Summary: The focus of this message is the great love of God as illustrated in the life of the Prophet Hosea and his wife Gomer.
Charles W. Holt
Community of Grace
EVERYONE LOVES A LOVE STORY
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man
lay down his life for his friends (Jn. 15:13).
Scripture text: Hosea 1:2,3 and 3:1-3
Perhaps one of the most famous love poems every penned was written by Elizabeth B. Browning sometime between 1845-46. It was first published in 1850. It is a classic.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old grief’s, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Love is the theme spilling from the tip of many a poet’s pen. Songwriters and musicians make glorious music soar on the wings of love.
Love has been and still is one of the major subjects of great literature. It’s the theme of hundreds of great novels and short stories. The so-called "dime store novels" or "romance novels" sells by the millions. How many movies can you remember that has love between two people as the central theme? Everyone loves a love story and especially if the love story has a happy ending. Everyone loves a happy ending.
If you saw the movie The Titanic you may remember it as a great epic disaster movie. It was that but more. It was first and above all a love story. Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) was the poor kid who barely managed to secure passage and Rose (Kate Winslet) was the high society girl who was to be married to a rich guy. How these two totally dissimilar persons meet, fall in love, and perish is the core of the movie. Some people saw the movie a dozen times because of the strong love story connection. Others have not seen it even once because of the tragic ending to this love story.
The movie Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton tells in fictional form the historical relationship between the Roman General Antony and Egypt’s last Pharaoh Cleopatra.
Some of you will remember from your high school English class of reading the story of Romeo and Juliet.
Is there anyone who hasn’t seen the film, Gone With the Wind? It is a Civil War epic but one thing you probably remember as much as any is the relationship between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler. It’s a tragic love story.
One of the truly great love stories in all of history is that which existed between England’s Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert. Victoria, it is said, was a lively, cheerful girl, fond of drawing and painting. She became England’s Queen in 1837 after the death of her uncle, King William IV. In 1840, she married her first cousin, Prince Albert.
While at first Prince Albert was unpopular in some circles because he was German, he came to be admired for his honesty, diligence, and his devotion to his family. The couple had nine children. Victoria loved her husband deeply. She relied on his advice in matters of state, especially in diplomacy.
When Albert died in 1861, Victoria was devastated. She did not appear in public for three years. Her extended seclusion generated considerable public criticism. Several attempts were made on Victoria’s life. However, under the influence of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. Victoria resumed public life, opening Parliament in 1866.
But Victoria never stopped mourning her beloved prince, wearing black until her death in 1901. During her reign, the longest in English history, Britain became a world power on which "the sun never set."
I’ve been talking about both fictional and nonfiction characters and their love stories. If you were asked to choose a love story from the Bible, which one would it be? As part of our ground rules for this discovery let’s say that we rule out what most will think of immediately as the greatest love story in the Bible. They would define it from John 3:16. Having said that let’s allow our minds to search throughout the Old Testament for examples of great love stories. Here are some of mine.
1. For the best example of a mother’s love I would choose Jochebed the mother of Moses. She defied the king’s command that all newborns were to be killed. She kept her baby in hiding as long as humanly possible. She devised a clever plan to save him that ultimately resulted in Moses being called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Jochebed’s love was courageous, self-sacrificing, self-denying, creative and persistent.