Hosea and the meaning of true love
Yvon Prehn, teacher
Do you have trouble believing that God love you? That he forgives you no matter what your sins?
Many of us have problems believing God really loves us, but with the prophet Hosea, that we are studying today we will see an incredible example of God’s love
• God sent Amos to preach to condemn sins of Israel
• Forceful, harsh messages
• Brief time of preaching
• At approximately the same time, God gives his people a similar message, but in a very different way. . . . .
• Hosea lived it for a long time—
• Started a little later than Amos, but lived in Israel and continued to preach until 3 years before the nation fell
Geographic & Historic setting
• Divided Kingdom
• Jonah, Amos prophesied early
during Jeroboam II’s reign
• Jeroboam was King for 40 years-
great prosperity (786 BC–746 BC)
• Hosea prophesied in Israel until captivity
• 41 more, 5 kings –war, turmoil
• For a total of 50+
• No other prophets sent to Israel
• Captivity came in 722 BC
Summary of Hosea
• Told to marry a woman who would be unfaithful to him
• He obeyed God
• She ran away—he went after her and bought her from the slave market
• His love and mercy to her used as a picture of God’s love for Israel & us
• Though love yet judgment
• Finally mercy and restoration
Hosea: a message in
more than words
• Background unknown, possibly a priest
• Long time of preaching 50 + years
• God told him what to do and what would happen…Following an overview book:
• Hos. 2:2 When the LORD began to speak
through Hosea, the LORD said to him, “Go,
marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the LORD.” 3 So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4 Then the LORD said to Hosea, “Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. 5 In that day I will break Israel’s bow in the Valley of Jezreel.”
• Hos 1:6 Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the LORD said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them. 7 Yet I will show love to Judah; and I will save them—not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the LORD their God, will save them.” 8 After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son. 9 Then the LORD said, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not my people, and I am not your God.
• But even as he begins, mercy prophesied after judgement:
• 10 “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ 11 The people of Judah and the people of Israel will come together; they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.
• God is holy, just; Israel abandoned Him
• Lack of teaching, failure of priests and
My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; The more priests there were, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their glorious God for something disgraceful. They feed on the sins of my peopleHosea 4: 6-7
• From religious failure comes moral failure
• Because God had a covenant with Israel, he had to enforce punishments
Hos. 7: 1 because the people have broken my covenant
and rebelled against my law. . . . .8:7“They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.”
• Yet mercy offered in judgment and ultimate mercy offered
Ultimate mercy, looking forward to the church—Jews & Gentiles
• Hos. 2:16 “In that day,” declares the LORD,
“you will call me ‘my husband’;
you will no longer call me ‘my master.’
17 I will remove the names of the Baals from
her lips; no longer will their names be
invoked. . . . .19 I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion.
20 I will betroth you in faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the LORD.
• .. . . I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’
I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’;
and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”
New Testament repeats this idea
• Jesus in his final words to his disciples: I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15
• Paul uses this passage to show God’s ultimate love and mercy to Gentiles
• 22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he says in Hosea:
• “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people;
and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”
• 26 and,“In the very place where it was said to them,
‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”
Back to Hosea
• A long, difficult time to preach,
no happy home life
• God has his reasons then and now
• God often uses people to illustrate his lessons
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
We are called to be like Hosea in trials
• I Peter 4;12
Beloved, think it not strange when you are tried by fire (which is done to prove you) as though some strange thing happened unto you.
• Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner. Life will often be unjustly hard. (MSG)
• What will our response to it?
• What will we reflect? Anger? Resentment?
• Or Trust? Part of the job description of being a representative of the Lord
We don’t know the end of the relationship story
- The telling of the relationship ends
- The rest of the book is a series of sermons to Israel
- Again and again the theme of God’s love and how Israel rejected it—to their harm
- Let me share some excerpts
- Hosea 11:1-3 New International Version (NIV)
- God’s Love for Israel
- 11 “When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 But the more they were called,
the more they went away from me.[a]
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images.
3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
- Reminder of importance of justice
- Hosea 12:6 New International Version (NIV)
- 6 But you must return to your God;
maintain love and justice,
and wait for your God always.
- Deceit of wealth
- Hosea 13:4-9 New International Version (NIV)
- 4 “But I have been the Lord your God
ever since you came out of Egypt.
You shall acknowledge no God but me,
no Savior except me.
5 I cared for you in the wilderness,
in the land of burning heat.
6 When I fed them, they were satisfied;
when they were satisfied, they became proud;
then they forgot me.
7 So I will be like a lion to them,
like a leopard I will lurk by the path.
8 Like a bear robbed of her cubs,
I will attack them and rip them open;
like a lion I will devour them—
a wild animal will tear them apart.
- 9 “You are destroyed, Israel,
because you are against me, against your helper.
- Hosea 14: Your sins have been your downfall
- As always an ending of hope
- Hosea 14:3-9 New International Version (NIV)
We will never again say ‘Our gods’
to what our own hands have made,
for in you the fatherless find compassion.”
- 4 “I will heal their waywardness
and love them freely,
for my anger has turned away from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;he will blossom like a lily.Like a cedar of Lebanon
he will send down his roots;
6 his young shoots will grow.
His splendor will be like an olive tree,
his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
I am like a flourishing juniper;
your fruitfulness comes from me.”. . . . .
- 9 Who is wise? Let them realize these things.Who is discerning? Let them understand.The ways of the Lord are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them.
Summary & Observations
• “In this world you will have tribulations….”
– There will always be troubles
– Often not a result of sin, lessons to you and others
• Yet God always has HIS people
• They will
– Worship when they can
– Serve when able
– Return to their place
– Trust God no matter what
– Because some day all wrongs will be righted, all faithfulness rewarded
• No matter the personal cost or circumstances, we must share and LIVE the message of Jesus.
One last thing
• Names of great importance in the Bible
• Hoshea, Hosea, is an imperative which means: ‘God, Save!’ (Bring Salvation).
• The book illustrates the need for salvation and then in the New Testament, the answer comes in:
• Yeshua, Jesus, means: ‘God is salvation.’