We introduced the Story of Hosea and Gomer...With a "Modern Day Parable" equivalent... To drive it home. The Passage explains how God told Hosea…To marry a woman of whoredom...And show her love and acceptance... Even when NOT deserved!...And then... He told Hosea to CHOOSE loving her...Even when she was unfaithful to him...Even when she had children from another man!
Even when she basically became a prostitute...Ruining her life... And finally becoming so worthless and used up...She had to give herself into slavery to exist! Hosea literally buys her back again...Pays her debts which were racked up in her sin...And brings her home... In LOVE!
We saw some eye-opening Truths...About HOW WE ARE LOVED by GOD in this Story!
Today we are going to look at the Story through a different perspective and discover what these Passages reveal about God's Heart... God's Pain... God's Passion!
God went to extreme lengths to make us see this picture of HIM! Using REAL LIVES... REAL EXPERIENCES...Which we can relate to from the heart...And NOT just the head!
So let's be sure not to miss what God wants us... Not only to understand...
BUT FEEL... In this Story!
Were Hosea and Gomer just PAWNS to be used by God in this Story? Ruining two lives for our benefit...Absolutely NOT! We are ALL treasured and loved by Our King!
God placed into each of their lives... Exactly what was needed!
Hosea... His prophet... Who wanted to be closer to Him... Used by Him... Know Him Intimately...Learned about the effects of our sin... And the Depth of God’s Love...
More profoundly than any man may ever have experienced...And in the process... He learned to love like God!
Gomer... As far from God as possible... Broken... No self-worth...Was allowed to follow her own path until it destroyed her life...And then she was shown how much WORTH God had for her! Shown just how Loved she had always been... Even there!
BOTH of these individuals... Grew unbelievably closer to Our God...And one another... Through their TRIALS... Than ever before! If you are in a trial right now...Relational or otherwise…Know that HE hasn't abandoned you! But is working in ALL THINGS...If you will simple surrender... Follow Him... And TRUST!
New Level Of Intimacy!
Most of our Christian lives are spent... Trying to avoid sin...Because...We don't want to make God Angry...Or don't want to bring punishment...Or we want to be certain our prayers are heard...Or even so we might look acceptable…To our Christian peers or others!
That's all great... But the problem is that...We are being legalistic at best...
Self-loving at worst...And we see God as being Stern, Distant, and Judgmental!
Who is simply worried about how many rules we break...And whether we are being, "Good little Christians" or not!
THIS is why we can't…Appreciate, love and worship Jesus Christ as He Deserves! Because we have totally MISSED Who He is... And HOW He really Feels about us!...And more than even this...How we make HIM FEEL... Just how deeply WE affect HIM... And His Heart!
If we can grasp this... We cannot help but draw intimately closer to Him...
We cannot help but have a different perspective on our sins! One of the most familiar Passages from the Book of Hosea…Explains God's Heart through the Whole Story... Listen:
Hosea 6:6 (NLT)
I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.
God is saying that physical sacrifices... Jumping through hoops...Keeping the Law... ARE NOT HIS FOCUS! He is saying... "I want you to feel REAL LOVE..."
LISTEN CLOSELY... "I want you to Intimately KNOW Me!" The Hebrew word for "Know" in this text is YADA' (yaw-dah')...Which is the same word used when Adam…Intimately became one with Eve and she conceived... It means: “To known, be revealed... Deeply & intimately!”
God Truly Wants to Know and be known by us... Closer than anyone else!
To be ONE with US... As He and the Father are ONE! Think on that deeply for a moment! THIS IS WHY... As we learned last week...Our MASTER has our name engraved on HIS PALM! Proudly Exclaiming "He Belongs to US!" We can experience so much more in our walk with Him
Since He DOES LOVE US that Intimately...And He DOES Want to be that close...OUR SINS against Him... Are MUCH more than breaking a Law…
Much more than fear of punishment...They are Felt by Him in a more real and drastic way...Than we could ever comprehend!THAT... Is why God is so Offended by our sinful ways...
Levels Of Heartbreak!
We looked at this Story from Gomer’s perspective...As she was loved and bought back... Even in all her filth and failure! This week... I ask you all... To please consider the Story from God's Perspective...So that we might better understand the Heart...
