Summary: There is encouragement in a covenant relationship.
Hosea And The Covenant
Last week we began a series on the minor prophets, starting with the book of Hosea.
We found that God used Hosea’s marriage to Gomer as an object lesson for the people of Israel.
It was a lesson that taught the people they had committed "Spiritual Adultey" through their idolatry.
The names of the children are further indications of their fallen state.
We dared to suggest that a reason that the world is in its present state is because of an act of divine discipline on the world for their sinfullness.
Chapter two and three bring about an end to one of the key themes in Hosea.
From Chapter four to the end of the book we will be looking at prophecies made by Hosea.
Chapter two and three speak of the broken and restored relationship between Hosea and his wife.
It brings us to another aspect to which Israel is guilty of, that is breaking the covenant relationship with God.
The aspect of covenant is very important in Hosea.
What Is The Covenant Relationship:
A) The covenant relationship that was broken was the relationship that God had with His chosen people Israel.
The covenant was first mentioned in Genesis as God entered into a covenant with Abraham.
The method and covenant is first mentioned in Genesis 15:1-18, particularly vv.9-18.
The covenant relationship is expanded on in Chapter seventeen when God promises the birth of his son Issac.
This covenant relationship would be passed on through the line of Abraham until we get to the point which we share now.
B) The covenant relationship is important because of the committment it involves.
A covenant was much more binding than a contract.
It was closely related with our present day contracts, but with one important aspect that a contract does not contain.
That element is that a covenant is a relationally binding not necessarily a legally binding promise.
Contract implies all the i’s dotted ant t’s crossed, a paper committment.
A covenant involves a heart committment.
Illustration: Youngster’s Pinky swear. The marriage vows are a covenant relationship, the license is a marriage contract.
To break a covenant was to break a relationship between the two parties.
In Hosea, just as the covenant relationship was broken between Hosea and Gomer, so too was God telling the people that the covenant was broken between God and Israel.
Just as Gomer was disciplined until the relationship between she and Hosea was restored, so too would the relationship with God and Israel require discipline until they turned back to God.
God entered into covenant with Israel as His chosen people at the Exodus.
The relationship began pure and sweet, and righteous.
It can logically be argued that Hosea’ marriage started out the same way.
It is suggested that Hosea found out at a later of her immorality.
This would support the comparison between the two.
Hosea expelled Gomer when He found out a type of divorced.
Then he realized that the experience was God’s leading.
He then sought to restore Her to the position of a beloved wife.
God’s displeasure is shown in three verses: vv. 5,8,13.
a) a mother not faithful
b) the things she needed were not from baal, but God (Baal worship to be successful)
c) I will punish her.
The Covenant Relationship:
The covenant relationship indicates that God will look after His people.
The covenant relationship affected all parts of our lives:
He proved this at the Exodus, the biggest miracle in the Old Testament.
Illustrate: How God looked after the Israelites in the wilderness when they were in relationship with Him. Clothes that never wore out. Food for the journey, physical health.
God looks after his people in covenant with Him.
They were strong emotionally and spiritually when they were in relationship.
There is unusual courage and faith when in the covenant relationship
illustrate: The story of Job.
Why bad things happen to God’s people.
We focus on "Why God" "Woe is Me" "What a shame" when we should consider their Christian walk during the trial.
1. It is victorious
2. It is firm
3. We can learn from the Christian walk as well as the God of the walk.
When covenant is broken we see the results in Hosea
Frustration, lack of peace, and guilt.
Israel’s breaking of the covenant was a total break affecting all ages of people.
If the children are brought up in a wrong relationship, they are accountable for this.
vv.14-24: Are statements of re-assurance.
This is God’s poem to His people.
God tells Hosea to renew his relationship with His wife.
There is some controversy as to who the woman is, but I feel that it follows the theme to be hsi wife