Summary: What we discover is that the people had lost their responsiveness to God over time…and that the priest themselves had ceased to root people in the truth… and so God comes to this young faithful man....Hosea.
Hosea: Scandalous Love
Series: Major Message from the “Minor Prophets”
June 18, 2017 – Brad Bailey
(Note: This was also Father’s Day)
Today we are going to hear from a Father’s voice.
Your Father’s voice. Our Father’s Voice.
It’s neither the voice of some angry tirade just to exert some control…nor that of a passive entity who pretends everything is okay.
It is THE voice which bears perfect love…that which will both confront that which leads to destruction…but will also cross beyond what is fair to meet us in response.
We hear this voice… through one of the prophets.
The prophets were those God raised up to speak such truth and love to his people…his children… his bride.
Sometimes a voice from “outside” is needed to reveal the problem at hand. The prophets of the Old Testament part of the Bible were those voices.
The “Minor Prophets” refers to the final twelve books of the Old Testament and the term “minor” refers only to their shorter length ...not their importance.
There is a major message in each of these prophets….which speaks to us today. In these voices, we hear how the heart of our God confronts the unfaithfulness of human life…with the reality of consequences and hope.
So this summer…we are going to listen to the major message of each prophet…and allow God’s heart to speak to us. Each week a pastor will help us hear one central part of their message.
SO today we begin with the Book of Hosea. 
A little background for those who may not be familiar with the larger Biblical story.…
God had called out a man named Abraham through whom God declared he would form a nation…a nation through whom he would bless the whole world in time.
Thus began the Jewish people and nation of Israel.
God began to reveal to them the nature of life. He roots them in His love. He begins to reveal who He is and who they were meant to be…out of which they could live right and free.
Their faithfulness became a cycle of failing and learning and returning. But now they had lost all signs of real faithfulness.
They may have had some mild forms of outward religious life…but no real faithfulness.
Like all such conditions …the unfaithfulness comes slowly… one choice at a time.
Propped up by some alliances they had made with Assyria and Egypt… they were enjoying some prosperity… which may have furthered their compromise.
The human hearts which were chosen began turning away to others. It may have begun with a little ooh and ahh… look at what they have…and then believing that it will serve some needs….and then slowly redirecting their hopes…their trust. And God knows where this will lead.
It is amidst such a time…God has raised up prophets to answer….
Let’s listen to the opening of Hosea…
Hosea 1:1 (NIV)
The word of the LORD that came to Hosea son of Beeri during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the reign of Jeroboam son of Jehoash king of Israel:
This simple opening statement sets all we read in its historical context. Contrary to what some like to believe…this is the interplay of God in real human history. And the breadth of kings helps us realize that Hosea had served God as a voice to the people for many years. The Book of Hosea is a compilation of these years. And when it begins…he is likely a young man. As a young man, he looked forward to having a wife…and children…and entering the stage of life in which he walks as an adult in the town. It’s in such a season we then read….
When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, "Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD." 3 So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim…”
Some of you may be wondering if it says what you think it said. It does.
What we discover is that the people had lost their responsiveness to God over time…and that the priest themselves had ceased to root people in the truth… and so God comes to this young faithful man.
The prophet won’t just be some oracle of ideas…he will bear the message in real life.
He wasn’t going to just describe the reality of the people’s spiritual adultery…their unfaithfulness…he would become a living symbol of it.
Imagine what he faced…
The text doesn’t say whether she was already an active prostitute… so that his choice to marry her was itself a public shock…or if this was what she would soon begin. What we do know…it that he was being called to choose a life of utter disgrace…and pain.