ROUTE 66, WEEK 2, The Book of Hosea

GOD’S RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF UNFAITHFUL PEOPLE
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The Book of Hosea

Impact Christian Church

Pastor Steve With • 06/12/2016

Introduction

  1. Title, Author and Date

The title is derived from the main character and author of the book.

1. The meaning of his name, “Salvation is the same as that of Joshua (Numbers 13:8,16) and Jesus (Matthew 1:21).

2. Hosea is the first of the 12 Minor Prophets.  “Minor” refers to the brevity of the prophecies, as compared to the length of the works of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.

The book of Hosea is the sole source of information about the author. Little is known about him, and even less about his father, Beeri (1:1).

  1. Hosea and Jonah are the only Prophets from the Northern Kingdom.  Israel is about 270 miles from North to the South and the nation is divided at this moment in history. 
  2. Hosea had a lengthy period of ministry
  1. Prophesying  755–710 B.C., during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah.
  1. The Story

The book of Hosea is about God’s Relentless Pursuit of an Unfaithful People, It’s about Hosea, Gomer and Us!

We need to understand something important to comprehend the being of this book of Prophecy!  The story is synonym

God = Hosea     same as     Gomer = The Israelites (and us)

  1. THE PROPHET AND THE PROSTITUTE (ch 1-2)               (REad 1:1-9)

1 The Lord gave this message to Hosea son of Beeri during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.  2 When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.”

3 So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son. 4 And the Lord said, “Name the child Jezreel, for I am about to punish King Jehu’s dynasty to avenge the murders he committed at Jezreel. In fact, I will bring an end to Israel’s independence. 5 I will break its military power in the Jezreel Valley.”

6 Soon Gomer became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to Hosea, “Name your daughter Lo-ruhamah—‘Not loved’—for I will no longer show love to the people of Israel or forgive them. 7 But I will show love to the people of Judah. I will free them from their enemies—not with weapons and armies or horses and charioteers, but by my power as the Lord their God.”

8 After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she again became pregnant and gave birth to a second son. 9 And the Lord said, “Name him Lo-ammi—‘Not my people’—for Israel is not my people, and I am not their God.

  1. Scandalous Start (v1)
  1. Could you Imagine the Headlines? If it ever happened in today’s Christian church it would travel the gossip line right across the country. Today’s 21st century Pharisees would shake their heads in disgust and others who didn’t know the context of the tale would add false but juicy tid-bits as tongues wagged from East to West: PASTOR MARRIES PROSTITUTE.
  1. God Told Hosea to Marry a Prostitute (v2)
  1. This is the framework for the book of Hosea.
  1. God told Hosea that it was time to get married. And God said: “Hosea, I got just the girl picked out for you”. How good is that when the maker of the very first woman, who was custom made for Adam, picked out just the right mate for Hosea … so he thought.
  2. God told Hosea: “Her name is Gomer and she’s beautiful (Hosea’s heart is about to burst) and one more thing, she’s a prostitute, a call girl, a hussy, a harlot, a hooker, an unfaithful shady lady”. 
  3. Hosea quickly understood that God was using Hosea’s marriage and family as an object lesson for Israel.

C. Children’s Names (v3-6)

1. Hosea and Gomer’s Children

  1. Jezreel (1 Kings 21) means: “God scatters”
  2. Lo-Ruhamah means: “Not pitied (loved)”
  3. Lo-Ammi means: “Not my people”

Symbols and Names

  • Hosea knew that it was customary in the ancient Hebrew world to use symbols to communicate lessons
  • Hosea also knew that names were very important for God often used names to teach Israel certain truths.
  1. GOD IS GRACIOUS EVEN IN JUDGMENT (v.6-7)
  1. Even in this time when God was announcing judgment. his grace also was being shown.

I will show love to those I called ‘Not loved.’ And to those I called ‘Not my people,’ I will say, ‘Now you are my people.’ And they will reply, ‘You are our God!’” Hosea 2:23

III. God Heals the Broken Hearted (ch 3)

A. Hosea may have been heartbroken when he returned from his various preaching assignments and the whispers around town became very loud when word got around about Gomer’s sexual activity and sins.

