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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.


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