Summary: God wants our love for Him exclusively.
Come, Let us return to the Lord
August 29, 2004 Chester FBC, Chester, Illinois Mike Fogerson, Speaker
Hosea was a prophet in the Northen Kingdom of Israel (753 BC to 715 BC) Map 142
A Elijah, Elisha, Amos were before him: Isaiah & Micah were his contemporaries in Judah, the Southern Kingdom.
a Israel had struggled for many years under sinful kings.
b Jehoahaz lost land, bounderies. (Syria from the North; Assyria from the East) MAP 136
*II Kings 13.7 (Humiliated, depressed, hungry)
B Jeroboam I
a Took back land, brought back jobs, money, pride.
b Jeroboam II: Economy was doing well.
(Hosea was raised hearing how bad things use to be during the great depression.)
C The social setting
a Ultra rich vs. Ultra poor (SUV filled w/ food from Sam’s passing a guy on a street corner pushing a K-Mart shopping cart with half-spoiled left overs that had been thrown out at the Red Dragon All-You-Can-Eat Chinese Buffet.)
*The Rich were rich by raping the poor.
b Rich got richer and the poor got poorer.
D Seldom does prosperity lead to behavior that is pleasing to God.
a Israel had prospered financially, expanded her borders, . . . they were dying from internal decay. (Sound familiar?)
b The priests (preachers of the day) stopped preaching about obedience, commitment, total surrender. (Hos 4.6)
*Syncretistic (God plus . . .)
*Baal worship was ramped. Most girls from 13/14 had offered Baal their virginity for the blessing of fertility.
*Israel went to temple (church), but they also worshiped Baal on every hill.
E Hosea guided Israel to return to a faithful relationship with the Lord. (ETS)
a 1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. 2 "He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him. 3 "So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth." Hosea 6:1-3 (NASB)
b God wants our love for Himself exclusively. (ESS)
c I hope my you’ll chose to be a faithful lover to God. (Objective)
d When will you replace the pieces of your fractured relationship w/ God?
T.S.: Let’s look at two pieces of relationship advice that God’s Word gives to stimulate a faithful relationship between Him and His people.
I. The first piece of advice was...Let us return to the Lord.
1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. Hosea 6:1 (NASB)
1. God commanded Hosea to enter into one of the most controversial marriages in the Old Testament.
2 When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD." Hosea 1:2 (NASB)
(4 views of Hosea’s marriage: 1) Hypothetical, 2) Symbolic, 3) Modified Literal, 4) Literal)
A. When Hosea married Gomer he knew either she was already cheating, or that she was the cheating kind.