An Amazing Love Story
The minor prophet Hosea is unique in that God made him live out the tragedy of Israel’s unfaithfulness by having him marry a woman who was unfaithful.
Its shocking! God intended it to be shocking because the idolatry of Israel is shocking.
2When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD.” 3So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
4And the LORD said to him, “Name him Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5“On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.” 6Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the LORD said to him, “Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them. 7“But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the LORD their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen.” 8When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and gave birth to a son. 9And the LORD said, “Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God.”
Gomer is going to bear three children and each one of them is going to symbolize the judgement of God.
Their names all show what spiritual harlotry begets – what happens when people forsake the Lord
The first one is named Jezreel - to remind Israel of an event in the city of Jezreel that was indictative of Israels sinful spirit – unfaithful and treacherous and violent.
The second child is named Lo Ruhamma – Not Pitied
The third is named Lo Ammi – Not My People
So here is the result of forsaking God – described by the names of these children born of this unfaithful adulterous woman
Treacherous and deceitful and sinful heart – causes a separation from God and there becomes a point when God’s pity – compassion will come to an end and in fact there is a point of no return when the Lord will cast off Israel as his people.
Now skip over to Chapter 3
1Then the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.” 2So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley. 3Then I said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you.” 4For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar and without ephod or household idols. 5Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days.
Gomer has run off and lives with someone else. She has sunk to the lowest possible level and God tells Hosea to go get her back at what ever cost –
The reason God has Hosea do this – because that’s what God plans to do with His wayward people – that s what he has already told Hosea in chapter 2:14-23
We need to see that what God said He would do for Israel in this passage is something that looked way into the future and its fulfillment includes you and me – a fact that was confirmed by the fact that the New Testament writers quoted from this passage and applied it to the Church.
God Wants To Allure Us With Kindness
14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Bring her into the wilderness
And speak kindly to her.
We are all guilty of spiritual harloty. We have loved other lovers more than God. Like Gomer we have been enslaved to the lovers we have – the world – pleasure – ambition
But God has not cast us off. Instead he wants to take us into the wilderness
In other words, He wants to be alone with us. Why? So he can speak kindly to us.
Literally – speak to the heart
God wants to speak to your heart - and when he does – he will allure you – entice you – woo you
He wants to say what a young man would say to a young woman that he is in love with when they walk away from the party and stroll out into the garden.
Don’t think that you are too ugly or too rotten and aweful –
God knows all about your unfaithful ness – he knows all about your spiritual harlotry BUT God is wooing a spiritually unfaithful harlot – with kindness
not only with tenderness – but God is also promising great blessing – hope and security
God Promises Blessing – Hope And Security
15 “Then I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the valley of Achor as a door of hope.
In fact God says that if you his spiritually adulterous bride will come away with him he will give you paradise
18 “In that day I will also make a covenant for them
With the beasts of the field,
The birds of the sky
And the creeping things of the ground.
And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land,
And will make them lie down in safety.
He is saying – “Come away with me – it will be perfect – just you and me everything will be perfect.”
God Lets Us Start Over
19 “I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice,
In lovingkindness and in compassion,
20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.
Then you will know the LORD.
Three times he says “I will betroth”
We will go back to the beginning – We will start over. Even though you have been a harlot
We can start over – a harlot can start over
A fresh foundation --- righteousness – justice – mercy – faithfulness
EVERY thing will be RIGHT between us.
God Wants Us To Love Him
What must we do to qualify for this? What does God want from us?
16 “It will come about in that day,” declares the LORD,
“That you will call Me My Husband
And will no longer call Me My Master
In other words – then you will relate to me as a loving husband and not as a harsh master or owner
God wants you to love him warmly – as kind and gently husband – he does not want you to serve him dutifully as you would a harsh – unkind – unloving master or owner
God knows that we have sold ourselves into slavery – to sin and death – but he is wooing us – alluring us – with kindness into a love relationship with himself.