loss of memory. It is a way of life that turns away from God in rebel- lion. It is characterized by a we don’t need God mentality. Hosea spoke of how God had brought Israel from the land of Egypt and provided for them. Yet, Hosea said, when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me (Hosea 13:6). What happens when people forget their Maker? The Book of Hosea supplies us with the answer.
<h2> Godly blessings are forgotten when people turn away from God. </h2> <p>Hosea constantly reminded his audience of how God had blessed them and how they had responded to those blessings. God viewed the people as grapes in the wilderness and the first fruit on the fig tree (9:10a). They were a delight to Him. Yet, they turned away from God and consecrated themselves to the thing of shame, and became detestable like the thing they loved (9:10b). God viewed His people as a child that He taught to walk and led them with the bands of love (11:1, 3-4). Yet, Hosea said, The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols (11:2). Their rebellion against God erased the many blessings from God in their minds. One remedy for not forgetting God is a daily diet of remembering the blessings that we have from Him. Daily Bible reading keeps those blessings in the forefront of our thoughts. However, those blessings are forgotten when God and His word are ignored.</p> <h2> Godly character vanishes when the Maker is forgotten. </h2> <p>Hosea called out to Israel to Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel, for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land (4:1). Why did God have a controversy with Israel? Faithfulness, steadfast love, and knowledge of God were missing from the land (4:1b). In- stead, there was swearing, lying, murder, stealing, adultery and all manner of violence (4:2). A passion for evil swept across the land (7:4, 6-7). A lack of godly knowledge filled the hearts and lives of many (4:1b, 6). In fact, godly knowledge was so foreign to them that God said, were I to write for Him (Israel) my laws by the ten thousands, they would be regarded as a strange thing (8:12). Three events always take place when godly character vanishes. First, something will always take the place of godly character. Israel al- lowed ungodly behavior to reign when godly behavior vanished. Second, it becomes impossible to distinguish between people when godly character vanishes. Everybody looks the same. Everyone acts the same. Israel was no longer a nation set apart among the nations. Hosea said, Ephraim (Israel) mixes himself with the peoples (7:8). Third, we become unfit when godly character vanishes from our lives. Israel had become a cake not turned (7:8) because of their rebellion. They were unfit. We, too, become unfit when we forget our Maker.</p> <h2> Ungodly substitutes are created when the Maker is forgotten. </h2> <p>Israel’s substitutes were two-fold. Israel joined herself to idols (4:17) and trusted in nations (5:13; 7:11) rather than looking to God for help. What was the result of this misplaced trust? Hosea said, Israel is swallowed up; already they are among the nations as a useless vessel. For they have gone up to Assyria, a wild donkey wandering alone; Ephraim has hired lovers. Though they hire allies among the nations, I will soon gather them up. And the king and princes shall soon writhe because of the tribute (8:8-10). It is sad and tragic when a nation is more concerned with other nations instead of being concerned about God. That is what happens when the Maker is forgotten. Godly substitutes are no substitutes at all. They are monuments of folly in the lives of those who have re- belled against God.</p>
We might forget the Maker, but He never forgets us. He knows all about our forgetfulness. Through Hosea, God said, I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from me and they know not the Lord (5:3-4). God’s mercy and grace shines brightest in these moments. He still pleads and offers a remedy in the midst of our rebellion. He pleads with us to return to the Lord (6:1). The remedy He offers is repentance. Hosea encouraged Israel to sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up you fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you (10:12). Forgetting God is something we never want to be guilty of. It ignores His blessings. It leads to ungodly behavior. And it creates substitutes for God. Hosea’s closing words remind us that the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them (14:9). Those who walk in the ways of the Lord are not forgetful of Him. They remember their Maker!