“I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one comes to the Father
except through Me”
Pastors Noreen & Henry Kevern
Hosea, a Story of God’s Love and Judgment and Redemption
The WORD of the LORD came to Hosea in the days of these four kings of Israel, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah and in the days of Jeroboam, son of Joash, king of Israel. Hosea is a “Minor Prophet” in the Jewish Bible and the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. It is set in the 8th century BC in the northern kingdom of Israel. Israel is morally corrupt and the people are unfaithful to God and worshipped idols. God tells Hosea to tell the people how angry He is because they have forgotten Him. They live a life much like we are living today in the world. We have forgotten God and have allowed the idols of this world to corrupt our lives. God hates sin and teaches through Hosea and He still is teaching us today, that sin and judgment of sin is certain, but through it all, God’s clear message of redemption comes through. Christians know Jesus and through His cross the sins of our lives have been atoned for, and by living a life in the steps of Jesus, we know our Salvation. God is still speaking today to the people of Israel, telling them of His cross and that there Redeemer has come. God still calls out to Israel to accept His cross and their Salvation. God pleads with all of His creation, all humans, yes He is speaking to you, to come and accept His gift of the cross and the redemption of your souls. Hell and eternal fire await those who do not accept Jesus, even if they live lives that they deem to be good. Sadly most people do not realize that as Christians, we are required to walk in the way of the LORD and to surrender our life to God. People think that they have time to do whatever they want to do, living a life of sin and then make a last minute appeal to God to forgive them for the sins that they have committed throughout their lives. Most people do not even know the righteous requirements of God. They think that if they say they believe that Jesus is LORD and Savior that there is nothing else required of them. This is false teaching.
In the book of Romans chapter 8, verse 1, Paul says: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” I have heard many preachers talk about how if we are walking in the Spirit we are not under the law. They confuse many people because they give the false sense of security that if they believe they are walking in the Spirit, they do not have to follow the law. I heard one preacher say that we did not even have to follow the big 10. This preacher said that God has written His law upon their hearts and so were living under the Spirit of God. Wow, I had to step back and take a breath. He assumed that all his flock was living according to God’s way and never said anything about them learning God’s way by reading His Word or that we are humans and fall short, even as Christians. If all Christians were walking according to the Spirit, this would be a great world, but sadly most Christians to not even spend 15 minutes a day in God’s Word, much less study it. Many Christians go to church on Sunday and walk in hell’s way throughout the week. They enjoy their evil TV shows, like American Idol (I still do not understand how Christians can watch anything that says “Idol”), The Walking Dead, Two and a Half Men, Modern Family, True Blood, the list goes on and on. Christians have let the evil one into their lives and seem not to realize it. There are about 2.2 million Christians in the world, about 33% or 1 in 3 are Christians. It’s sad but many Christians in the United States do not go to church, while in Africa, praise the LORD, many Muslims are becoming Christians. They are hungry for the truth of God and have found that Islam does not offer the love and redemption that God offers. These converts have found the cross of Jesus and God’s truth in His Word and are hungry to be taught. They are learning to change their lives to walk in the way of the LORD. I don’t understand why Christians in the U.S. are learning from the devil and walk with him in the flesh as he offers self-satisfaction and they gladly gratify their flesh nature and forego the Spirit nature. People live together without marriage; people are thinking that God would not forbid men marrying men and women marrying women. Adultery is rampant, divorce is easy; stealing is normal and wow, the way that people lie about things. People murder children through abortion, porn, especially child porn, is everywhere. Understand that soft porn is still a sin; all these things I have just said are sins. There is not one sin worse than another. Sin is falling away from God. Sin is telling God, “I don’t need You, I am self-sufficient and can do all things in my own power.” Sin is telling God that He is not important in life, telling God that He and His Word do not belong in school, that praying to Him is offensive to people and that the mere mention of Christianity invokes anger because Christians are intolerant of gays and Muslims and so they must be stopped.
Why am I going on so much about these things? I know that I have offended many people with what I am saying, but I must teach you that you are being misled by the devil and those who follow Him. This is what happened to the people of Israel during Hosea’s time. They had fallen away from God and were worshipping Baal and calf idols. God tells Hosea to marry a prostitute, Gomer. Why would God do such a thing? Hosea was a man of God and listened to Him. God was using Hosea to show the people the life they were living. The people were living as prostitutes because of their sins. Prostitution is selling oneself for sex, or to use a skill or ability in a way that is wrong and usually for financial gain. They forgot God and satisfied their flesh nature. So Hosea married Gomer and she had their first child named Jazreel because of the shedding of blood of Jazreel by the house of Jehu. God was to bring judgment and punishment for the blood of Naboth, a Jazreelite, who owned a vineyard that Ahab, the king of Samaria wanted. His wife Jezebel plotted Naboth’s death and afterwards when Ahab went to take possession of the vineyard, God sent the prophet Elijah the Tishbite to Ahab. Elijah said: “I have found you because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD. He says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you. I will wipe out your descendants…because you have aroused My anger and have caused Israel to sin.’” (1 Kings 21:20-22)
Then Gomer conceived again and they had a daughter, Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”) for God said that He would no longer show love to Israel because of her sins. Here God tells Judah, the other half of the kingdom that because they were not as wicked as Israel, He would show them love and would save them: “—not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the LORD their God, will save them.” (Hosea 1:7) Here God is telling His chosen people that it will be through Him that He will save His people from their sins, not by war but with His life. This prophecy was fulfilled in Christ’s cross.
