Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The bible is filled with so many stories that would win the Oscar at any time. I know everybody loves a wonderful story. If not then why is Hollywood so rich? Why do people keep buying movies that have almost the same story lines? Little wonder that the b

Amazing Grace

Text: Hosea 1: 1-3:5

The bible is filled with so many stories that would win the Oscar at any time. I know everybody loves a wonderful story. If not then why is Hollywood so rich? Why do people keep buying movies that have almost the same story lines? Little wonder that the bible has been winning the best seller award for so long now. Our reference story today is borne out of the theme for the month in our church, Royal Connections. The theme we are dealing with in our church this month of May is Charis (The Grace of God) taken from 2 Corinthians 8:9.

This is the story of a Pastor, a Preacher and a Prophet. His name was Hosea meaning Deliverer or Salvation. The story begins with a detailed introduction and a profile of this man of God. He was introduced as the son of Beeri (a fountain or a well). Not only was his father’s name mentioned but his contemporaries at the time were also mentioned. Uzziah, remember him? He was the king that had to die so that Isaiah could see the Lord (Isaiah 6:1). Uzziah was the 16 year old son of Amaziah who became king in place of his father (2chronicles 26:1) in the land of Judah in the days of Isaiah the Prophet. God helped him so much that he became the first person to invent a rocket launching machine (2Chronicles 26: 15-16) but he forgot he was helped by God and became proud. He offered incense not lawful for him to offer and he was rebuked by the Priest Azariah. He became angry at the Lord’s anointed and he was smitten by God with leprosy. This great king started from grace and ended up on grass. He died a leper!!! Enter Jotham his son in his stead. Learnt from daddy’s mistake, prepared his way before the Lord and the Lord made him mighty (2 Chronicle 27: 1-9). Then came Ahaz, who brought Judah low, sought help from the King of Assyria and brought the idolatry of Damascus to Judah. He died in his sins and his son Hezekiah began to reign in his stead. He was the one who was going to die but cried unto God and God added another 15years to his life.

My emphasis today is not all of these generations of kings in the days of Hosea, my emphasis is on Hosea himself. Here was a single man, waiting to meet his dream girl. He was probably very successful in ministry hence he was linked with generations of kings. Every woman in his local assembly would probably be believing God that this man of God would ask their hands in marriage. Even some parents would have been binding and loosing so that their daughter would be the one. Alas, when the man of God was to choose he went to the red light district, to Soho, to a girl about town. Gomer was a local temple prostitute. Everyone in town knew her and her exploit, but no one wanted anything to do with her. I can imagine the shock on her face when this TV evangelist walks up to her and says hello. I’m sure she must have thought it was some pranks on her when he knelt down to ask her hand in marriage. I don’t know if you can relate with this story but I can. Wasn’t I in the same position as this woman before Christ found me? Wasn’t I as filthy and lost as this woman was when grace came and found me.

I can imagine the newspapers headline the following morning.. Pastor Hooks up Hooker!!! The Pastor and the Prostitute!! Could this be love?! Can this Seer See?? The titles would be endless. You probably would have the picture of Gomer ‘on duty’ beside that of Hosea with a caption ‘spot the difference’. Have ever stopped to imagine what would be the reactions of men of old (Israelites in particular) who lived and died under the law to this new dispensation of salvation by grace.

Now my problem is not that Hosea chose to marry Gomer, after all, we have been taught that your past is your past and should not be brought against your present. Infact, I recently heard that any voice that reminds you of your past is the voice of the devil and anyone that talks about today is the voice of your flesh but the voice that reassures you of your future is the voice of the Holy Spirit. No, I don’t have any problem with Hosea marrying Gomer. Now my problem is that after Gomer made a commitment to marry Hosea she was not true to her marriage vows. I’m sure they must have had a societal church wedding with some eminent personalities gracing the occasion with their presence. Gomer must have been moved to tears to see the calibre of people who attended her own wedding. How could a street girl like be honoured with a wedding in the first place not to talk of kings attending her wedding, this could only be the grace of God. The unfortunate thing about this story is that though she made a pronouncement to leave and to cleave she did not actually leave her past. As soon as the marriage ceremonies were over she was back on the street corners, back with her pimp boyfriends. What would make someone taken from the streets, cleaned up and given new clothes and a new life, delivered from the oppressions and depressions of the street go back. It is like a dog returning to it’s vomit. Pastor Hosea would come home after preaching all over the globe only to find his house empty and his bed cold. It was in the midst of all these that Gomer became pregnant. I’m sure there must have been a debate in town about who’s baby she was carrying. Then she gave birth to the first child Jezreel, she probably looked like her mother. Even if there was any doubt about who the father was no one was able to say it. Before you start to pass judgement on Gomer I’d like you to look at yourself critically for a moment and ask yourself if there is any trait of Gomer in you at all. Did you say never, well, how about the envy, how about the spiritual pride, how about the greed?? Where is that coming from?? Certainly not a fruit of the spirit, so the Holy Spirit is not responsible. You know at this point in the life of Gomer her adultery is still covered, it was still a secret. If anyone knew they could not really be sure. It was between Gomer and her boyfriends. There are some sins after you have given your life to Christ that no one would know about except you. If you don’t stop it on time it would get out of hand and it would manifest to the whole world.

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