Summary: It’s amazing how the message of the OT prophets ring true for today’s society. In one of God’s most unusual requests we can see an object lesson for the people of Israel, but also a call of repentance to our world today.
RETURNING BACK TO GOD
A. EZE 18:30b
Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin.
ILL> A few years back I had gone with Jack to a hospital in Columbus. We were sitting in a waiting area with some other veterans. Of course, Jack never having met a stranger, started talking with a few of the guys sitting there. One was a young guy about 25 years of age. I’m not sure what led to the topic of conversation, but he started telling us about his wife who was a professional dancer, although "dancer" may not quite be the right word. "Stripper" might be more correct.
Anyway, he told us how he would go and pick her up after work because part of her job was to mingle with the patrons. Sometimes, they would expect more than they had paid for, so this guy felt like it was safer for him to pick her up at night.
1. Now, I’m thinking, what kind of life–or marriage–would that be?
a. Secondly, why are you telling us all this? I don’t recall asking if your wife was a stripper!
2. As odd or unusual as that may be, it was even worse for the prophet Hosea.
B. As we talked last Wednesday, the Israelite people had strayed far from God and were worshiping false gods and idols
1. God wanted to provide an object lesson for His people so he told Hosea in 1:2 to take to yourself an adulterous wife
2. Not only that, but God told him that he would have Children of unfaithfulness
a. We cannot be sure if the children that Gomer had after she married Hosea were his children or someone elses, but they too were part of the prophecy
3. Take a look at the names of these children
a. VS 4 - a son, Jezreel
Jezreel means "Cast-away"
That was the name given to Hosea’s son as a reminder to the Israelite people that they, too, would be cast away if they did not recognize the folly of their actions
b. After a time a daughter was born–Her name was "Lo-Ruhamah" which means "not pitied"
It meant that God would no longer have pity on His people if they continued their stubborn rebellion
God’s patience was wearing thin
c. Finally, a third child was born–another boy
His name was "Lo-ammi" which means "not my people"
God was saying "you are not my people and I will not be your God"
C. READ: Hosea 2:1
1. Hosea 2:1 (KJV)
Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah.
2. As we read through this passage we need to understand that there are three ways in which it can be applied.
a. First of all, it applies to Hosea and the trouble he is having with his adulterous wife
b. Secondly, it applies to Israel which had adulterated itself by chasing after false gods
c. Thirdly, it applies to us today whenever we give other things in this world a greater importance than God.
d. READ: Hosea 2:2
II> GOD’S REACTION TO AN ADULTEROUS NATION
A. Rebuke (God’s) - 2:2-5
1. God is calling for repentance on the part of the Israelite people
a. VS 2b
b. They have gone after other gods just like Gomer had gone after her lovers
c. She had turned away from her husband and it seems that her children had been fathered by someone other than Hosea
2. Israel had turned to its lovers or gods
a. Vs 5 - these gods are the ones providing for me
b. God is saying, "Do you really think that is where all that you have comes from?"
ILL> We are a proud country, but I’m not so sure we’re unlike the people the prophets were writing to. We look at ourselves as the most powerful nation in the world. However, we say, "Look what we have done. Look at what we have accomplished." As a country we are straying away from God.
ILL> Following 9/11 we sang "God Bless America, Land that I love." There were signs all over the country, "God Bless America." However, after awhile our true nature came out and people began complaining about the mention of God, so many of the signs were changed to "Bless America."
c. I have to wonder if God is saying, "You expect me to bless you when you won’t even acknowledge me."
B. Realization (The People’s) - 2:6-8
1. God was saying that he was going to make their lives so difficult that the people would have their eyes opened and want to return to Him
SONG> There’s a Light at the End of the Darkness (chorus)
There’s a light at the end of the darkness,