Again Gomer had another son and the had them name him Lo-Ammi (which means “not My people”) for God had rejected them and no longer wanted to be their God. But God is God and not human. His love overwhelms Him even though His chosen people no longer accepted Him. We here in the U.S. are being told the same thing by God because of our sins and turning away from God and His way. Christians are sitting back and allowing the evil one to control minds. Understand this, God hates sins but He loves all of His children and desires that they accept Him into their lives and uses prophets and teachers and preachers to tell all His people how much He loves us and wants us to return to Him. His Word teaches us His truth and way and life; that we are to walk in the way of the LORD and that we are to stop sinning. God is still calling out to Israel today to accept Jesus as their LORD and Savior. He says in Hosea 1:10b-11a: “In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ The people of Judah and the people of Israel will come together; they will appoint one leader.’ This is Jesus our One leader, our Savior and LORD.
In chapter 2, God uses marriage to show His covenant relationship that He desires from His children. He rebukes Israel for her sins and tells her to remove the adulterous look from her face otherwise He will strip her naked, take away her country and make her as bare as the day she was born. God is angry and does not want to continue to show love to her because they keep rejecting Him. God is letting the U.S. to suffer from denying God in our lives. The parallels between Israel and the U.S. are obvious but the devil has blinded so many people into thinking that socialism is better for this country and are trying to rewrite history that God had nothing to do with the U.S., that our founding fathers did not base this country on God’s principles. So the devil keeps on confusing people, putting the flesh sin nature in front of them to keep them from seeing God’s truth. Satan does not want you to go to heaven, when he is banished to hell; he wants you there with him. These are the acts of the flesh: sexual immorality (adultery, homosexuality, lust, porn), impurity(sex before marriage, living together), debauchery (shamelessness, decadence, self-indulgence), idolatry (fanaticism, hero worship, obsession of things and people) and witchcraft (magic, enchantment, sorcery, black magic); hatred (loathing, dislike, animosity), discord (disagreement, conflict, argument), jealousy (suspicion, distrust, greed, yearning), fits of rage (fury, temper, rant and rave), selfish ambition (determination to do things for self, to dream of self-power, selfish desire), dissensions (oppositions, disagreements, conflicts), factions (groups, sides, political parties) and envy (bitterness, resentment, covet, grudge); drunkenness (stoned, under the influence of alcohol or drugs), orgies (parties that involve sex, drugs and alcohol) and the like. (Galatians 5:19-21) The aforementioned are sin. If you are walking in the Spirit, you are not doing any of these things. Walking in the Spirit means walking according to God’s way and not sinning. Jesus equates anger with murder. Have you ever been in an argument and been angry at someone? That is sin. Have you ever looked at someone with lust in your eyes? That is adultery. Have you ever had a disagreement with someone? That is sin. Are you prideful and filled with selfish ambition? That is sin. Are you so politically motivated that you will not listen to anything else and blame the other side? That is sin.
See how easily we do not walk in the Spirit but allow the devil to lead us into sin? There are a lot more sins that I have not mentioned. That is why reading and studying the Bible every day and surrendering your life to the LORD is so important.
Israel was unfaithful to the LORD and so are we. God said in Hosea 2:4-5: “I will not show My love to her children, because they are children of adultery. Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace.” She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’ Even today, we give God no credit for the things in our lives. We do not look to God to be our provider. We are told things like: “The Bible says: ‘God helps those who help themselves.’ No, the Bible does NOT say that. God says (Hosea 2:8): “She has not acknowledged that I was the One Who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and the gold—which they used for Baal (idol worship).” Do you acknowledge in your life that God is your provider, your source of all that you need? Walking in the Spirit means God is first in your life and you depend on Him for all things in your life. Do you surrender all to God?
God has a message (Hosea 2:14-23, please read the entire message in your Bible): “Therefore I AM now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her… “In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call Me, ‘my husband’; you will no longer call Me ‘my Master’…Bow and sword and battle I will abolish…I will betroth you to Me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. 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.’” Wow, what a beautiful love God has for us. Even though we do not worship and praise Him, even though we have taken Him out of our lives, He never stops loving us. He keeps on sending love messages to us; He puts things in front of us to show us His amazing love. He speaks tenderly to us, wooing us to accept His love. Again God uses marriage as an illustration for a relationship with Him. He is no longer “Master” someone who controls our lives, but “Husband” someone who lives in a covenant relationship, based on love and respect, not submission and control. This is what God also wants marriages to be, not two individuals but one, living together in love, doing things for the other out of love and respect, not using submission and control.
Next time we meet, we will continue with Hosea. Between then and now, try to start spending more time in building your relationship with God. Image how it would be to say “Yes” to whatever God tells you to do, as Hosea did. Even if it’s hard, believe me it’s worth it. Remember though, God will not tell you to kill or hurt someone or yourself. God will tell you to do unusual acts of compassion, to love the unlovable, and to show Who God is to those you know and meet. Have a great week in the LORD’s amazing love.
Until next time…