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Presentation 01. Introduction The book of Hosea, perhaps more than any other, enables us to access the heart of God. It reveals his feelings for his.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation 01. Introduction The book of Hosea, perhaps more than any other, enables us to access the heart of God. It reveals his feelings for his."— Presentation transcript:

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3 Introduction The book of Hosea, perhaps more than any other, enables us to access the heart of God. It reveals his feelings for his people, which hold in tension both his love and his anger. The one does not contradict the other. A TV personalitys life of drugs, drink and sex, so infuriated his wife that it led to his divorce. When the divorce was finalised his wife was asked, Do you still love him? She surprised the interviewer by replying, Yes Ill always love him. Similarly, despite the spiritual adultery of Gods people who have wantonly destroyed their relationship, when asked if he still loves them, God in the book of Hosea answers a resounding Presentation 01 yes!

4 Historical Background After Solomons son had come to the throne, the kingdom of Israel was torn in two. Ten tribes formed the Northern Kingdom, Israel, with its capital in Samaria, while two tribes formed the Southern Kingdom, often described as Judah, with its capital in Jerusalem. Jeroboam, the first king of the Northern Kingdom was an astute politician. He knew that if the ten tribes continued to journey to Jerusalem for the great Jewish festivals, then soon they might be wooed back into the southern kingdom. Presentation 01 Judah Israel Egypt Moab Edom Jerusalem Samaria Bethel Dan

5 Historical Background This fear caused him to set up alternate places of worship in Dan near the northern border and at Beth Aven in the south. In each worship centre a golden cow was set up as an object of worship. This idol was just a little worship aid as they continued, supposedly, to remember the God who had bound himself to them in covenant love. Now as king succeeded king, idolatry developed in the land and God was soon forgotten. A whole series of prophets came and went, and now, just over the horizon, lay the advancing army of the great Syrian empire. Very soon, in 722BC, Samaria would fall and the Israelites would be taken captive. Presentation 01

6 The Structure Of The Book The first three chapters provide the binoculars through which we are intended to view the remainder of the book, which comprises mainly of oracles of judgement. The final chapter then points to the great hope extended to Israel by God. However, the first three chapters shape our understanding for the remainder of the book. They describe God as; 1.the jilted lover 2.the angry lover 3.the faithful lover Presentation 01

7 Jilted Lover In order to drive home the spiritual complacency of Israel, Hosea, Gods prophet is involved in one of the most gripping of all the acted parables in the O.T. Hes told to marry a prostitute! Picture the scene as Hosea drives down to the red light district of Samaria to pick up his bride. After the marriage he visits a friend, who hasnt yet met his wife. His friend wonders what shell be like and what kind of support shell be to him in his ministry. Presentation 01

8 Jilted Lover The car arrives and out steps Hosea followed by his new wife in a risqué mini skirt, net stockings and low cut blouse. The make up is overdone and the friend wonders who she is. In the course of conversation he asks, What did you do before you were married? Hosea has a coughing fit and his friend goes off to get him a glass of water. Later on when Hosea is next door, his friend asks the question of the new wife and is told, I was a prostitute, deary. The friend asks, What possessed a man of Hoseas position to marry this woman? Presentation 01

9 Jilted Lover Now press the rewind button on the nations history and ask, What possessed God to enter into a relationship with a sinful people like Israel? That relationship was entered into at the foot of Mount Sinai some 600 years earlier. Amazingly, it was to a sinful people that God bound himself. This is the amazing thing about Gods redeeming love, he comes to the sinfully depraved and says, I want to have a special and intimate relationship with you. Presentation 01

10 Jilted Lover In the light of this how ought we to feel? What should Hoseas wife Gomer have thought? Im spoiled goods but this man wants me – Its amazing! But that was not Gomers response. She planned to go after other lovers. What a slap in the face for Hosea! Princess Diana famously commented on her relationship with Prince Charles, There were three of us in the marriage, it became rather crowded. How much more than Diana or Hosea must God have felt a great sense of betrayal after Israel rejected him in favour of idols. This is spiritual adultery! Presentation 01

11 Angry Lover Betrayed love invariably produces great anger. Betrayed spouses often vent their anger in a whole variety of ways - throwing cans of paint over cheating husbands sports cars, cutting up all their shirts and suits etc. How might God communicate his anger to his adulterous people? It was through the names that Hosea was to give to his children. Presentation 01

12 Angry Lover Hoseas first child is named Jezreel. Yet its a strange name for a child for it was remembered in Israel as a place of massacre. Can you imagine any parent naming a child Auswich, or Twin Towers. Now the word Jezreel literally means scattered. It was therefore a word of judgement. And so as a result of her unfaithfulness Israel would become a scattered people. Presentation 01

13 Angry Lover Hoseas next child was named Lo Rummah. It means Not Loved. Can you imagine giving such a name to a child? Picture Hosea standing at the school gate and shouting to his child across the playground by name, Hey, Not Loved come here. Many parents give their children strange names. One parent has recently named his child after a football team, another called their child, In Case Of Emergency. But can you think of any parent who would want to call his child Not Loved ? Presentation 01

14 Angry Lover Hoseas third child was called, Lo Ammi, which means Not My People. Israel had a false sense of security. They regularly thought, We are the people of God. We have a special relationship. We are eternally secure. They not only took God for granted but Gods blessings were also taken for granted. And so this child, whenever its name was used, would question these assumptions. Israel was confronted with the fact that they were a disowned people. Such was Gods great anger. Presentation 01

15 Conclusion Gods anger at Israels spiritual adultery has been compounded by the fact that they were oblivious to the hurt they had caused. So self-obsessed were they that they had taken God and his gracious provision for granted. In such circumstances jealous anger is a legitimate emotion. Notice however that God expresses his anger in a way that is designed to gain Israels attention – thats the point of the names given to Hoseas children. Gods love is eager to talk some sense into them, to awaken their conscience and bring them back to himself - there are no lengths to which he will not go to achieve that objective. What a great and gracious God he is! Presentation 01

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