Summary: A different message for being thankful, or for any time of the year. God was calling the adulterous people of Israel back into a place of repentance. I'm so thankful that the Love of God keeps calling us back when we stray.
What I am Most Thankful For
Sunday, November 21, 2010
By Pastor James May
I know that this sermon is going to start in a fashion like you never thought you would hear in a Thanksgiving Celebration message. The passage of scripture that we will go to seems far removed from festive atmosphere of the Holiday Spirit that most people enter into during this time of the year. But listen closely, and you will find that there is truly something wonderful happening; and something so outstanding to be thankful for that it beggars description. It’s not a message that can easily be seen on the surface of the events but when you dig deep into the heart of God as everything begins to happen, you will find the wonderful love of God at work in the entire process.
Let’s begin our journey by turning to the Book of Hosea, chapter one.
Hosea 1:1 The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
Hosea 1:2,3 … “And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms....” So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.
Now it is not generally acceptable that God would command a man of God to do something that would go against every law of God; and that would break the Law of Moses, just to prove a point. The Bible tells us that God tempts no man. So let’s get it our minds right now that God does not condone adultery or fornication, lest someone would think that such things are sometimes approved by God. You never know when some immature thinking Christian will misinterpret the scripture to justify his sin. We must also understand that this is more than just a parable, or a made up story. It is more than just some vision that the prophet had upon his bed in the middle of the night. The events of this story are very literal. So the question is, what is this story really all about?
In the mind of man we tend to focus strongly upon the things of the flesh; the terrestrial world around us. We live in a material world, and our souls are housed within mortal bodies of flesh. In our minds, our first thought is that everything must somehow relate to the five senses of touch, hearing, seeing, tasting and/or smell. But God lives on a different plane; and in more than one dimension. He lives in both the present and the eternal. He lives within our hearts, calling our mortal bodies the very temple of the Holy Spirit; and yet He also lives in the Heavenly realms that exist beyond the ability of mortal men to reach. Because of God’s vastly greater ability to see things in a different perspective, it is often hard to know where he is coming from when His word is given forth. In fact, the only way that we can even come close to seeing things as God sees them is to have the Holy Spirit aid us so that we may see into the spiritual realms.
The real clue to this whole scene is given in verse three where we see that Hosea took Gomer, the daughter of Dibliam. Gomer was not a woman of the streets, selling her body in some brothel, but she was an adulterer in the eyes of God. She belonged to a family that was steeped in idolatry, worshipping the golden calves that had been set up by Israel’s evil king name Jeroboam. The worship of any other god than the True God of Heaven is an absolute act of unfaithfulness as far as God is concerned, and idolatry of any kind is called spiritual adultery by God.
In the Old Testament, Israel was chosen by God to be His wife in a spiritual sense. She was to dedicate herself fully and completely to being faithful in serving Yahweh and none other. Of course, Israel failed miserably and went chasing after other gods continually. Thus we hear God say, “take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms.”
God knew how repulsive this would be to man who loved the Lord and desired only to be faithful to him, yet it was not unlawful for a man of God to marry an idolatrous woman of Israel. It was never something that a true man of God would consider on his own, but when ordered by the Lord, Hosea obeyed and through his word from the Lord gave us a wonderful picture of the Grace of God and His unconditional love for his people.