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John Brown :: Hosea 3

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A. Chapter 3 is only 5 verses but has been claimed, "One of the greatest prophetic passages in the Word of God." (J. Vernon McGee - Through The Bible Vol. 3 p.623)

1. As we study it, I think you will see why.

B. The story lines hasn't changed - the Lord is still calling out to His people to return to Him and using the marriage of Hosea and Gomer as the living illustration of his love.

II. HOSE 3:1 (NASB) Then the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman [who] is loved by [her] husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes."

A. Israel has turned to the worship of pagan idols and the "raisin cakes" were part of the sacrificial feasts they participated in!

1. Gomer was also lost in her sins of prostitution and all that goes along with it.

2. Dead - if you will to the love of her husband.

a) But Hosea is instructed to put his love into action by going to get her since she could not get out of this by herself.

III. HOSE 3:2 (NASB) So I bought her for myself for fifteen [shekels] of silver and a homer and a half of barley.

A. 15 shekels of silver was ½ the price of a slave according to Ex. 21:7 & 31.

1. A homer and ½ of barley was about 10 bushels - which at the time was most likely the remaining ½ of the purchase price of his dear, lost wife.

2. What a sad testimony of Gomer's selfishness. She has not only cost the family immeasurable grief and heartache, but now her husband must use the limited resources of the family to redeem her.

a) But, doesn't that sound like an alcohol, or drug addiction - it just keeps in taking and "raping" its victims?

(1) Truth is - this is what sin does - it keeps on taking and taking - til there is nothing left!

B. Gomer make a perfect illustration of what all people are without Christ - lost, numb, not able to get out of the pit by themselves, immune to just how empty they really are - dead!

1. Had Gomer stayed in her situation, she would have likely been dead physically at an early age also.

a) She could not help herself so her husband became her redeemer.

b) He bought her for a high price though she wasn't worth much to anyone but himself.

c) And after he "bought" her, he "brought" her home to love and nurse her back to heath and to himself.

(1) And as we know - it worked! She fell in love with him all over again.

C. How like Jesus is this story of love and restoration.

1. We too were lost in our sins, numb, not able to get out of the pit ourselves, immune to how empty and pitiful we really were.

2. And likewise for many of us, if we had continued in our old lifestyle we would not be here today.

3. Like Gomer - we could not help ourselves, so our Husband became our Redeemer and bought us for a great price though we weren't worth what He paid!

4. Them He brought us home and is nursing us back to health and teaching us to love Him.

a) And for many of us - we have fallen in love Him and because of His goodness and mercy we will never go back to that other life! Ever!

(1) But this is why we must preach redemption!

(a) You see to tell someone that they must live better lives without Jesus is like teaching the Bible in a cemetery - they cannot live better lives because they are dead!

(b) Likewise, if you are sitting here this morning wanting to live a better life - you need to find life first and that is in Jesus!

(c) Redemption must some first! We must be purchased out of our sins before new life can begin.

(d) Just as Hosea purchased back his wife with the blood, seat and tears of his labor and as Jesus purchased His bride with his blood!

IV. HOSE 3:3 (NASB) Then I said to her, "You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you."

A. Hosea gives his wife Gomer a "time-out" - a time of isolation of you will.

1. Who knows what habit she picked up along the path of her sin?

a) Maybe there was even a time of "de-tox" - but whatever the case, Hosea felt it best to keep her away from almost everything and everyone.

(1) You may remember, that there were several times in Israel's past where the Lord gave them a "time-out" which we will look at - but to get the full picture of how all this applies to Israel, we must read on.

V. HOSE 3:4 (NASB) For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or [sacred] pillar, and without ephod or household idols.

A. This is where our text this morning begins to span time!

1. As we dig deeper into these verses, we will see that the Lord is working in the lives of Hosea and Gomer to teach all the way into eternity.

B. Please notice that the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or [sacred] pillar, and without ephod or household idols.

1. This is the 3rd time the Lord has told Israel that they will have a "time-out".

a) The first 2 - He told them how long they would be out of their land, but not this time!

(1) The 1st time he told Abraham he would give them the Land of Promise, but that his people would be in Egyptian slavery for 430 years because of their sin and rebellion towards the Lord.

(2) The 2nd time, again for sin and rebellion, they lost 70 years in Babylon.

(a) Now He just says, "For many days." - leaving it open!

(i) Remember Hosea is prophesying to the Northern Kingdom and technically they have still not returned to the land!

2. If we look at this on a broader scale - Israel is still without her proper King and Prince and she still does not perform the temple sacrifices or priestly duties!

a) And this will remain so while the Lord is building His church.

(1) You see the time between when Israel left the land in 70 A.D. and the time mentioned which is yet future - the Lord has been calling out Gentiles and building His church!

(a) Now you may be thinking - Israel became a nation once again in May of 1948 - but think about it - they do not have temple mount!

(i) They do not have their most holy site, they do not have their temple and they do not have a priest or king from the lineage of David to sit upon the throne - so - spiritually they have not returned at all!

(2) How long will this building of the church from among the Gentiles last, no one knows, that is why this time here in Hosea is "for many days."


A. HOSE 3:5 (NASB) Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness in the last days.

1. I think this verse cinches it up!

a) There has been no real "returning to God" in Israel. If anything, as a nation, there has been a turning away from the Lord.

(1) This final "coming home" will bring them to the knowledge of Jesus as their Messiah and then they will finally have their King from the lineage of David!

b) The "time-out" for Israel will be over.

(1) Gomer will finally return home with the husband that truly loves her!

(a) The One who has redeemed her will be given His proper place in her life one again!

Hosea 4-14 Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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