Your Response to Undeserved Love

Introduction: (Hosea's general story is as follows. He prophesied about 755 to 725 BC, toward the end of the northern kingdom, Israel. His marriage to a harlot forms a comparison with God's love for unfaithful Israel.)

     1. The Marriage: Hos. 1:2-3 (Hosea marries Gomer, a whore. This compares with God's love for undeserving Israel. To illustrate the extent of God's love ask, "How much love would it take to accept a woman like this?" The amount of love it would take Hosea to accept Gomer illustrates the power of God's love for Israel.) 

    2. The First Child: Hos. 1:4-5 (Jezreel, the first child, symbolized the end of the northern kingdom.)

    3. The Next Child: Hos. 1:6 (Loruhamah signifies no mercy will be given to sinful Israel.)

    4. The Next Child: Hos. 1:8-9 (Loammi signifies Israel's no longer being God's people. The punishments signified by the meanings of these different names came because of Israel's spiritual fornication [idolatry].)

    5. Hosea's Wife Unfaithful: Hos. 2:2-5 (Hosea's wife is unfaithful, like Israel. Compare this with a story in Ezekiel.)

       A. Love: Ezek. 16:4-14 (God loves Israel and helps them when they are helpless. They do nothing to deserve this love.)

       B. Man's Response: Ezek. 16:15, 26-30 (Israel responded to God's undeserved love by spiritual whoredom after any and every false god.)

    Question: (How do you respond to the love God gives you, which you certainly don't deserve!?) Mt. 23:37, 2 Tim. 4:2-4 (God loves you and wants to spiritually shelter you under his wing. Do you respond by refusing to obey, by turning away?) Heb. 10:29 (Do you respond by once becoming a disciple and now forsake the God and his son that love you so?)

    6. The Adulterous Woman Wants To Return: Hos. 2:7-8 (After a spree of sin, the adulterous wife wants Hosea to take her back. This is symbolic of Israel begging God's protection while in idolatry.)

    7. God Takes Israel Back: Hos. 2:14-16, 19-20 (God says he will take Israel back. His title is changed to signify he will be as a husband to them, not just a master. Can it be true that God would love man so?) Mic. 7:18-19, Rom. 5:8 (This reassures us of the awesome capacity of God's love for us. He really wants to forgive us. This is why he provided Christ to take away our sin.)

    8. Hosea Buys Gomer Back: Hos. 3:1-2 (Like God takes Israel back, Hosea must buy back his undeserving wife. How much love must he have had to spend money on a woman like that? Whereas Hosea spent money, God spent blood! [1 Cor. 6:20])

Conclusion: Hos. 6:1-2, Hos. 11:8 (It grieves God to contemplate punishing us. He is so eager to forgive us.) Hos. 3:3 (To obtain this forgiveness, we must meet God on his terms. We must be faithful to him, the same terms on which Hosea took Gomer back.) Rom. 2:4, 1 Jn. 4:19 (How will you respond to God's undeserved love for you? Will you obey him and live faithful? If you do, he is eager to accept and forgive you.)