Experiencing the Depths of Grace – Part 2

Hosea, Gomer, and Us!

The Book of Hosea

July 19, 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.      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!

3.      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


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


a.       ALL

b.      Have sinned

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

d.      Like a Pole Vaulting Jumper


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


a.       A justifier, protector

b.      Lover of such sinful people

c.       Redeemer of people so far in debt

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


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

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

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


F.      But wait just a minute!


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!


G.    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

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

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


1.      Last time, two weeks ago, we saw The kind of people that God loves (Hosea 1,2)

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

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


II.    Review (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 didn’t love him back. To remain faithful to someone who was 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!


F.      So Hosea…, a prophet of God, a godly man, a faithful man, a man who had waited on God to direct his every step, and a man who trusted God to bring him a godly wife that would serve God together with him… this same Hosea, was directed to go, and find, and then love, and even marry a harlot – a whore – an adulteress woman! A woman who did not love him, and who could not be trusted to remain faithful to him!


G.    So Hosea 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


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


1.      Call the boy “Jezreel”


a.       The name meant, “Judgment is Coming”

b.      Kingdom of Israel shall CEASE!


2.      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


3.      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!


4.      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…


I.       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! The fastest news to travel is a scandal!

2.      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 had grown up without God!

e.       Just like today!


3.      The people needed to see just how awful THEIR sin against GOD was!


a.       THEY, Israel, as a nation, had played the harlot on God!

b.      What an awful 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 along. Just numb.

e.       Folks, there really is no life or love outside of God’s love

f.       Shame

g.      She is addicted to her way of life

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


4.      And the people needed to hear just how much trouble they were in with God (Hosea 2:2-5)


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 at that day – Loruhammah

e.       God will divorce Himself from His people – Lo-ammi – at least for a while!

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


J.      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!


III. Background (James 4:1-4)


A.    A strong rebuke!


1.      These are tough, convicting words

2.      An old black preacher used to say, “I jes’ says it like I see’s it!”

3.      Well, same here. I am just going to say it like I see’s it!


B.     Written to believers – to CHRISTIANS! People who claim to follow Jesus Christ, who CLAIM to love Him supremely!

C.    Look at the culture that Jewish Christianity in Israel in the first century had become


1.      Warring amongst themselves

2.      Lusting for things, possessions

3.      Killing, murdering! How can that be? And yet it was happening!

4.      Demanding things, never praying or asking

5.      They had become just like the world around them

6.      And God calls them Adulterers and Adulteresses!


D.    What are Adulteress Christians?


1.      He is an adulterer that removes his affections from his own wife, and sets them upon another woman

2.      She is an adulteress that loves not her husband, but places her love upon another man


a.       Flirting, being happy with someone else but cold towards your husband or wife

b.      Spending the majority of your time AWAY from your wife or husband, and with others


3.      So, such men and women are adulterers and adulteresses, who, instead of loving God, whom they ought to love with all their hearts and souls, set their affections upon the world, and the things of it.


a.       Your TV

b.      Your hobby

c.       Your friends, especially unsaved friends

d.      Your sport and team

e.       Your computer games


4.      Our friendship with the world, our flirting, our attention, our affections…

5.      They are very hurtful to the God we claim to love and follow

6.      Can anyone else see that?


E.     Could this be the reason for the Silence of God today?

F.     The lack of joy amongst Christians?

G.    Can such people truly be restored to God?

H.    The answer to all three questions is Yes.

I.       Because as deep as sin can go, God’s grace can go deeper!


IV. Message (Hosea Chapters 3-6)


A.    Another ‘Go’! (Hosea 3:1)


1.      The first ‘Go’ was hard enough!


a.       At the first ‘Go’

b.      Hosea had been commanded to go and get Gomer and love her and marry her

c.       He had had 3 children by her

d.      And now we find out she has stepped out on him, and is gone


2.      And he is told to Go yet again!


a.       Again?

b.      Love an adulteress woman – a woman who loved other men – and not just ‘A’ woman, but his own WIFE!!!

c.       Love HER again!

d.      Draw her back again!


3.      How could God ask such things of people?

4.      It would be just too hard for most to forgive and keep trying

5.      So…


a.       Who exactly was Hosea being asked to love again, and again, and again?


1)      A woman who didn’t love him to begin with

2)      A woman who by nature was unfaithful

3)      A woman who was in someone else’s arms at that very minute

4)      A woman who even had children by those wicked men


b.      So… who exactly does the Jehovah God of the Bible attempt to love again and again and again???


