Summary: Gospel presentation as pictured through Hosea’s relationship with Gomer.
“The Gospel According to Hosea”
Steve Hanchett, pastor
Berry Road Baptist Church
February 11, 2001
Then the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the LORD for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.”
So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley.
And I said to her, “You shall stay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man - so too, will I be toward you.”
James Montgomery Boice, in his commentary on Hosea, called chapter three the “greatest chapter in the Bible.” After studying it I must say it certainly is one of the most powerful portrayals of the message of the gospel one could possibly read and study. It is a parable of Christ’s love and sacrifice lived out through the life of Hosea. It also holds out to us a mirror that helps us see our own sinful condition. It is a portrait of God’s heart of love toward us.
There are five parts to this message of love, hope and salvation:
I. The Condition of the Lost (vv. 1,2)
II. The Compassion of the Lord (v.1)
III. The Cost of His Love (v.2)
IV. A Commitment to His Lordship (v.3)
V. His Commitment of His Life (v.3)
If you go into a jewelry store and want to look at a diamond it is going to be displayed for you on a black cloth. The jeweler does this is because she understands that the beauty of the diamond is seen more clearly when it is looked at against the backdrop of the dark color of the cloth. In the same way the holiness and love of God are seen most clearly when they are seen against the black background of the sin of man. In order to see the depth of God’s grace we need to first look at the depravity of man’s sin.
As we had already seen the story of Hosea and his wife Gomer serves as a parable of God’s relationship with His people. In this parable Hosea represents the Lord and Gomer represents people in sin. Gomer’s life is a powerful picture of what it means to be lost. So as we consider this gospel according to Hosea we need to begin by examining The Condition of the Lost.
There are four things we see through Gomer about what it means to be lost. I want to give you four words that describe Gomer’s condition and our condition without Christ: (1) distance, (2) Slavery, (3) Wickedness, and (4) Peril.
Gomer’s first problem was her distance from Hosea. It is clear that somewhere along the way Gomer had left Hosea to pursue her immoral passions. Her life had sunk so low that when we find her again in chapter three she is being sold in the slave market. We don’t know how long it had been since she had seen Hosea, but for her to be in the position she was in it had to have been some time.
There are two things we can say with confidence about the distance between Hosea and Gomer. The distance between them was by choice on Gomer’s part and by necessity on Hosea’s part.
Gomer loved her sin more than she loved Hosea her husband. She chose to walk away from him and her relationship with him. She rejected his love and his plans for her life. She chose to give herself to others. Rather than remain with Hosea and allow fruit to come from her relationship with him, she decided to pursue other lovers and to produce fruit from those illicit relationships.
The lost person is in the same kind of state. Lostness is a result of choosing to live life apart from Christ. Lostness is rejecting the love of God and His plans for your life. Lostness is giving your soul to the idols of this world. Lostness means no fruit from a relationship with God only spoiled fruit from our love of this world.
Not only was there distance between Hosea and Gomer because of Gomer’s choice, but also because of necessity on Hosea’s part. Even if Gomer had desired to stay in the home, Hosea would have had to put her out because of her immorality. He could not allow her to remain comfortable in her wickedness. There was a moral necessity on Hosea’s part that would have required him to do something about Gomer’s sin.
In the same way, God cannot remain in fellowship and relationship with unrepentant sinners. The Bible says that God is holy and that his holiness means that God cannot look upon sin without doing something about it. God must respond to our sin. God must do something about it. And one thing is certain, we cannot expect to remain in fellowship with God while holding fast to our sin and pursuing out lusts.