Hemlock in the Furrows

A Sermon from Hosea 9:17–10:4

Sermon outline: This is an abbreviated outline with an expanded outline downloadable at the bottom of the post.

Text: Hosea 9:17–10:4

Title: Hemlock in the Furrows

Introduction: Hemlock is a poisonous plant that grows from two to six feet in height. It looks like parsley and has a hollow stem, such as the kind that might be used by children to whittle a whistle or make a pea-shooter.

Judgement springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.— Hosea 10:4b

One would not expect to find poison in the furrows of the field. One would expect something edible such as green vegetables. Yet, God says that for His people, that which is poisonous is intermingled with that which is good.

Picture the child of the farmer playing in the field, thinking that he has found something to make a whistle with, cutting the stalk, placing it in his mouth, feeling horribly sick to his stomach and then dying. Hemlock in the furrows of the field!

Imagine a wife seeing what appears to be parsley growing amidst the corn and the wheat, deciding to garnish a salad. See her bringing it into the house, washing it, taking a leafy stalk to eat as she prepares the meal, bending over in pain, agony, and horror, crying in anguish. Hemlock in the furrows of the field!

Why did God say such an unexpected and catastrophic occurrence was taking place in the history of His people?

I. They Did Not Listen to God—9:17

A. In the matter of soulwinning

B. In the matter of separation

C. In the matter of service

II. They Were an Empty Vine—10:1

III. They Had a Divided Heart—10:2

IV. They Had No Fear of God or Man—10:3

V. They Did Not Keep Their Promises to God—10:4

Conclusion: A man was deeply convicted that God was calling him to preach and surrender at the conclusion of a church service. When he told his wife of his decision that evening she said, “I hope you hurry up and get over it.” Discouraged by his wife’s lack of support, he reneged on his promise and never entered the ministry. Not long after, he died of a heart attack. At his funeral his wife told the pastor the story. Hemlock in the furrows.

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