Summary: Even though God suffers when we sin, He finds a way for us to come back to Him.
How many men were in the delivery room with your wife when your children were born? God used the occurrence of child birth to teach us about salvation. Salvation is like getting a whole new life. You are forgiven and start fresh with God. It is like being born again.
On the other end of life is death. The permanency of death and the reality that it cuts us off for the rest of our life from fellowship and relationship with our loved one was a life experience that the Bible writers used to teach us about the awful consequences of sin. Without Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are permanently cut off from having any relationship with God. We are dead in our trespasses and sins.
A friend of mine adopted a little boy. He said it helped him understand the eternal security of a Christian’s salvation. When he and his wife went before the judge, the judge asked him if they understood the nature of adoption. The judge explained that they could never disown this boy. They could disinherit him but he would always have the right to their name. They had a daughter that was natural born to them. The judge said they could disown that daughter, but they could never disown that adopted son. Scriptures teach we are the adopted children of God (Joe & Kathryn Kendall).
The Bible is filled with pictures like that about the love of God. The fireman who rescues a child from a burning house is that child’s deliverer or savior. A benefactor that pays another’s bill so they can be set free from debt is that person’s redeemer. A counselor that helps a married couple resolve their differences serves as a reconciler. On and on the Bible calls upon a list of life experiences to teach us how God loves us.
Our friend called my wife Carol and said that she found on her husband’s cell phone a recording of him calling a house of prostitution. He called a certain woman’s name and asked for the earliest opening available. Wives, can you imagine that? It made her sick to her stomach.
A preacher at the Evangelism Conference told of a couple sitting in his office, when the husband revealed that he was involved in an adulterous affair. It was the first time the wife learned of it. She ran out of the office and was outside on her hands and knees throwing up. His secretary went out and cared for her (Jayme Ragle).
Believe it or not, God uses an occurrence of broken marriage vows to teach the people of God about his love for them. That’s the story behind the message of Hosea. It could be argued this is the most unusual book in the Old Testament. Hosea was a prophet of God. We don’t know what he did for a living, but God used him to preach a message of God’s love and judgment to the last generation of the nation of Israel.
The people of God split into two nations after the death of Solomon. The northern kingdom was called Israel. That’s where Hosea lived. The southern kingdom was called Judah. That’s where Isaiah and Micah lived, contemporaries of Hosea. The northern kingdom never had one godly king, and it lasted about 200 years. God sent prophets like Elijah, Elisha, and Amos to confront them with their sin and encouraged them to repent. Not one king listened and obeyed. The southern kingdom had a handful of godly kings; it lasted about 350 years.
It would take more than a birth,…death,…buying a person out of slavery and setting them free to get this nation to wake up to their sin and the love that God has for them. It would take the story of a godly man whose wife becomes a whore and he keeps on loving her until she returns to him.
Hosea is preaching to the last generation of his nation. The last prophecy of Hosea that can be dated with accuracy was 738 B.C. The nation is crushed and scattered by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. We don’t know if Hosea saw the death of his nation, but he was alive near the end and was still calling out for God’s people to repent.
This is a story about a man of God whose wife becomes the town prostitute, but he stays true to her. In the end, he buys her from her pimp and returns her to his home. We don’t know if Gomer ever repents and stops her whoredom. We don’t know if they ever come to love one another and have a blessed marriage. What we do know is Hosea’s great suffering represents God’s suffering when we sin. Even though God suffers when we sin, He always finds a way for us to come back to him.