Monday, September 26, 2016
Love keeps going to a deeper and deeper level in the book of Hosea. As if it wasn’t enough for Hosea to marry an unfaithful whore (Hosea 1). As if it wasn’t enough for Hosea to remain with her despite her whoring around (Hosea 1-2). As if it wasn’t enough for Hosea to pursue her even in her waywardness (Hosea 2). And now he is called to love her again when she not only has been whoring around, but also is “loved by another” (3:1). It is terrible enough to just be a prostitute for money, but now she appears to be in an actual relationship with a man. And yet, Hosea still loves her. God loves us in the same manner!
Gomer is so destitute and washed up in her sin that she is for sale for only 15 shekels of silver. Hosea’s wife is on the auction block. The normal price for a slave in that day was 30 pieces of silver. Her sin had taken its toil and she wasn’t worth much. Our sin does the same to us. “The wages of sin is death … what did you benefit from that which you are now ashamed of” (Rom. 6)?
With all of this background, Hosea/God pays the price to purchase his own wife. “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for His friends” (Jn. 15). Jesus bought us out of the slavery of sin with His blood! “For God hath redeemed us, not with perishable things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of the Lamb” (1 Peter 3).
And with this purchase, comes a needed conversation about where the relationship goes from here. Hosea tells Gomer that the days of whoring around are over (v. 3) and that it is time to dwell with him and put aside all other relationships. In other words, for this marriage to work, it requires exclusivity!! And God says the same to us. If we are going to have a healthy and growing relationship with God, we must repent of our sins and forsake our other “lovers.” Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
For more on the great sacrifice Jesus has made to purchase us out of slavery, and the 6 essential ingredients that go into a healthy relationship with God, listen to my sermon on Hosea 3 at http://www.livinghopeathens.org/category/sermons/