Presentation on theme: "Marriage and the Bible Based on the Living in Love Series by Richard L. Strauss, Biblical Studies Foundation - 1998."— Presentation transcript:
Marriage and the Bible Based on the Living in Love Series by Richard L. Strauss, Biblical Studies Foundation
The Prophet and the Prostitute Chapter 8: Hosea and Gomer
Setting the Stage 760 years before Jesus. Israel (Northern Kingdom) is enjoying unprecedented prosperity under the capable military leadership of Jeroboam II. Unfortunately, this prosperity is in direct proportion to the idolatry of the people.
Setting the Stage God frequently uses the symbolism of marriage and adultery to explain His feelings on His relationship with us (His nation) and our tendency toward idolatry. Deuteronomy 31:16 –And the LORD said to Moses: "You are going to rest with your fathers, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them.
God’s Bride Isaiah 54:5 –For your Maker is your husband—the LORD Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. 2 Corinthians 11:2 –I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.
The Marriage Vows Even in this day and age, most marriage vows clearly define the duty and intent of each spouse to remain faithful. God presented His people with exactly the same: –Exodus 20:3 – “You shall have no other gods before me.”
The Destruction of Idolatry Idolatry opens the flood gates to every sin. Unchecked by a devotion to God and His righteous decrees, self-control becomes optional and arbitrary. God’s punishment (for restoration) is often met with more rebellion and further depravity.
Enter Hosea Hosea is a prophet of God, whose name means “Jehovah is Salvation.” –This name carries stunning significance, given this story. God’s command to Hosea: –When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, "Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.“ (Hosea 1:2)
Enter Gomer Hosea responds to God’s command by marrying a woman named Gomer. Two schools of thought about Gomer: –She may have been a prostitute or adulteress. –She may have merely been a typical woman of Israel’s depraved times. Either way, God knew her character and foretold her actions to Hosea.
The Happy Family Although few details are given on the early days of their marriage, one could assume a prophet of God would have been a decent husband. Gomer gives birth to three children: –Jezreel (a name of judgment against Israel). –Lo-Ruhamah (“Not Loved”) –Lo-Ammi (“Not My People”)
Questionable Parentage Only with the first child is the active language “bore him a son” used. The next two children use passive language. God refers to “children of unfaithfulness” when instructing Hosea in verse 2.
Ironic Vocation Hosea is frequently and adamantly preaching a message for Israel to “return to The LORD!” (Hosea 6:1, 14:1) Hosea’s marriage most certainly added depth and feeling to his preaching. His wife’s heart isn’t moved by his message, evidenced by her actions.
Relationship Wedges Hosea and Gomer did not share common interests or convictions. This condition tends to polarize and drive spouses further apart. Hosea must have been stricken with intense agony when infidelity began to creep in. Gomer, likewise, must have lived with emotional torment. How do these wedges translate in spiritual application?
The Fall of Gomer In precious few words, Hosea 1 and 3 speak volumes to what happened: –Gomer’s adultery grew frequent and dominant. –She ultimately leaves husband and children. –Her life sharply spirals downward from there. –She ends up in slavery, a shadow of who she was. –Her purchase price was not substantial. 6 ounces of silver and 10 bushels of barley.
Undying Love Volumes are spoken of Hosea’s love for Gomer in 3:1. –“Go, show your love to your wife again…” –Hosea loved his wife originally. –Hosea was to love his wife once again. (Evidenced by God’s command.) –This love was to be “shown” in clear expression, not subdued. –Although her price was cheap, Hosea was not likely rich. He would have given everything up for her.
Application This is not a lesson about marital faithfulness. It is a lesson on forgiveness and understanding God’s unquenchable love for us. Matthew 18:21-22 –Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Application Forgiveness in a marriage is just as important for everyday “slights” as it is for big-ticket items. We must frequently remind ourselves that we have granted forgiveness and move on. We must frequently remind ourselves the extent and totality of God’s forgiveness for us.
Application Forgiveness does not mean that you are supposed to suffer in silence. Open communication about hurts is necessary for wounds to heal. The hard part of that equation is communicating in love through the hurt.
Application We must be prepared to help each other out of sin by implementing lifestyle changes. We do not discipline each other. God will send consequences after action. Attempting to assume that role will add to the hurt. –Do not confuse “discipline” with “correct” in this context.
Application Forgiveness does mean that you will pay the price of the other person’s offenses. When you withhold retribution, you are in essence holding back the cost of the offender’s actions and taking it upon yourself as an act of love. Know anybody whose done that for you?
Conclusion Fortunately, not all of us will experience the specific pain that Hosea and Gomer went through. Do not lose sight of the spiritual application that pertains to all of us. –How many times has Jesus found you in the arms of another lover? –How many times has He brought you back? –Are you prepared to show this love to others?
Outward Ministry What do you think Hosea’s action of redemption did to the minds of those observing him? Everyone knew Hosea was a prophet of God. What do you think happened to the impact of his message based on his actions? Likewise, demonstrations of God’s forgiveness in your marriage can be a ministry tool.