1)      People who don’t love Him to begin with

2)      People who by nature was unfaithful

3)      People who are in love and giving all themselves to another person, sport, thing, or other idol at that very minute

4)      People who even had fruit by those wicked things


6.      THAT is what God wants us to see in ourselves!!!


B.     The Higher Cost (Hosea 3:2)


1.      It was hard the first time God commanded him

2.      Now it is even harder


a.       The fact that his wife had left him and did not want to be with him, freed him to divorce her and seek another wife

b.      That is obvious. That is why God allows divorce – because we humans are not superhuman


3.      And it physically, materially cost Hosea to get her back


a.       GOMER should be made to pay the price…

b.      And believe me she already has!

c.       You always will pay the piper, folks! Sin never is free!

d.      She was now so mistreated, so abused, that she had ended up in debt to some man

e.       The price Hosea had to pay was shameful

f.       This woman was for sale!

g.      Her own doing – not like the slave trade of the Muslims


4.      Hosea’s wife’s price?


a.       15 silver coins

b.      A bushel and a half of Barley – that is about 1 ½ buckets of grain

c.       That doesn’t sound like much – half the price of a slave!

d.      But that was how far Gomer had devalued her own life


1)      To lower than a slave

2)      To someone who was only used, abused and thrown away

3)      Trash


e.       The highest cost was a lot of humiliation for Hosea – Hosea had to go and GET what was his already!


5.      You all know of the Prodigal Son in the Bible (Luke 15:12-16)


a.       Luk 15:12  And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

b.      Luk 15:13  And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

c.       Luk 15:14  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

d.      Luk 15:15  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

e.       Luk 15:16  And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.


6.      Well, you are reading the story of God’s Prodigal Wife


a.       Took all the best of her life – all that God had given to her – all the health and strength and heart and beauty and talent, and strength

b.      And wasted it on other men than her Husband

c.       She had walked AWAY from her husband

d.      And now she was losing it all

e.       She that had scaled the top of pleasure and fun, had now gone all the way down to the bottom, and was standing, shamed on an auction block!

f.       But it was at the bottom that God had Hosea go and find his wife!!!


C.     A Necessary Isolation (Hosea 3:3-5)


1.      God didn’t ask Hosea to just act like nothing had happened when he took her back


a.       Yes, he had to seek her

b.      Yes he had to love her again

c.       Yes he had to forgive her

d.      But things had to change – she needed help to change

e.       How was that going to happen?


2.      A Get Away for Gomer – a careful separation – not a divorce


a.       Separated from each other for a time


1)      From other men

2)      From even her husband


b.      Not really punishment, but something like Camp, like a Camping Trip – maybe best understood as a grounding!


1)      Time away from friends

2)      From your phone

3)      From the TV

4)      From all the places and people that used to be such easy places to fall and sin

5)      Kids AND adults do well when they have to actually do with very little instead of all the “things” and people that they think they have to have to be happy!


c.       You may think that is terrible – so cruel

d.      But let me ask you what this wife had done?


1)      Violated her marriage – brought other men into her bed!

2)      A marriage covenant is a super serious commitment!

3)      What a joke that the queers want to claim marriage!!!

4)      The sad truth is so many marriages are flimsy pieces of paper anyway today

5)      The SAME is true of Christians! No serious covenant with GOD ALMIGHTY!


e.       Why do we so often ignore what people have done, and say that almost every form of chastening and punishment is cruel?

f.       Could it be that deep down we all are guilty and do not want to have to face such things????

g.      Gomer needed a separation from everything for a while

h.      Just like Israel needed the same kind of separation


3.      Abide


a.       Stay a certain way for a while – alone


1)      No friends

2)      No lovers

3)      Not able to play the harlot anymore

4)      No longer available to other lustful men


b.      Israel would be without…


1)      Without ANY word from God for a while – turns out to be 400 years of silence. They would have to go back to the written words they already had, and start obeying them!

2)      No prophet giving them any words of encouragement

3)      No vision showing them the way out of their pit they were now in

4)      No false gods either – teraphim – no more false hopes either

5)      No help of any kind

6)      Just kept apart for this while, and left on their own

7)      And that is exactly what happened for the 400 years before John the Baptist showed up and started preaching again!