Of the One Who Loves us so dearly! So let’s revisit a few of these Passages… In God’s Eyes!
Hosea 1:2 (NKJV)
2 When the LORD began to speak by Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea: "Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry, For the land has committed great harlotry By departing from the LORD."
Hosea 2:5 (NKJV)
5 For their mother has played the harlot; She who conceived them has behaved shamefully. For she said, 'I will go after my lovers, Who give me my bread and my water, My wool and my linen, My oil and my drink.'
God wants us to fully understand... In our hearts...THIS IS A PICTURE OF HIM... WITH US! These Verses say that Gomer was unfaithful to Hosea...Even after being taken in... And loved dearly...And that... She not only cheated on him...But cheated with MANY lovers...Not only cheated with many lovers...But made a determination to go and be with them instead!
I don't know how many have suffered through the pain of ADULTERY before...In a crowd this size... It is 100% guaranteed that some of you have…
Maybe from Hosea's perspective... Maybe from Gomer's...Don't let this Message bring guilt or pain... But peace and healing...And don't let it distract you from the Message about Christ today!We are all broken and rebellious... We just have different labels!
Why does this so overwhelmingly affect us? Because even if it is a one-time, passion of the moment thing...The love, attention, trust and desire...Of the single most important person in your life...Was given to someone else!
It's NOT the fact that a LAW was broken! But the sudden loss of a Oneness you had shared!
You ask yourself,
"What did I do wrong?"
"Why was I not enough?"
"What is better about them than me?"
And there is an emptiness, a loss, a despair that is indescribable!The one you love most... Doesn't love you the same!
THIS IS NOT A TEAR-JERKING SERMON... THIS IS TRUTH...THAT... IS THE PAIN OUR REBELLION CAUSES GOD! BECAUSE THAT... IS THE PLACE HE HOLDS FOR YOU AND I IN HIS HEART!...AND THAT IS THE PLACE…HE WANTS US TO HOLD FOR HIM!
THAT... Is why Hosea 6:6 says...He could care less about the obedience to Laws... It's the Intimate Knowledge of HIM that He Treasures! Now... The Story of Hosea goes much deeper... Even than this! As horrible as it is... A one-time, caught in the moment, act of unfaithfulness...Is devastating and heart-wrenching...But at least it is possible they were just in a moment of weakness...
Having nothing to do with their real love for you! But what if it was premeditated? Planned? Longed for… Over you?
Gomer planned and sought after another lover...Gave herself to them completely...Longed for what they could give her over Hosea! This takes the gut-wrenching feeling of rejection to a new level! Because now it is more than physical weakness...NOW... It involves the body, mind and emotions...
NOW... It is a giving of self... Of intimacy...In a way that was supposed to be ONLY FOR YOU!
When you and I go from slipping in sin... But repenting... Resisting! Because I truly love and wants Jesus more...To EMBRACING sin... (SOME ARE HERE RIGHT NOW!)
We have CHOSEN... Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually...To embrace another Love over God! We have completely given ourselves to another…
And THAT... Tears God's Heart out! God is Clearly and Powerfully communicating this to us in the Story!
How would you feel...If you saw the excitement…In the "thought-to-be" secret texting and messaging? Knew where they were going when they snuck out?
Saw the intimate eye contact when they were near? Saw little gifts they had received? Watched as they made over YOU...Talked and acted sweetly and intimately with YOU...Knowing it was all UNTRUE?! Knowing there was another whom they cared more about?
THIS... IS HOW JESUS CHRIST FEELS... LITERALLY...When we proclaim His Name... Sing praises to Him at church...Pray to Him... Wear our t-shirts and bracelets...All the while... Totally embracing a particular sin over love for Him!
Matthew 15:8-9 (NKJV)
8 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 9 And in vain they worship Me...
Ezekiel 33:31 (NKJV)
31 So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.
Psalm 44:21 (NKJV)
21 Would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.
Do you realize this is how WE look? This is how HE Feels?This is why hidden sin is so terrible... And why Satan wants you to give your heart to anything…BUT God! So he can at least tear the Heart of the One he cannot beat! And crush your life in the process!
Let's go even one step further... Gomer did not just cheat...She did not just long for and plan to cheat...She cheated with MANY DIFFERENT LOVERS!
