INTRO: If we had known the prophets personally, we would likely have thought many of them (even most of them) to be strange men who lived unusual lives ... of whom God asked unusual things. This is certainly true of the prophet Hosea! Hardly does the little book bearing his name open and God is telling him to take a harlot for a wife! The probability is that Hosea is a very young and pure man when he begins his prophetic ministry. And he is asked to do something which must have been very distasteful to him. But what he is asked to do has a prophetic point. Hoseas ministry was to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He lives to the very end of that kingdoms existence.
I. THE LESSONS OF HOSEAS FAMILY
A. Of Gomer, his harlot wife?
1. 1:2 - ...for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord
2. unfaithfulness to God is often, in scripture, considered adultery
3. Jas 4:4 - here are words needing our consideration
B. Of Jezreel, his first son?
1. Jezreel means God will scatter
2.. 1:4 Jezreel signifies the beginning of the end for Israel ... for Jehus faithlessness the Northern Kingdom is brought to an end (see 2 Ki 10:31,32a)
3. the sins of the father may most assuredly affect the destiny of the child!
C. Of Loruhamah, his daughter?
1. Loruhamah means no mercy
2. 1:6 - ...for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel...
3. can you think of a worse fate? we need His mercy desperately! (Eph 2:4-7)
D. Of Loammi, his second son?
1. Loammi means not my people
2. 1:9 - here are awesome, tragic words - ...and I will not be your Gpd
3. my mind goes back to Ex 19:5,6 and the beginning of the covenant - but it is clear that Israel had not obeyed the voice of God
II. WHAT HAD HAPPENED?
A. Hos 4:6 - There was a lack of knowledge
1. this was not due to a lack of availability of knowledge to gain
2. Israel had rejected knowledge! a deliberate choice had been made
3. if faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom 10:17), faithlessness comes from refusing, rejecting His word (so, Hos 4:10)
B. Hos 4:13 - There was a choice of the sensual pleasure of idolatry
1. rather than to abide under the shadow of God (Ps 17:8), they chose the shadow of the trees among which idols were worshiped - Hos 8:11,12
2. to choose the sensual over the spiritual is a tragic error
3. yet, the appeal of the sensual is strong ... and human appetites all too willingly take notice of that appeal
C. Hos 7:8-10 - There were unholy associations
1. through Joshua, God had warned about unholy alliances and associations
2. Josh 23:12,13
3. 1 Cor 15:33 - here is a truth which was ignored among the people of Israel ... and it is too often ignored among people of the Lords church
D. Hos 10:2 - There were divided hearts
1. this, of course, is the very nature of idolatry - hearts that want both worlds
2. Ezek 14:4-8a - And I will set my face against that man...
3. admittedly, this is a very serious human problem - there are so many attractive choices, options, activities
III. BUT ALL HOPE WAS NOT LOST
A. Hos 14:1-4 - O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God...
1. as a nation, the Northern Kingdom was lost; it would end
2. but penitent people of the nation still had hope in God!
3. v. 2 - there had to be sincere confession of their sins
4. v. 3 - there had to be genuine realization that God was their only help
5. v. 4 - penitent people can always trust in the love of God
B. Hos 14:9 - Its a question of wisdom!
1. the facts are the facts ... but will people have wisdom enough to accept them?
2. among all of the options the world offers, only the ways of the Lord are right
3. Acts 17:30,31 -has anything really changed in the hundreds of years from Hosea? not really ... God still calls people to penitence
4. and no matter the facts, people still respond unwisely - Acts 17:32
5. will you?
CLOSE: The book of Hosea is a powerful indictment of the ways of humanity. Here are words to which we should listen: O Israel, thou has destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.(Hos 13:9).
Cecil A. Hutson
16 March 2003
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)