4.      This was God working things out for good, like He always promises!


a.       It was the best 400 years for them, because it prepared them for the coming of their Messiah!!! So that they would be ready to hear Him and follow Him and love HIM!

b.      Through all this God promises not to permanently divorce Israel or go and get anyone else


1)      God promises still to be for unfaithful Israel

2)      And God promises to still be for you!


c.       Sometimes, SOMEtimes, the silence of God is God’s way of helping to humble and quiet you flesh and old bad habits

d.      Sometimes aloneness, sorrow, lack, is for a purpose – not to leave you that way, but to help reset your affections on things above (Col 3:1)


D.    A Serious Problem – The Controversy (Hosea 4:1)


1.      God calls it a great controversy – a big argument - contention


a.       Dispute; debate; agitation of contrary opinions.

b.      More than just a difference of opinion, but something serious enough to put into writing.

c.       Like a lawsuit; a case in which opposing parties contend for their respective claims before a tribunal.


2.      What was the big problem? (Luke 20:10-15)


a.       Total rejection of God – dumped Him

b.      It is a deeper crime to be unfaithful to God than to any created being.

c.       Israel had no reverence of their husband – no honour of him above themselves

d.      Israel had no desire for truth, or for showing mercy, or to even get to know Him

e.       Wanted only other lovers, and pleasure – wine and the popular idols of all the other surrounding countries)

f.       The friendship of the world is the love of that world; not the rocks and dirt and trees, but the people, the way of thinking which govern it, the principles which reign there, the ends that are sought, the amusements and gratifications which characterize it as distinguished from the church of God. It consists in setting our hearts on those things; in conforming to them; in making them the object of our pursuit with the same spirit with which they are sought by those who make no pretensions to religion.

g.      Is enmity with God - Is in fact hostility against God, since that world is arrayed against him. It neither obeys his laws, submits to his claims, nor seeks to honour him. To love that world is, therefore, to be arrayed against God; and the spirit which would lead us to this is, in fact, a spirit of hostility to God.

h.      Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world - “Whoever” he may be, whether in the church or out of it. The fact of being a member of the church makes no difference in this respect, for it is as easy to be a friend of the world in the church as out of it.


3.      No longer could God just act like nothing was wrong

4.      God was taking Israel to Court


E.     Serious Consequences (Hosea 4:2-14)


1.      They already were experiencing the results of Galatians 6:7. And it was only going to get worse!

2.      They had ended up with no morality in their homes, on their streets – no limits in their society


a.       They were swearing, cursing each other

b.      Lying to each other

c.       Killing each other

d.      Stealing from each other

e.       Stepping out on each other – literal adultery going on everywhere

f.       The blood of one murder was spilling out and touching the blood from another murder!


3.      The society was languishing - withering


a.       No society can exist long this way

b.      Left alone, it only gets worse and worse – it does not turn around

c.       Could you live very long in a society like that?

d.      Yet THAT is the kind of society we all are living in TODAY!


4.      Loss of natural resources (animals, fish) – all disappearing!


a.       Scientists have to keep re-engineering foods and crops to feed everyone

b.      The environment is costing more and more billions to clean up

c.       The cost of everything is going up and up – you just don’t know it yet! But it will hit us like a tsunami!


5.      Israel was headed for ruin as a nation (4:6-11) – and God was behind it all!

6.      Basically, the nation will experience what they have made God to experience (4:13,14)


a.       Because they have rejected God, God will now reject them

b.      Because they have forgotten God, God will forget them

c.       Shame is coming because they continually humiliated Him


F.      It Was a Spiritual Problem (5:4 - 6:1)


1.      Israel’s problem was a SPIRITUAL problem


a.       Not a problem with their environment, their upbringing, their education, their economy, their genes

b.      A problem in the most important part of them – their spirit

c.       They were filled NOT with the Spirit of God

d.      But were filled with the spirit of whoredom (4:12; 5:4) – a demonic spirit driving them away from God


2.      They did not know their God – didn’t even want to try to know Him (5:4)

3.      They were FULL of pride (5:5)

4.      All of that hindered them from ever being able to find God (5:6)

5.      So, Israel had much to worry about


a.       God’s anger (5:12-14)

b.      God’s silence (5:15)

c.       God’s chastening (6:1) – God tears at everything they will attempt to do

d.      All until they got right with Him – then He will heal


G.    God’s Way to Get Right (6:1-7)


1.      Hear God’s Invitation (6:1)


a.       Spoken by the prophet Hosea, in tears, weeping, that HE had had to do the inviting to his OWN adulterous wife

b.      Spoken to the nation of Israel

c.       Jesus continued to plea, invite (Mt 11:28-30)

d.      He pleaded with anyone who had an interest in listening! “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” what I am saying and consider it!

e.       Spoke to all people on an auction block of sin, SOLD under sin (Rom 7:14)

f.       We could never return to God if he didn’t first invite us!

g.      Think about THAT for a month! He WANTS us back!!!

h.      I don’t know why he wants anyone in the first place, as wicked as we ALL are!


