Hosea is the first of the minor prophets. Hosea had a very unique calling from God. Hosea was to marry a prostitute and stay married even when she committed adultery. This is a visual comparison of God's unconditional love for Israel (and as an extension us).
Hosea 1:2 When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord." NASB
Hosea 3:1 Then the Lord said to me, "God again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes." NASB
Even though God may get angry and hurt by our actions; He is always willing to take us back into his loving arms.
Hosea 1:6-7 Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to him, "Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I should ever forgive them. But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the Lord their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses, or horsemen." NASB
If you have teenage children, you have probably felt this way yourself. But you never really stop loving them. Like Hosea, he never really stopped loving Gomer. In spite of all she was involved in, Hosea kept thinking she would come around.
In Hoseas chapter 2 God recognized their need for a lifestyle change. He tenderly Speaks to Israel.
Hosea 2:14-15 "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Bring her into the wilderness, and speak kindly to her. Then I will give her her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt." NASB
Then God addresses Israel:
Hosea 2:16-17 "And it will come about in that day," declares the Lord, "That you will call Me Ishi and will no longer call Me Balli. For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, so that they will be mentioned by their names no more." NASB
God is basically telling them - let's go back to the way things were when I brought you out of Egypt and you trusted me. I will also help you ward off the temptations of the idol gods you have been worshipping. What a deal!
But they are like us:
Hosea 2:8 "For she does not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the new wine, and the oil, and lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal." NASB
Again God reached out to them. God made it so easy that they (and us) just couldn't get it.
Hosea 6:6 "For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings." NASB
This is much easier than what Baal requires!
Hosea 2:19-20 "And I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in loving-kindness and in compassion, and I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord." NASB
God promises all this (and more throughout the scriptures), and all we have to do is acknowledge Him. Acknowledging Him includes making Him Lord of our life, trusting Him, worshipping and praying (talk) to Him, and leading people to him. If we do this simple act - God's promise is for us:
Hosea 2:23 "And I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, And I will say to those who were not My people, 'You are My people!' And they will say, 'Thou art my God!'" NASB
God is saying even though you have hurt me and angered me - I still want to reconcile and have a loving relationship with you.
Just like Hosea was told not to give up on his adulteress wife; God sets the example by not giving up on Israel.
Hosea 4:1-2 "Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel, For the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land, because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land. There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing, and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed." NASB
Bloodshed follows bloodshed is a warning - a very strong one. And look who he holds accountable!
Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children." NASB
Leaders are called to a higher standard. The people are their responsibility, and they must make every effort to lead them toward God and away from evil.
When we continue to keep on living the way we do - without reconciling or asking for forgiveness or accepting Jesus as Lord in your life; God will allow brokenness. If that's the only way to get your attention back on him then He will allow this as a last resort. He wants you as a Christian to lead a joyful, abundant life here on earth.
If your not a Christian - He will make every effort to give you opportunities to accept his offer of eternal life with Him in Heaven.
Hosea 5:14-15 "For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, And like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear to pieces and go away, I will carry away, and there will be none to deliver. I will go away and return to My place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me." NASB
Many of us know of people who hit rock bottom, and there is no where to turn but up. When you come to your senses and beg God for help, and turn from your ways - He will be right there. Again, so simple they just couldn't understand it. God wants a relationship with us!
Hosea 7:13 "Woe to them, for they have strayed from Me! Destruction is theirs, for they have rebelled against Me! I would redeem them, but they speak lies against Me." NASB
God's mercy is incomprehensible!
Hosea 11:9 "I will not execute My fierce anger; I will not destroy Ephraim again. For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, And I will not come in wrath." NASB
Wow! Our God is awesome, forgiving and full of mercy, (which is not getting the punishment that we deserve). He continues to show mercy to this day to a people who continue to disobey Him. But there is one requirement (if you're already a Christian).
Hosea 12:6 "Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, and wait for your God continually." NASB
Hosea 14:4 "I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from them." NASB
If you don't take anything else away from this outline know this: Repentance Brings Blessings.
Hosea 14:1-3 "Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to Him, "Take away all iniquity, And receive us graciously, That we may present the fruit of our lips. Assyria will not save us, We will not ride on horses; Nor will we say again, 'Our god,' To the work of our hands; For in Thee the orphan finds mercy." NASB
Hosea 14:9 "Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them." NASB
We can all learn several lessons from the Israelites and God's unfailing, unconditional love.
Created By Julie Robinson
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Sunday, July 15, 2018