Summary: Hosea is an interesting book. Through him, God spoke to Israel about their need for repentance. They had forsaken God and judgment was looming. Even in judgment, God offered mercy. We serve a gracious and merciful Lord.
Your Sin will Find you Out
Hosea 1: 1-11
Today I want to begin a series of messages from the book of Hosea. Some present today may be unfamiliar with this book, written by the prophet Hosea. Unfortunately, it is a book that is often overlooked and largely ignored by many Bible teachers and preachers. Although many are unfamiliar with Hosea, there is a wealth of biblical truth and wisdom recorded by the prophet.
As our text reveals, Hosea ministered during the reign of many kings. His ministry spanned the reigns of four kings in Judah – Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, as well as the reign of Jeroboam, king of Israel. While most of Hosea’s writings addressed Israel, the Northern Kingdom, he also wrote to the nation of Judah. The writings to Judah were largely a warning of coming judgment if the people failed to repent. It is believed that Hosea’s ministry spanned a time of around fifty years, from approximately 760-710 BC.
While there is much within this book, a few of the major themes are God’s love and faithfulness to humanity, the sinfulness of men, and our obligation to respond obediently to the Lord. He also shares a message of salvation and grace. The name Hosea means “salvation.”
As we consider the opening chapter of Hosea, we discover he has addressed the sinfulness of the people, and God’s awareness of their sin. As I read these verses, I was reminded of a convicting statement in Numbers 32:23b – and be sure your sin will find you out. As we consider the declarations in the text, I want to preach on the thought: Your Sin will Find you Out.
I. The Proclamation of the LORD (1-3) – As Hosea opens, we discover an unusual proclamation from the LORD. First we must consider:
A. God’s Command (2a) – The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms. I am sure we would all agree that Hosea’s prophecy begins with a very unusual command. God commanded Hosea to take unto himself a wife of whoredoms that would produce children of the same ungodly acts. Hosea was instructed by the Lord to marry a woman who would engage in adultery and prostitution. Some contend that Gomer, the woman Hosea would marry, was not engaged in such sinful activity when they initially married, but would soon become unfaithful to Hosea and live a life of adultery and immorality. Others believe Gomer was already engaged in such activity when Hosea married her. Clearly, we will discover that Gomer lived a sinful lifestyle, engaging in adulterous acts that produced children born in immorality. Regardless of when Gomer began such a sinful path, such behavior was unpleasing to the Lord.
B. God’s Clarification (2b) – for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD. God often asked His prophets to preform particular behaviors or deeds in order to provide a compelling illustration to the people. Ezekiel was asked on many occasions to obediently follow the Lord’s direction in order to provide an undeniable message of truth. Such is the case with Hosea and Gomer. In having Hosea take an unfaithful wife, God would clearly illustrate the unfaithfulness of the people in regard to His blessing. Just as an unfaithful wife, Israel had departed from the Lord, becoming adulterous in their relationship with Him. He had called them unto Himself, creating a nation that served the true and living God, while receiving His blessing. Rather than remaining faithful to God and serving Him alone, the people sought other gods and offered their worship and devotion to them.
While we must be careful in applying prophecy regarding Israel to the church, clearly this principle remains today. Our Lord and Savior provided the sole means of salvation, bearing our sin and judgment on the cross. However, the majority today deny the Lord and choose rather to serve the gods of pleasure and self-promotion. The Lord has been faithful in His dealings with humanity, and yet many have no desire for Him. The world has gone after strange gods.
C. Hosea’s Compliance (3) – So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son. Knowing ahead of time the struggles he would face, Hosea responded in obedience to God’s command. He took unto him a wife named Gomer. As you move through the coming chapters, you discover the unfaithfulness of Gomer in regard to her relationship with Hosea and the God of Israel. Hosea was willing to suffer hardship in order to remain obedient to God. He was willing to lay aside personal comfort to fulfill the sovereign plan of God.