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Summary: As Hosea’s wife Gomer cheated on him, Israel cheated on God. But the real message here is how Hosea learned that God’s greatest desire is to love, purify, and restore.

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Major News from Minor Prophets

Hosea: Cheating on God

There are a group of books at the end of the Old Testament commonly known as the Minor Prophets. They are not called that because their messages are unimportant, but because they are shorter in length than the other OT books of prophesy. They are grouped together by their era in history: the first four were written in the middle to late 700s B.C.; the middle four were written in the late 600s B.C.; and the last four were written around 500 B.C.

Hosea is the first of the Minor Prophets. His ministry took place in Israel.

His name means ‘Help” or “Deliverance.” The names Joshua and Jesus (Yeshua) are forms of the same name.

BACKGROUND OF THE TIMES...

The northern kingdom of Israel was on its last legs.

Sin was rampant. Religious, moral, and political corruption were all out of control.

One word sums the condition of the nation of Israel: prostitution (whoredom, KJV), used thirteen times throughout the book

His personal life reflected the poor relationship God was having with his people.

As Hosea’s wife Gomer cheated on him, Israel cheated on God.

But the real message here is how Hosea learned that God’s greatest desire is to love, purify, and restore.

1. GOD IS A GOD OF LOVE

He loves His people

a. Like a man loves his wife (cf. Hosea and Gomer)

b. Like a father loves his child - Hos 11:1

Hosea had three children; each was named to reflect God’s relationship to his people. More about that later!

Because He loves His people,

a. He blesses them abundantly

b. He nurtures them patiently - Hos 11:3-4

Hosea’s wife Gomer prostituted herself. She literally wound up as a sex slave. Yet in spite of her unfaithfulness to Hosea, God told him to go to the slave auction and buy her back.

THE AUCTION: Picture It!

1. The place; the town square

2. The auctioneer; Starts the bid very low. Because Gomer is a fallen woman. To be a slave to her sin.

3. Gomer stands naked, abused, without hope, without happiness.

4. Gomer remembers her marriage to Hosea, her children, and all she has lost.

5. She remembers her many lovers, who dragged her down and down.

6. The bid is not very high for this almost worthless woman when someone who does not have much, bid’s all that he has.

7. She does not even look up when the winning bidder approaches

8. Then she feels a robe around her nakedness, and a soft voice bidding her to come home.

She recognizes the voice, and tears flow down her cheeks as she realizes she has been redeemed by one who loves her.

2. GOD IS A GOD OF HOLINESS

1. He expects His people to know His will - Hos 4:1-2,6; 8:12

2. He expects His people to avoid harmful influences - Hos 7:8-9

3. He expects His people to sow righteousness, not wickedness - Hos 10:12-13

God suffers when His people are unfaithful

1. Hosea’s suffering is a picture to him and to us today.

A. "in their distress, He too was distressed" Is. 63:9

2. Each of us bears only our own sorrows. But God bears the total sorrows of all man.

3. When we lose a loved one, we have sorrow partly because they are gone

4. God’s sorrow is for the person’s suffering alone. Luke 23:27-31

God cannot tolerate sin

1. "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil" Hab. 1:13a

2. Sin destroys man, whom He loves

3. If our sin could be tolerated by Him, His love would be weak.

God still loves us, in spite of our sin

1. Hosea was commanded to go and show his love again (3:1)

2. "I will show my love to the one I called ’Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ’Not my people,’ ’You are my people’; and they will say, ’You are my God.’" (2:23)

D/ God seeks the sinner in order to restore

1. "Therefore I am now going to allure her . . . " (2:14)

2. "And if he finds it . . . He is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 that did not wander off." (Matt. 18:13)

3. ". . . If someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently." (Gal. 6:1)

4. Hosea’s task was to love Gomer, God would restore her. We on our own cannot do this, God is needed.

5. Did Hosea go after Gomer because he loved her, or because God commanded him? When did his love for her return?

6. Motive for Christian service does not require love for the people you are serving as much as love for God. "Do you love Me? Feed My sheep." Jn. 21:15-18.

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