  1. Gomer went from man to man without discretion.
  2. Hosea’s heart was broken time and time again; and, then God spoke again

“Then the Lord said to me, “Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them.” Hosea 3:1

3. He Went  to her and put her clothes on her and he led her away by the hand and took her to his home.  And then follows what is perhaps the most beautiful verse in all the Bible. As Hosea led her away he said to her:

“You must live in my house for many days and stop your prostitution. During this time, you will not have sexual relations with anyone, not even with me.” Hosea 3:3

— Hosea pledged his love to her anew.  And that was all this poor woman could take. She had gotten down to the very dregs of shame and disgrace, but the love of this man broke her heart, and from this time on Gomer was faithful to Hosea. She became an honest. industrious, faithful wife, and the rest of the book of Hosea simply goes on to tell the effect of this story on the nation of Israel.

IV. God Embraces Us With His Tough Love When He  Exposes Our Sin (Read 4:1-6)

“Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel! The Lord has brought charges against you, saying: ‘There is no faithfulness, no kindness, no knowledge of God in your land. You make vows and break them; you kill and steal and commit adultery. There is violence everywhere—one murder after another.  That is why your land is in mourning, and everyone is wasting away. Even the wild animals, the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea are disappearing.  “Don’t point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame!  My complaint, you priests, is with you. So you will stumble in broad daylight, and your false prophets will fall with you in the night. And I will destroy Israel, your mother.

My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Hosea 4:6

  1. Destruction comes from Not Knowing god
    1. The Lord is bringing Charges Against Israel
      1. No Faithfulness, No Kindness and No Knowledge of God
      2. Pointing the Finger and Stumbling in the Darkness

My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Hosea 4:6

Some of God’s pictures…  Simile

6:4 “For your love vanishes like the morning mist…”

…their love for God disappears each day.

7:8 “Making themselves as worthless as a half-baked cake!”

…they are like a burnt pancake, looks good on one side.

7:9 “Their hair is gray, but they don’t realize they’re old and weak.”

…they don’t even know the trouble they are in.

7:11 “The people of Israel have become like silly, witless doves.”

…flying from allegiance to God to allegiance to another

7:16 “They are as useless as a crooked bow.”

…they look everywhere except to God which makes them worthless

“Sin is not only the breaking of God’s laws it is the breaking of God’s heart”

Warren Wiersbe

• Ask God to expose your sin. Yearn to recognize your sin!

V. God Expresses His Tough Love When He Executes Discipline On Us (Chapters 8-10)

“Sound the alarm!  The enemy descends like an eagle on the people of the Lord, for they have broken my covenant and revolted against my law…My fury burns against you.  How long will you be incapable of innocence?…The people of Israel have been swallowed up;

    they lie among the nations like an old discarded pot.” Hosea 8:1,5b,8

“After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” Hebrews 12:4-6

VI. God’s Tough Love Exists As A Part Of His Unfailing Love For Us (Chapters 11-14)

“For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does.  He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.” Psalm 33:4-5

“Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.” Psalm 33:22

“Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love.” Lamentations 3:32

“I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love.  Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come

    and shower righteousness upon you.’” Hosea 10:12

A. What you Plant will grow.  Plant Good Seed in your Life and “you will harvest a crop of love”

“O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you.

I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.”  Let those who are wise understand these things.  Let those with discernment listen carefully.  The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.” Hosea 14:8-9

Lessons for life …Remember the key verse from Hosea 4:6,

My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Hosea 4:6

• God wants all of us all of the time

• Spiritual adultery happens when we love something/anything more than we love God

• Your trauma, your pain, your agony right now MAY BE God’s tough love expressed as discipline because He wants you back

• God’s unfailing love loves you just the way you are but loves you too much to leave you that way

  • Repentance is the way to show God you’re serious about being a committed follower