“Hosea & Gomer: Living Picture of God’s Lovingkindness”

Hosea 1:2-11 July 16, 2006  Play AUDIO (mp3)  Play VIDEO (wmv)

Love - Romantic or Real?

•     wisdom needed to prepare young couples for lasting marriages
•     superficiality of romantic love

Amorous Love, and Israel’s Adultery

•     look to Scripture not world for definitions of love (1Jn 3:16; 4:10)
•     variety of Hebrew terms, Hosea uses three
•     ‘ahab / aheb’ mutual urge of the sexes; also non-sexual context (Hos 11:1,4)
•     Israel & Gomer guilty of adulterous unfaithfulness (1:2; 2:2,5,8,12f)
•     love Baal-worship raisin-cakes, determined to turn from God (3:1; 11:2,7)

Parental Love, and Children “Not Mine”

•     ‘Racham’ to have mercy / compassion / pity / fondness; related to ‘womb’
•     Hosea’s children’s names reflect strained relationship between God & Israel (1:4-9)
•     not-loved, not-my-people (1:6,9; 2:2)
•     hope for imperfect families

Covenant Love, Redeemed from Slavery

•     ‘Checed’ mercy / kindness / lovingkindness: steadfast love on basis of covenant
•     Gomer’s unfaithfulness ended in slavery; Hosea redeems, loves her again (3:1ff)
•     contemporary prophet Jeremiah spoke of God’s delight in lovingkindness (Jer 9:24; 31:3)
•     important for Church: sinners bought back by Christ as ransom (Heb 9:15)
•     Gentiles once “not my people”, now “sons of the living God” (Rom 9:25f; 1Pet 2:10; Hos 1:10, 11:4)

Beyond Those Endearing Young Charms

•     fears of husband seeing scarred face overcome by assurance of unconditional love
•     God’s grace enables us to “love on to the close” despite charms that fade