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Summary: Hosea speaks of Gomer’s unfaithfulness as a reflection of the spiritual adultery of the people of God

Then a remarkable thing appears to happen at the end of verse 7. It appears as if Gomer has come to her senses and has decided to return to Hosea, and the people of Israel to return to God. How like the Prodigal Son when he finds himself in the pigsty – and he comes to his senses and realises that event he hired hands are better off in his father’s house than he is at present. Friends this morning there are some of you and that is exactly where you are at this very moment. You have committed spiritual adultery and chased after other lovers, other gods and this morning your eyes are slowly opening to the situation in which you find yourself. This morning you realise, maybe for the first time, the place to be is with God in Christ. For some of you in here this morning you have been like Gomer. You entered into a relationship with God in Christ, you entered the marriage relationship with Christ, but you have played the harlot and slept with other gods and chased other lovers and God in His infinite mercy and love for you has blocked your path this morning. He blocked your path to other gods/lovers and frustrated everything you have done to chase after them. This morning you find yourself in a barren place with you spirit quenched and your heart aching with emptiness but this morning God’s Holy Spirit has shone the light of His grace into your soul and you know in your spirit that He has done this because He loves you. This morning these words of Gomer are ringing in your head and heart – they are the words you know to be true for you and this morning God calls you to come back.

Verse 8 God then tells the people of Israel how they have been unfaithful to Him. The have failed to acknowledge that all things come from God and instead has given credit and worship to Baal. Israel knew that it was God who had provided all their needs in the wilderness and brought them to a land flowing with milk and honey, with all rich provisions, but in their adultery they gave their praise and thanks to their lovers. Friends how many of you give credit for all the things in your life to God? How often have you thanked God for His bountiful blessings upon your life? We are quick to apportion the blame to God when things go wrong or illness comes but rarely do we hear ‘work of God’ when blessings come.

Verses 9-13 God outlines the punishment that Israel will face for such spiritual adultery. Note in these verses how God states ‘my wine…my grain’ etc. Showing Israel that the things for which they worshipped Baal were in fact belonging to God and in His gift and not Baals. The punishment of verses 9-13 is unsparing but it is not unjust. The picture is of a bleak prospect as harvests failed and the land returned to wild. The implication is clear – if God removes His hand of blessing and provision from the land it will quickly become a desolate place. The result will be desolation for the land and decimation of the people. Israel has worshipped Baal when they should have been worshipping the true and living God (verse 11). The feasts given to cement their relationship with the living God they had turned into a time of adultery by worshipping Baal and so God will remove the opportunities for festivity by withholding the harvests. The withdrawal of all provisions would bring Israel to her senses and to the knowledge of God.

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