Listen to this Sermon: 12092012GodVersusRaisinsDonRuhl

Download the Notes: 12092012GodVersusRaisinsDonRuhl

God Versus Raisins 

Which one wins in a contest in your mind?

Hosea 3.1

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • December 9, In the year of our Lord, 2012

Scripture Reader and Reading: Kadin Lopez – Revelation 11.16–19

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Larry Amberg – Songs that magnify God, such as “Our God, He Is Alive” and others



  1. What would you do if this happened to you?

    1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here…” (Rev 4.1).

    1. You would turn down the request, right?
    2. Y0u would want to do something else or go somewhere else, right?
      1. Oh, you would accept the invitation?
      2. Are you sure?
  2. If God fought for your heart with…you name it, who would win? 
    1. In the Book of Hosea,
    2. Israel made a choice, but
      1. not for God, and
      2. you will not believe what they chose instead.


  1. Hosea 2.5 – God Versus Bread

    5 “For their mother has played the harlot;
    She who conceived them has behaved shamefully.
    For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
    Who give me my bread and my water,
    My wool and my linen,
    My oil and my drink.’”
    (Hos 2.5)
  2. Hosea 2.12 – God Versus Wages

    12 “And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees,
    Of which she has said,
    ‘These are my wages that my lovers have given me.’
    So I will make them a forest,
    And the beasts of the field shall eat them.”
    (Hos 2.12)
  3. Hosea 3.1 – God Versus Raisins

    1 Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans” (Hos 3.1).
  4. Hosea 4.13 – God Versus Shade

    13 “They offer sacrifices on the mountaintops,
    And burn incense on the hills,
    Under oaks, poplars, and terebinths,
    Because their shade is good.
    Therefore your daughters commit harlotry,
    And your brides commit adultery.”
    (Hos 4.13)
  5. Hosea 8.11 – God Versus Sin

    11 “Because Ephraim has made many altars for sin,
    They have become for him altars for sinning.”
    (Hos 8.11)
  6. Hosea 9.1 – God Versus Hire

    1 “Do not rejoice, O Israel, with joy like other peoples,
    For you have played the harlot against your God.
    You have made love for hire on every threshing floor.”
    (Hos 9.1)
  7. Hosea 9.10 – God Versus an Abomination

    10 “I found Israel
    Like grapes in the wilderness;
    I saw your fathers
    As the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season.
    But they went to Baal Peor,
    And separated themselves to that shame;
    They became an abomination like the thing they loved.”
    (Hos 9.10)
  8. Hosea 12.8–10 – God Versus Wealth

    8 And Ephraim said,
    “Surely I have become rich,
    I have found wealth for myself;
    In all my labors
    They shall find in me no iniquity that is sin.”
    9 “But I am the Lord your God,
    Ever since the land of Egypt;
    I will again make you dwell in tents,
    As in the days of the appointed feast.
    10 I have also spoken by the prophets,
    And have multiplied visions;
    I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets.”
    (Hos 12.8–10)
  9. Hosea 13.1 – God Versus Self

    1 When Ephraim spoke, trembling,
    He exalted himself in Israel;
    But when he offended through Baal worship, he died.
    (Hos 13.1)
  10. Hosea 13.6 – God Versus Being Filled

    6 “When they had pasture, they were filled;
    They were filled and their heart was exalted;
    Therefore they forgot Me.”
    (Hos 13.6)


  1. Hosea 2.8 – The Problem

    8 “For she did not know
    That I gave her grain, new wine, and oil,
    And multiplied her silver and gold—
    Which they prepared for Baal.”
    (Hos 2.8)

    1. God gave them bread.
    2. God gave them their wages.
    3. God gave them grapes, hence raisins.
    4. God gave them sun and shade.
    5. God gave them prosperity.
    6. God gave them holy rules.
    7. God gave them wealth.
  2. He had warned them. Let Americans hear this passage!

    2 “And you shall remember that the Lord your God…

    10 “When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. 11 Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God…

    12 “lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them… 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God…

    17 “then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ 18 And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth…” (Deu 8.1–20).

    1. Moses wrote that for us.
    2. The Holy Spirit preserved it for us.
    3. James told us something similar,

      17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights… (Jam 1.17).

  3. What the Bible says of God and Israel, 
    1. the Bible also says of God and the world.
    2. In Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas healed a man crippled from birth, and
      1. he walked for the first time in his life.
      2. That amazed the people,

        11 Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” (Acts 14.11).

        1. Therefore, the people set out to do what you do for gods,
        2. you sacrifice to them,

          13 Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes (Acts 14.13).

    3. However, watch what Paul and Barnabas did, and
      1. listen to what they said to the people,

        14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out 15 and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, 16 who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” 18 And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them” (Acts 14.14–18).

      2. A problem common to all people
        1. at any time in history,
        2. attributing the source of blessings
          1. to something or someone
          2. other than the God revealed in the Bible.
  4. Have you attributed the good in your life to God or something else? 
    1. Satan does not want you to give the glory to God, but
    2. Satan either wants the glory for himself, or
      1. he will settle for you giving the glory to
      2. anything or anyone besides God.
  5. Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, 
    1. if He would fall down and worship Satan, but
    2. Jesus rebuked Satan.
      1. Satan did not even have to offer Israel all the kingdoms of the world,
      2. just raisins, or shade, or whatever.
  6. Who wins in your heart, God or Raisins? 
    1. Is there a raisin you have already chosen over God?
    2. Please think about
      1. why you have not become a Christian, or
      2. why you have not lived a full-fledged, born-again, totally-committed, God-praising, sin-denying Christian life.
  7. Someday life will end, and 
    1. eternity will begin.
    2. Are you willing to give up eternity with God
      1. for a mere lifetime of some kind of raisin?
      2. If you enjoy the whole world and
        1. lose your own soul,
        2. where will your enjoyment be then?
  8. What would you do if this happened to you?

    1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here…” (Rev 4.1).

    1. I am telling you, that is you.
    2. That is the message of the Bible!
      1. God calls out to everyone,
      2. inviting all of us to join Him in heaven.
        1. What shall you do?
        2. Shall you choose Him or something else?
    3. Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?
      1. Are you willing to state that belief?
      2. Are you willing to change your life?
      3. Are you ready to be baptized?