Experiencing the Depths of Grace – Part 1

Hosea, Gomer, and Us!

The Book of Hosea

July 5, 2015 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (Romans 5:6-10; 3:23,24)


A.    It is a self evident truth that we all sin – whether you admit it or not!


1.      We all do things that are clearly wrong (lie, steal, lust, rebel, hate, disobey, dishonour…)

2.      Hey Lady Gaga! “We were born that way!”  The wrong way!

3.      Even if sinful things have become accepted, and the norm today, they still are wrong, and still going to be judged by God one day!

4.      So, we all definitely sin. Some more than others, some less. But we all break God’s laws


B.     And, we all fall way short of the glory and perfection of God in heaven, completely unable to restore ourselves – completely unable to earn forgiveness – completely unable to repair all the damage that we produce!

C.     The truth is, THAT is where WE live – way down here – far from God, separated from God, and in trouble with God!

D.    Listen to Romans 5:6-10


1.      Rom 5:6  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

2.      Rom 5:7  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

3.      Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  (Not for other people, but US)!

4.      Rom 5:9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood (the loss of it when he died on the cross), we shall be saved from wrath through him.

5.      Rom 5:10  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

6.      Isn’t all of that awesome?! It is to me!


E.     Let’s ponder Romans 3:23,24

F.      Romans 3:23 is who we are – we are all familiar with it


1.      ALL

2.      Have sinned

3.      Come short of the glory of God, and will miss ever reaching God on our own

4.      Like a Pole Vaulting Jumper


G.    When we should experience His justice and wrath… And by the way, we will if something doesn’t change about us!

H.    Yet, here is where we experience God’s grace.

I.       Here is where God finds us, loves us, and redeems us, and brings us back to Himself

J.       Romans 3:24 tells us who God is – not so familer with this verse


1.      A justifier, protector

2.      Lover of such sinful people

3.      Redeemer of people so far in debt

4.      All at His own expense – costs us nothing!


K.    But wait!


1.      Why kind of a person would deserve such faithful, undying love that never stops trying to bring us back?

2.      Absolutely no one.

3.      That’s why it is available to everyone!


L.     This morning, and for the next few weeks, let’s take a look at just how LOW God’s grace can go – how deep it can reach INTO OUR SINFUL life and minds and hearts

M.   And let’s see if it can change the worst of people, like God promises that it can

N.    In this series of studies, let’s discover three great truths


1.      The kind of people that God loves (Hosea 1,2)

2.      The kind of hurt that we cause God (Hosea 3-5)

3.      The amazing way that grace heals (Hosea 6-14)


II.    Background (Hosea 1:1)


A.    God needed a Prophet – a very special preacher, to be an example

B.     Spoke to and called a very special man, named Hosea


1.      Name means Jehovah Saves – just like Joshua, and JESUS

2.      He was a prophet who


a.       Preached and warned for 60 years

b.      Lived through 6 kings (5 in Israel, and 1 in Judah)

c.       Was about to be commanded to do the hardest things imaginable


C.     To love someone who doesn’t love him back. To remain faithful to someone who is unfaithful to him.

D.    All so that everyone can see themselves for who THEY really are!


1.      Too often, we miss what God is saying in the Bible because we don’t see ourselves and our sins.

2.      The book of Hosea describes God trying to get people to see ourselves, our sin, and the amazing grace that God extends towards us!

3.      I think you will be quite surprised just how we truly are


E.     Throughout the Bible, there is only ONE theme…


1.      God faithfully loving unfaithful, unworthy people!

2.      Quite lying to yourself that you are so good and so faithful to God

3.      If the truth be known, we are all as an unclean thing.

4.      And WHY God loves any one of us is beyond comprehension!


III. Message


A.    The Command to Hosea (Hosea 1:2)


1.      Go!


a.       Not a request, but a direct command!

b.      What God is about to ask of Hosea will be hard – the hardest thing he will ever do

c.       Get going. Search out and find a wife!

d.      Oh … Whew! That must have thrilled him! Wow Lord! Really? Wonderful!

e.       But the will of God was different than Hosea expected!


2.      Go! Find, fall in love with and marry… become committed to… wait for it…

3.      A whore, harlot, adulteress


a.       Someone that you should NOT marry!

b.      Someone who didn’t want to get married

c.       Someone who would not love Hosea back. Would be unfaithful. Would come with a lot of baggage!


4.      And even more… Accept her children out of wedlock – fruit of her doings – the word bastard, without a father!

5.      What an awful thing to demand of His servant, Hosea

6.      Do this Hosea, as a great lesson. A picture for all Israel to see what THEY have done to me!


B.     So He Obeyed (Hosea 1:3)


1.      As wrong as it was. And it WAS wrong!

2.      As hard as it must have been. And believe me, it WAS hard!

3.      He still went out, into the highways and hedges, to the red light districts…

4.      He found a woman.

5.      Her name, Gomer - Her name meant, The End, Finished

6.      Truly married her. Loved her.

7.      And for the moment, she married him. Went through all the motions


C.    They Had Three Children (Hosea 1:3-9)


1.      She got pregnant with a son. God gave them a son. Not a cursed boy, but a part of the message, the picture God wanted painted in front of the nation of Israel!