2.      Choose to Return to God - “Let’s return” (6:1)


a.       We all know we are away from God

b.      You have to be willing to finally come home, on your own!

c.       No one should ever have to drag you kicking and screaming


3.      Believe and Trust (6:1,2)


a.       Just as God has chastened and corrected us

b.      So will He heal – what a wonderful promise!

c.       He will do this because he is not like all the people you have known to let you down and stab you in the back, and kick you when you are down!

d.      God MUST punish sin – he would not be just and righteous and trustworthy if he acted like what we do is OKAY to do!

e.       But God ONLY seeks to restore what is ruined – not to completely destroy yuou like the devil wants you to believe!

f.       Believe God – that He is good, and only doeth good (Ps 119:67,71)


4.      Expect Change (6:2-4)


a.       We fail because we don’t expect to change

b.      And if it weren’t for a really huge event, we never will change!

c.       What is the huge life-changing event that can change and transform anybody – even hard hearted, cold, unloving, unfaithful people???

d.      The crucifixion of the perfect Son of God – the Messiah!

e.       The crucifixion was a future event that no one could have even dreamed of

f.       But here was Hosea being given a little view of


1)      Being revived

2)      Being resurrected



g.      Instead of you and I being punished for our unfaithfulness…

h.      God’s Messiah would be rejected, punished, and would die…


j.        The cross is the event that changes people!

k.      When you understand just what GOD was doing there!


5.      Continue On (6:3)


a.       So many people slow down, hold back, pull away, because they believe they have lost their joy, are not having fun, or are not getting as much out of their “Christianity”

b.      But that is backwards

c.       People lose their joy because they have slowed down, held back, pulled away – backslid

d.      This principle is oh so true in a marriage

e.       AND in our relationship with our Saviour and God!

f.       God gives us such assurance, and joy…


1)      If we follow on

2)      If we keep going

3)      Keep growing – closer, and more like the person we love

4)      You can’ty just live in the same hosue as someone and expect it to make you a good husband or a good wife

5)      You have to work at the relationship

6)      Work at forgiveing

7)      Work at humbling yourself

8)      Work at listening

9)      Same with our relationship with God!


g.      The joy of the Christian life ebbs and fades based on our continuance

h.      Christ remains faithful

i.        Your commitments and your joy should NOT be like the morning dew!!!

j.        This was Paul’s greatest desire (Philp 3:8-10)


1)      To KNOW the Lord – more than head knowledge

2)      Intimately, closely, heart to heart

3)      Not just a desire, or a head belief, but a life long pursuit



V.    Conclusion


A.    Visualize Hosea…


1.      Hosea went everywhere, throughout the countryside of Israel, preaching these chapters

2.      Over and over and over, you could hear him in the markets, at the religious ceremonies, on the farms, and in the wildernesses

3.      And right beside him were his three children

4.      And his unfaithful wife

5.      The people all knew about Hosea’s family

6.      And as he preached, they stopped and listened, and the words pierced deep into people’s hearts


B.     Hear Hosea’s words – written by God into this Book for US!


1.      Oh that Hosea’s words would pierce into OUR hearts

2.      Let us keep listening as James confronts us as spiritual adulterers and adulteresses today

3.      Our friendship with the world, our flirting, our attention, our affections

4.      They are very hurtful to the God we claim to love and follow


C.    Are you like Gomer?


1.      Naturally uninterested in God

2.      Always going away – backsliding?

3.      Hurting God like an unfaithful wife or husband would hurt YOU!


D.    Did you know God loves you even though He has been hurt?


1.      With an everlasting love, and draws you to Him, again and again and again – constantly going after you like a good shepherd?

2.      He seeks us, and waits for us to want to seek Him back!

3.      Today, you can be born again! Changed! Saved from the just and righteous wrath of God


E.     How about the rest of us who ARE born again, saved… but not growing?


1.      Maybe not enjoying God Himself, or His words, or his will?

2.      Not really different than you always have been – no heart for Christ, for the Bible, for soul-winning, for Church, for God’s people

3.      Things SHOULD change when you get saved!

4.      Things WILL change, when you follow, and match your actions to Christ’s!