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Summary: God wants our love for Him exclusively.

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Come, Let us return to the Lord

Hosea 6.1-3

August 29, 2004 Chester FBC, Chester, Illinois Mike Fogerson, Speaker

Introduction:

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.

a. Gomer: * Bore three kids with Hosea (1:3, 6, 8)

* Left her husband, kids, to be with her lovers

* Stayed with her lovers, went out of town on the weekends

b. Hosea: * Few things hurt more deeply than a spouse’s infidelity

* Sense of loss, failure, violation

B. Gomer, like most people who are unfaithful in a marriage, lived to regret her adulterous activities. She wanted to go home. 1 Then the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes." Hosea 3:1 (NASB) God told Hosea, "Bring her back!"

a. Hosea was talking to a nation who had stepped out, away from God.

b. Israel was faithful during the honeymoon, but almost as soon as they set up house, Israel started sleeping with other gods, flirting with other deities, romancing other religions. "Come, let us return to the Lord!"(6:1) heal us, bandage us. "Bring them back, Hosea!" God said.

T.S. Hosea not only advises Israel to return to God, but also to the restoration of intimacy with the living God of Israel.

2. Just as God was (is) waiting to shower His love on His people in Israel, He’s waiting for many of us to return to Him today.

A. Hosea, by Levitical law, could have had Gomer killed. 10 ’If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Lev 20:10 (NASB

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