2.      Call the boy “Jezreel”


a.       The name meant, “Judgment is Coming”

b.      Kingdom of Israel shall CEASE!


3.      She had a second child


a.       Loruhamah. “No mercy!”

b.      God will now utterly take Israel (the Northern Kingdom) away from all the blessings of God, the land, the presence of God, and the promises of God

c.       Yet God will remains faithful to the people of Judah


4.      Third son


a.       Loammi. “You are not my people.” Israel is no longer God’s people

b.      I am not their God anymore, so they will no longer be my people!


5.      Remember, this FAMILY of five would move and live amongst the people of Israel


a.       And they would hear those names being called throughout every day as they went shopping, and working, and just walking

b.      Gomer!!! Get the baby!

c.       Jezreel, get the cows!

d.      Loruhamah! Make sure you get some milk from the market!

e.       Lo-ammi! Be home by sunset!

f.       Hosea! Wait up for us!

g.      And the people constantly heard…


D.    Why Did God Use Hosea This Way? (Hosea 2:1-5) What God Meant By Hosea Seeking and Marrying an Harlot


1.      To get this stubborn people to talk about Hosea and Gomer and their three children like gossipers until they start to understand the parable! This messed up family would be the talk of the town and of the entire nation!


a.       Plead with your Ammi – my brother

b.      Reason with Ruhamah – my sister

c.       Plead with your mother – speaking of the entire nation of Israel. The motherland


2.      For Israel, AND US to learn a Parable! A story with a vital lesson for even 2,500 years later!

3.      To show the nation of Israel…


a.       They really did not want God

b.      They had no interest in staying with Him, and loving Him

c.       They loved other gods, other things, even themselves – just not Him

d.      They were all a generation that has grown up without God!

e.       Just like today!


4.      But they didn’t start that way.


a.       They, as a people had started off tender, and in love with God, when they were just a few – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!

b.      They had known the blessings and care and love of God through the wilderness and into their Promised Land

c.       God had blessed them, and carried them like a new groom shows off his strengths to his bride!


5.      And instead of acting like nothing was wrong, the people needed to see just how awful THEIR sin against GOD was!


a.       THEY, Israel, had played the harlot.

b.      What an aweful thing to expose!

c.       They had gotten bored with God, and left God, totally abandoned Him just like an unfaithful wife walks out on her husband!

d.      Didn’t love God, just played. Just numb. No life or love outside of God’s love

e.       Shame

f.       She is addicted to her way of life

g.      She is in love not with the idols/men, but with what she can get out of the false gods


E.     God’s Warning (Hosea 2:2-5)


1.      God warns that Israel must put away their whoredoms – divorce from them their past lifestyle


a.       The things that had become their way of life had to be abhorred and thrown out

b.      The way they treated God had to change

c.       Because you cannot just live any way you please

d.      Neither in marriage or in worship!


2.      Or else God WILL judge


a.       As a faithful husband or a faithful wife used to be able to do!

b.      Nowadays, it seems no one really fears the consequences of adultery


1)      It is part of most every TV program

2)      Unfaithful love is the only kind of love that seems to get all the attention in movies


c.       But God’s judgment will be severe - Jezreel

d.      God will not have mercy – Loruhammah

e.       God will divorce Himself from His people – Lo-ammi

f.       They will lose everything God ever gave them! God warned that he would Strip them of all their beauty, outward riches, and even of Himself!

g.      What a dangerous situation

h.      Fear God ladies and gentlemen, FOR YOUR CHILDREN’S SAKE!

i.        Compare Laodicea in Rev 3:14-19


F.     Yet God makes a promise… to KEEP His Promise! (Hosea 1:10,11)


1.      The promise of God to Abraham, 1000 years earlier will still come true! God WILL REMAIN FAITHFUL. But how?

2.      God will yet make these who are NOT His people, into his people AGAIN one day!

3.      Make them not just sons of Israel…

4.      But SONS of the living God!

5.      And the divided tribes will be one nation again!

6.      One head. One king

7.      All one day. By the day of Jezreel. By Armageddon!

8.      See John 1:10-13!!!


G.    What God HAS to Do To Keep That Promise (Hosea 2:6-13)


1.      He has to start over with us


a.       like a Potter with unyielding clay (Jeremiah 18)

b.      And so God declared the marriage is over!

c.       God declares, “Israel is no longer my wife”

d.      Notice how God sees his people. As in a covenant relationship like marriage. Husband, wife – not as a set of rituals, and mysteries, but of a relationship

e.       If your walk with God is not a relationship, then it is already dead!


2.      Expose our sin! Compares their idolatry, their love of the cultures around them with adultery


a.       They “played” the harlot

b.      The love that they were supposed to have only for HIM, has now been given to everything and every one else

c.       James 4:4-6


3.      Teach Us. Show us that everything good in our lives came from Him (James 1:17,  perfect gifts)

4.      Chasten Us


a.       God will make her life hard

b.      Blocking Israel in - Shall become trapped in their sin

c.       No matter how hard she tries to follow the world, she won’t succeed

d.      No fun anymore. Pleasures of sin WILL run out

e.       By causing Israel to lose everything


1)      Idolaters take all that God gave, and use it to worship false gods that don't exist!

