Summary: Sermon shares the unconditional love of God for his people through the story of Hosea and his marriage to a prostitute named Gomer.
Michael A. Murdock
Clearing The Path; Minor Adjustments That Clear the Pathway for Major Life Improvements #1
Based on a series from LifeSteps.org
April 27, 2003
“The Unconditional Love of God”
During a revival a certain man came into the meeting and sat in the back row. The next night he moved halfway toward the front. The third night he was sitting in the front row. The fourth night he broke out in prayer, "Lord, fill me!" Over to one side there was a woman who knew the man well. She cautioned the Lord, "Careful, Lord! He leaks!"
*A fisherman who was out of fellowship with the Lord was at sea with his godless companions when a storm came up and threatened to sink their ship. His friends begged him to pray; but he demurred, saying, "It’s been a long time since I’ve done that or even entered a church." At their insistence, however, he finally cried out, "O Lord, I haven’t asked anything of You in 15 years, and if You help us now and bring us safely to land, I promise I won’t bother You again for another 15!"
Many of us who have accepted Christ as our savior are sometimes prone to wondering if as the song goes, that God can actually save a wretch like me. Often we may only call on God when we’ve reached the end of our rope and there seems to be no other way to solve our problems. Just as the world around us grows cold and lifeless as the winter comes, so may we experience times of winter in our own spiritual walk with God
Yet for the Christian we should never fear the lose of our salvation, because of the enduring power of God’s unconditional love for his redeemed, that reaches out to us even when our love for Him grows cold.
In the book of Hosea we see this love played out in Hosea’s relationship with a prostitute and then in God’s response to His people, Israel.
Turn with me to the book of Hosea, chapter one in the Old Testament.
I. God’s Picture: Unconditional Love
A. Hosea marries a prostitute
“Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because this land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord. So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim…” (Hosea 1:2,3)
-God commands Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer as an example of God’s love for an adulterous people.
-Now you can imagine that with a name like Gomer, not to mention her occupation, she probably wasn’t the most desirable women for a preacher’s wife.
-Call her a tramp, a harlot, a gutter snipe, , whatever derogatory term you could think of because this woman, Gomer, was one of societies outcast, looked down upon by the “morally good” people of society, a woman of no value except for the men she serviced.
-How could anyone love a person like Gomer? And yet Hosea takes her off the streets and into his home and shows her love and kindness. He makes her is wife, someone who is important and a valuable part of his life.
-Not only does Hosea take Gomer to be his wife, but he makes a home for her illegitimate children as well, children born of her harlotries.
-Like Hosea, Jesus takes us, a rebellious and sinful people, he loves us and invites us in. Jesus ask us to be his bride, He takes away our rags of filth and gives us garments of white.
B. Hosea’s children
-An then the “happy couple”, I use that term loosely, have three more children.
-Now, before I give you children’s names, let us look at what was happening with God’s people during this time.
-Hosea preached during the time of the divided kingdom with the reign of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hesekiah kings of Judah in the south and Jeroboam II king of Israel in the north. (Hosea 1:1)
-Hosea’s ministry took place in the last days just before the Northern Tribes of Israel were taken into captivity by the Assyrians.
-Jeroboam II had followed in the footsteps of his father Jehoash, in promoting idolatry.
-And so God is angry and prophesy against his apostate people, a people who are turning their backs on God’s mercy, again the Word of the Lord is spoken through the names of Gomer’s three children.
1. Jezreel (Hosea 2:4)
-Means that “God sows or scatters”
-This name in the Hebrew sound very similar to the word “Israel”, which means to strive against God.
-Thus the message being spoken is that those who were striving against God, God’s people, will be scattered, but there is a sense of hope that they will also be replanted to grow again.