I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the LORD. (Hosea 2:20)
On July 4, 1776, America’s Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. It begins, “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…” and concludes by appealing to God, the Supreme Judge of the world and says, “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” Indeed, Providence smiled upon them and America was birthed with the blessing of God. He has been faithful through our meteoric rise, but we have been unfaithful to Him. Systematically, we are stripping away all reference to God from the public arena. That vacuum is filled by paganism, Islam and the cults, even as Christianity is held up to contempt. There are some lessons for us from ancient Israel. God brought them into a land flowing with milk and honey, but they spurned Him for false gods. Hosea has a message for such people.
THE LOVE OF GOD SEEN IN A MARITAL ILLUSTRATION (Chapters 1-3). These chapters present the broken home of Hosea (1:1-11). His marriage would be a living message—a picture of the sermon he preached. Hosea was commanded to marry Gomer. Although I do not think she was a harlot at the time, it was in her heart. She began to cheat on Hosea. In fact she has children, which aren’t even Hosea’s (v.8-9). Night after night of shameful living took its toll (2:1-13). Having all those children affected her figure. Time and gravity set in and she was not the beauty she once was, and her lovers began to desert her (v.6-7). Picture this: Gomer has sold herself into slavery to avoid starvation. Hosea is commanded to go and buy this cheater and bring her home! He will forgive her and restore her (2:14-3:5). She has been faithless, but he will be faithful to his promise. This experience illustrated the relationship of God and Israel.
THE LOVE OF GOD SHOWN IN THE SPIRITUAL APPLICATION (Chapters 4-14). Gomer broke Hosea’s heart. Israel broke God’s. They treated God as Gomer did Hosea (4:1-19). Reading these verses is like reading the newspaper or watching the TV today. These same sins are epidemic in America! We thumb our nose at God; we shake our fist at Him; we bite the hand that feeds us! Just like Gomer trying to appeal to her lovers, so Israel looked to man rather than God for deliverance. Don’t we try to do that? God would break them (5:1-13:16). He will drive us to our knees, if we don’t go willingly.
As Hosea restored Gomer, so God would restore Israel (14:1-9). The promise remains, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” It is a personal response. If enough believers get right with God, a church can be revived. If enough churches are revived, a nation can be restored!