2)      So God will take away everything he ever gave them


f.       That is when she will decide to return to God. But still only for the wrong reasons!

g.      What a warning!

h.      God promises to expose her shamefully in full sight of her lovers. The Assyrians, Babylonians, etc

i.        And no one will be able to help them

j.        God will give them sorrow

k.      No more joy

l.        Take away all their feasts and parties - No matter how serious and sombre and religious they may seem!

m.    God will take what Israel had developed and will replace them with forests and beasts of the wilderness. Totally overrun



6.      Cause us to Reap What We have Sown.


a.       God is judging the fruit of what Baalim started and planted in the people’s culture

b.      When they just started to burn incense

c.       When they just started to dress up for false religion

d.      Ended upturning after the world like lovers

e.       And forgot God!

f.       Such sad words!


H.    But God WILL YET Restore Israel (Hosea 2:14-23)


1.      Allure, Attract, Draw back to Him (2:14)


a.       To the wilderness again

b.      Away from wealth, and away from sorrow.

c.       To a place of nothing but God – WHAT A GREAT PLACE!


2.      Speak Comfortably (2:14) – comforting (the work of the Holy Spirit as Comforter, not to make you comfortable in your sin, but to speak to sinful human hearts of hope and a way back to God). And there God will speak comfortably to them (See Isaiah 40)

3.      Restore (2:15-17)


a.       And that is when God will once again restore everything to this nation

b.      Not to the individuals, but to the nation

c.       They will come to the valley of Achor. Such a place of failure. The place where Achan showed just how covetous the people were

d.      And it will be a place of hope now! Because they will be reminded to be content once again

e.       Such reminders are important to have

f.       And then all Israel will sing and rejoice again like when they were freed from Egypt!

g.      They will start to know God again

h.      Not as Baali – Boss, Master

i.        But as Ishi – Husband, Lover, Friend!

j.        All false ways of worship, and wrong ways of knowing and thinking about God will be fixed


4.      Regenerate – make dead things alive again! Make the world a paradise again (2:18)


a.       That’s when God will bring in the Kingdom that Jesus talked so much about – the Millennial Kingdom


1)      Beasts, fowls, creeping things will stop fearing and fighting man

2)      No more war

3)      All will rest safely!


b.      Every Jew waits and yearns for this day

c.       Every animal moans and craves this day


5.      Remarry. Israel will be married again to God – He will wait for them! (2:19-22)


a.       In righteousness, judgment, loving kindness and mercies!

b.      Betroth

c.       In faithfulness

d.      All shall know the Lord

e.       There will be no more barriers because of sin

f.       God will refer to Israel as His people again

g.      Israel will refer to God not just as the God, but as MY God!



7.      That’s what God can do, and He does it through GRACE!


a.       Not by tolerating sin, ignoring our sinful hearts

b.      Not by accepting our sinful lifestyles

c.       But by working through all our sin, and humbling us, and redeeming us


IV. Conclusion


A.    This is just the beginning of the picture that God needs to fully finish painting for us to see OURSELVES

B.     A picture of what only GRACE can do


1.      Going after and loving someone who can never fully love Him back

2.      Always working to restore their relationship

3.      Paying for the sins Himself

4.      Transforming a rebellious and broken people into His people

5.      The picture being painted for us in Hosea will take on much more colour as we continue


C.    It would be easy to think God speaks only of ancient Israel, and not of 21st century men and women, teenagers, and young people!

D.    Just as Romans 3:23 says, ALL of us have sinned


1.      And our sin is not measured by weight and by quantity

2.      But by the hurt we have caused to the God who made us and loves us

3.      All of us have walked away from God, and done immeasurable harm to our relationship with Him

4.      Our nation has abandoned God

5.      This generation is a bastard generation – a product of a culture that seeks false gods, empty lovers, and self!

6.      And God has been pushed away, even OUT of churches (Cf Revelation 3:14-20) – completely confident that they need nothing – not even God! And are really blind, sick, and poor in the sight of God

7.      And they are about to be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ!

8.      Not individuals, but churches, and nations as a whole!


E.     Let me ask you the questions I have asked myself:


1.      How much do you abhor your sins? Do you even know what it means to not just hate your sins, but abhor them?

2.      How much time did you spend just with God this week? Too busy? Too distracted? Too many other more important things besides HIM? Hmmm. So, how does it feel when your wife or your husband ignores YOU? I thought so!

3.      Has God been making your way hard lately? Could that be Him trying to get you to stop, and return to Him?

4.      Are you letting God set you down, and still you, so you can become content with what he has given you, and start to bless you again, right with what you have and where you are? Very convicting!

5.      Where is your joy? Where do you find it?

6.      Have you been faithful, or unfaithful to the Saviour who loved you and gave Himself for you?

7.      Have you even accepted Christ’s invitation to be made a child of God? He asks like a man asks a lady to marry him! You can say no, but it will be the biggest mistake you ever make!