Summary: One of the most beautiful love stories ever told
Bought With a Price
This morning I am going to preach on one of the most unique passages of scripture. So you know it must be in the Old Testament. Open your bibles to the Old Testament book of Hosea. We’re going to look at a little bit of chapters 1, 2, and 3.
Read 1:1- 9
The words I have just read to you were written during the darkest days in the Kingdom of Israel. They were written in @750 B. C…. just a few years before that terrible day… 722 BC. That is when the Northern Kingdom, the 10 tribes called Israel, were defeated, routed, and taken captive by the mighty Assyrian army. God had been patient with Israel: sending them prophet after prophet after prophet. They had been hard headed, unreceptive, and unrepentant. They had been led by a series of evil kings with an occasional good king. A bad king would lead them to worship idols and forget the Lord. A good king would cause them to forsake their idolatry, tear down their idol-worshipping shrines, and return to the true worship of Yahweh. The Southern Kingdom, Judah would last a few years longer, 587 BC, because they had more good kings than Israel did. But eventually they too would fall.
But there was a Godly, faithful prophet in that day and God chose to speak, through him, to the Northern Kingdom, just before the fall. God’s patience was wearing thin.
God came to this prophet, Hosea, and gave him a very strange message. It is a message that was, first, for Hosea himself. But God would use this message and the events in the life of Hosea, to give a message to the ten tribes of the North. A LAST WARNING!! Which they did not heed!!!
So, the Spirit of the Lord comes to Hosea and gives him this message…
“Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry
And children of harlotry,
Let me take one minute to take an aside…. This is a point that does not enter into my message but must not be missed.
Many are troubled because the scripture tells us that God told Hosea to go and marry a prostitute, an unfaithful, adulterous wife. That is a problem because God says that WE ARE NOT TO MARRY SUCH. Now, it seems, God is telling Hosea to sin.
Look at the scripture again… and children of harlotry. Is God telling Hosea to take on children that are already born of adultery? NO! He is telling Hosea that the children will be born out of adultery. THEY ARE NOT YET BORN. Verses 3 – 9 tell of the births of those children AFTER HOSEA MARRIES GOMER.
God did not tell Hosea to marry a prostitute, and adulteress. He told him that he could marry Gomer, but the bad news was that Gomer, WHO WAS THEN A VIRGIN (the only acceptable wife) WOULD….. LATER…. BECOME an adulteress… a harlot… a prostitute. SHE WILL BE UNFAITHFUL!
This must have broken Hosea’s heart… to think that the woman he loved would do such a terrible thing.. would commit the most offensive marital sin.
LISTEN>>> GOD DOES NOT CONTRADICT HIMSELF!!!
That is one way you can always know if something is God’s will…
If it contradicts scripture… IT IS WRONG!
Back to the story.
And so, Hosea marries Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
Notice this is the only time one of the children is referred to as “his”, belonging to Hosea. At this point Gomer is not yet adulterous. This is Hosea’s child.
But God tells Hosea to give the child a strange name… Jezreel. It means “God scatters.” It is used of a farmer who sows seeds by broadcasting them.
The message to Israel is that God is about to scatter them across the face of the earth, as a punishment for the way that Jehu, one of their kings, murdered Joram.
This scattering takes place in 722 BC, when Assyria defeated Israel and made them slaves… scattering them out over many countries to be certain that they could not get back together and become a threat to Assyria. That scattering was known as the Jewish Deaspora, or dispersion. They were not a nation from 722 BC until the 1950’s. And they are still scattered all over the earth.
6And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him:
“Call her name Lo-Ruhamah,
For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel,
But I will utterly take them away.
7 Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah,
Will save them by the LORD their God,
And will not save them by bow,
Nor by sword or battle,
By horses or horsemen.”