This would be the most devastating of all! It says that ANYONE IS BETTER THAN YOU! You weren't just "bested" by someone special...They prefer ANYONE over you!
When we tell Christ we love Him... Want Him as Our Savior... Our Beloved!...And then continue to live life as we desire...Loving all the ways of the world...
We have told Jesus... Our God... Our Creator... Our Savior... Or Beloved...
ANYONE AND ANYTHING... BRINGS ME MORE SATISFACTION AND JOY THAN YOU!
And we wonder why God hates sin in our lives so much?! How would you feel about the one who purposefully…Stole your spouse?
Now imagine how YOU would feel towards…The one who left YOU rejected and cheated... Who left YOU to be alone and humiliated...Imagine yourself…Instead of saying, "Good riddance!"Instead of attacking, hurting, or hating...Continuing to want and show love to them only!...Continuing to wait for them alone...While they disregard you...Suppose when THEY are done the same way…By one of their lovers...And thrown out... Replaced... Destroyed and humiliated...Rather than celebrate that "They got theirs!"
You... Are the One Who comes to get them...To tell them... EVEN NOW... How special they are...And show them the love they never got from the others! Now...They would understand WHO TRULY LOVED them like no other...All along!
THAT... IS THE LOVE OF JESUS...THAT... Is how God wants you to understand...
That HE Feels towards you! When Gomer was naked… Paraded in front of the crowd… Lost...Jesus paid in this way… He took her place…Naked… Broken with sin… Abused… Ashamed… Forsaken…And after all that… He Works to draw you to Him in returned love!
Hosea 2:14-16 (NKJV)
14 "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, And speak comfort to her. 15 I will give her her vineyards from there, And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, As in the days of her youth, As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. 16 "And it shall be, in that day," Says the LORD, "That you will call Me 'My Husband,' And no longer call Me 'My Master,'
There are so many Scriptures... OT and NT...Which purposefully compare us to Christ's Beloved... His Bride... His Lover...Let this help you to clearly see why...He doesn't just want a religious experience...He doesn't just want you to follow His Rules...He doesn't even want... Just to walk beside you...He Wants to Intimately be ONE with you! To be your Everything...To be the biggest part of your life!
IT IS why we were Created! Why He Gave up His Kingdom, His Power…His Very Life and Soul...To protect you and bring you Home again! Marriage is a relationship…Which takes priority over all others! Has the DEEPEST OF INTIMACY! God gives a Strange but absolutely critical Command…To Hosea and Gomer when she returns home.
Hosea 3:3 (NKJV)
3 And I said to her, "You shall stay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man--so, too, will I be toward you."…
God says for a time… When we come together…You will be separate from those you loved… But… Not near Me yet!And I will be with you… But not near you yet! UNTIL YOUR DESIRE FOR ME IS REAL AND DEEP…AND THEN… WE WILL KNOW ONE ANOTHER INTIMATELY!
How many of us are STUCK right here? We’ve left the world… But are NOT WANTING HIM INTIMATELY! He Says, “We will be Intimate… When YOU LONG FOR ME!”
Understand what your sin looks like to Him now...How it truly makes HIM Feel...How much it comes between your relationship with Him! And tell Him right now... Make the decision! You are done with belonging to anyone/anything else...Tell Him… You are coming Home to HIM! Whatever the cost...Then... Let's renew our Vows together...Saying "Yes" again through the sharing of Communion...Just as He Offered it that first time...
As a Covenant Proposal to be His Beloved! A Declaration that He was Giving His Life for us!! Wanting the same in return! This was called the Erusin" (Air'-oo-sin)... An Offer in Betrothal! Drinking it was saying, "Yes, I give my life to you!"
Matthew 26:27-28 (NKJV)
27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Then Jesus Promised not to Drink of the Cup again...Until THAT DAY with us on the Other Side!
Matthew 26:29-30 (NKJV)
29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." 30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
THAT DAY… Is the "Nisu'in" (Nye'-soo-en)...The Consummation of Marriage... At the Feast! Search your heart and life...Forsake the open and hidden things hurting HIM now! TRULY leave everything else behind...And say, "YES... I give my life to you!"
AND LET’S RENEW OUR VOWS TODAY…
LET’S COME HOME TO HIM AGAIN!!
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