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Summary: Some would accuse God of being controversial in the way He went about asking Hosea to marry a prostitute. Does God advocate sin? Absolutely not! The real controversy in Scripture is that a holy God would want a relationship with sinful man.

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Ill: Italian restorers are using modern technology to refurbish two magnificent bronze Greek sculptures found more than twenty years ago off Italy’s shore. The two classical masterpieces were cleaned when they were first discovered. But inside, ocean salt had infiltrated the clay casting, resulting in corrosion. Using a miniature TV camera and relying on video images, restoration specialists used dental-like instruments to remove more than 200 pounds of clay from the inside.

Background:

• When the book of Hosea opens up, the northern kingdom of Israel in the says of the prophet Hosea was very much like those

Greek statues. Outwardly, things looked pretty solid. The nation was enjoying a time of material prosperity under Jeroboam, and

the landscape was experiencing peace. Yet beneath the surface the nation’s core was corroding. God lowered the camera of His

holiness into the soul of Israel to expose their spiritual corruption and wickedness.

• As both a warning and an act of grace, God commands an unknown prophet by the name of Hosea to do something that may

sound mean or even sinful. This is our difficult verse this morning. Hosea 1:2 – “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have

children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD.”

• Ill: Inside Edition and Entertainment tonight give the gossip that everyone what to hear about in the world of entertainment. Some

have called in “tabloid journalism” others call it “celebrity gossip” but it tries to give the latest news in regards to celebrities. And

we know the best news is the “controversial or shocking” bits of news. There top three leads will deal with: new

relationships/breakups; children; and deaths and final moments.

• It would seem that what God asked Hosea, a prophet of God to do, was just as controversial and shocking in that day as any story

today. The problem that many have with this book is the following “Would God really command anyone to enter into a

sinful/unequal/hurtful relationship as this one? A prophet and a prostitute????

I. A Shocking and Controversial Relationship.

1. An obedient prophet: (1:2-3;3:1-5)

• This one event would encapsulate Hosea’s whole ministry (label); and would always keep Hosea under the stigma of

controversy.

• Not only one time, but called to buy her back from slavery/another relationship, and he obeys. “Go again and love a

woman who is loved by another man…”

• Key lesson: Hosea was obedient no matter the command or cost.

2. An unfaithful bride:

• Gomer represents Israel! God knew that her nature would be that of prostitution and adultery even after marriage.

• God describes Israel as pure, good (9:10;11:1-4), innocent, when they were first found, but in the relationship they chose

to be unfaithful.

• Gomer’s motives: self and rewards (2:1-13) (same reasons we turn on God)

3. Application: God commanded Hosea to be a living object lesson for Israel, to better understand how controversial it is to

keep loving someone who will not love you in return. This is ultimate love – to love the one who you know ahead of time will

not appreciate your sacrifice or love you in return.

II. A Shocking and Controversial Pregnancy. (1:2b)

• Controversial family: Why have children with a woman you know will be unfaithful? Is this the environment you would

want to raise children?

Controversial children: It would seem from Scripture that the first son is by Hosea “bore him a son”; but the other two it

is questionable whether they are his. (Hollywood scenario)

• Controversial names: The three children mentioned did not bring pride to a father, but rather were objects that showed

God’s judgment. Ill: the names of our children/source of happiness

A. Jezreel – the loss of God’s protection and deliverance.

B. Lo-ruhammah – the loss of God’s compassion and mercy.

C. Lo-ammi – The loss of God’s relationship and name.

III. A Shocking and Controversial Ending. (2:14-23)

• After reading the first chapter, it would not be hard to come to a quick conclusion to this relationship – “Hosea, get out of this

relationship while you are still ahead.” “Hosea, count this experience of mission accomplished..” But then the story takes a

unlikely twist…more controversy.

• Read 2:14-20

• The true shock in this book is not that God commanded a prophet to marry a woman who would end up being an adulteress

and a prostitute. The real shock is that God/Hosea would continue to offer His unconditional love to those who continue to

reject His offer; and that He promises to offer restoration and hope to a people who do not deserve anything but His

judgment.

• God is not being a “tabloid-seeking God” but rather through Israel’s unfaithfulness He will continue to offering unconditional

love and faithfulness to those who do not deserve either.

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