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I’m going to invite you to turn to the book of Hosea. I think it’s an important book, especially as it relates to the condition of our country today. I will add a little something in the end that will I think help all of us in where the Lord is leading us. As we go through this series together, we started a new series last week called recovery road from the book of Hosea and if you’re here with us last week, you found Hosea is one of those shocker books that when you read the content of what’s in it, you’re like, I can’t believe this story is in the Bible. This is, this kind of blows you away. It just the depth that God is going to communicate his message of of love and grace to us as people and we said last week. If you think about the book of Hosea, it’s really a picture of God’s plan for humanity, for us as people coming to know him and enjoy him.
And the Bible has this theme that carries itself throughout all of scripture, that God created us in his image, that we could connect to him as created beings, made in his image and enjoy his presence for all of eternity. But after God creates us, we see in the garden, Adam and Eve, what they call it, theologians call as the fall, which I think is one of the greatest understatements in theology. It’s, it’s more drastic than a fall, but it’s sin. And that separates us from God. And from that point, man has tried to reconcile that. But what we find in the scriptures that is impossible apart from the grace of God and God, I’m going to line this up straight, sorry. God gives us a, a plan of redemption. And that’s the whole point of Jesus. God gives us a plan of Virgin dumpsters to bring us back to him and ultimately restores what we lost in the garden from sin.
And so we find restoration. And so the book of the Bible creates a picture of creation, fall, redemption and restoration. And Hosea is a picture of that. And as we go through this message today, I want, I want to, so typically when I go through a section of scripture, what I like to do is explain the text and make application for our lives. And I’m actually going to do the reverse that today. But I want, I want us to have a sort of a target on our mind as to the significance of where we’re going together. Hosea chapter 14 the end of the book, if I were to give you a theme verse on what Hosea is about, I think it’s the first four verses of chapter 14 which is the last, the last chapter in the book of Hosea. And so this is where we’re going together.
This puts a picture on our minds, a goal of what we want to accomplish today. But it says this return O Israel to the Lord your God for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. And you think about the context of this passage is we’ve entered in it’s Intuit together that this is taking place around seven 20 BC. This is when the Northern tribes of Israel have separated from the Southern tribes of Israel that we said in the beginning that God created Kings. In Israel there were three Kings that led Israel unified, and after those three Kings, Solomon being the last Israel divided, 10 tribes went to the North, often referred to as the tribes of Ephraim. Two tribes went to the South, often referred to as the tribes of Judah, and from the North hadn’t was never a another godly King to lead Israel. They’re all ungodly Kings. And Jose’s message is predominantly to the Northern tribes of Israel, though it relates to all of Israel, calling them back to him. And so you see in this chapter, this call of returning in chapter 14 and we’ll lay out why it’s significant as we get towards the end. But this is what God’s desire is for Israel. And it becomes an illustration for all of God’s people.
Well, what you find as you look at the story of Hosea, you look at the beginning of God’s creation. For us as individuals, when man was created, we were secure, secure in Christ, secure and future secure and relationship.
But when mankind fell, we were no longer secure, rather insecure and the garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve fell, we, we find that they try to fill or satisfy their insecurity with things that were broken, things that could not satisfy immediately, soon as Adam and Eve sin, having that security removed from them, that tells us that they run and they hide. They try to clothe themselves to create the first manmade religion you find in the text of scripture. I don’t have time to dive into that, but that’s what they do. They, they hide, they try to cover up their, their insecurity. They create religion to try to create that sense of security. And when God finds them in the garden, then they begin the blame game towards each other as to what went wrong. So they can find security and other people’s faults rather than themselves.
But the truth is, all of us deal with insecurity. It’s a result of the fall, physical insecurity, something that you would change about yourself, mental insecurity, maybe you struggle with memory or emotional insecurity. I ask the question, am I lovable? Financial insecurity or how about spiritual insecurity? Wondering if if God would accept you. All of us struggle with insecurity and in order to recognize that within our lives, I think in the book of Hosea, we see it predominantly played out in the life of Gomer as as Hosea is called by God to deliver a particular message. But the way that God chooses to deliver this message is in such a way that Israel is in a place where they’re spiritually low and asleep. We sat in seven 20 BC. This is, this is the pinnacle of the Northern tribes of Israel. They, in comparison to other nations do not lack. They’re satisfied with where they are. They are content with life. They don’t recognize their own depravity and their need for God. And so in that situation, God uses Hosea to preach a particular message that would shock the people, penetrate their hearts and awaken them to their need for God.
And so what God chooses to do through Hosea, it tells us in chapter one verses two and three that he calls Hosea to marry a harlot or a prostitute. Why does, why does God choose Hosea to marry a prostitute? When we’ve said one, it was intended to shock us. It wakes us in the loling of our own insecurities of our need for God. And so God chooses this Holy man to enter into a relationship with maybe an unholy situation in order to shock Israel to recognize their need for God. Because Hosea is life becomes a living example of Israel’s relationship to the Lord. So when it was intended to shock us, but to and further understanding of war, the word harlotry represents for Israel. This word for harlotry was often in Israel’s time, looked at as an interchangeable word for the word of idolatry.
In the time of Israel, the in washing of ball, the people would often engage into temple prostitution. And so the idea of the word idolatry became a synonymous with the thought of harlotry and so by picking one in engaged in idolatry or in harlotry is pointing out to Israel their idolatry in their relationship with God. What you see in the garden of Eden is that even for Adam and Eve, that what led to their idolatry was really the sense of lack of security in their lives. They, they pursued other things. They cover themselves up. They tried in their own efforts to create their own religion, to find God’s sat. I find themselves satisfied with what they lost and in their insecurity. It leads to idolatry and what you see in the story of of Hosea and the garden of Eden, that security and identity is powerful. Understanding who you are and finding security and the identity that you have in Christ, because we as people, when our identity is broken, our lives are broken and when we feel insecure or when we live in that insecurity, I think for us two things become true. One is an insecurity. It will lead you where you do not belong and in insecurity. It will keep you from where you are called to be. We talk about insecurity leading us where we do not belong. You think about examples in life. I think when we live in insecurity and it leading us to where we do not belong, becomes the explanation why, why women end up in the arms of men. They have no sense of being with why guys seek to conquer women as if it’s some sort of accomplishment. Maybe even why you shop to satisfy or maybe why it’s, it’s the reason why some people put their, their fists through the wall as if to gain control of a situation. What’s the really out of control of?
It comes from a sense of insecurity, not understanding the identity in which you have created in God’s image. Insecurity will lead you where you do not belong and it will also keep you from where you’re called to be. I think insecurity eliminates opportunity. See when when God calls you and God identifies you in him, makes you a new creation. He tells us in Ephesians one he gives you every spiritual blessing that what he does for the believer is he gives us, we become a child of God in Christ. He gives us a new family that we belong to, a new kingdom for which we live in and, and when we, we live outside of that and the insecurity of owl apart from Christ and what God has identified with, with us in him, that that while we try to do is validate ourselves rather than, than rest in his presence and what he has associated with us. And so in that insecurity keeps us from where we’re called to be. Rather than live out where you are in Jesus, you become competitive to prove your worth or you come become combative, to defend whatever insecurity you hold on to or complain with what you don’t have that keeps you from where you think that you need to be.
It eliminates opportunity. I even think it relates to our own relationship in God and how we live it out in this world, right? We see the significance of who Jesus is in our hearts and in our lives. When it comes to share that the insecurity of, of just communicating that with other people keeps us where God might lead us. I think insecurity is something not, not just unbelievers wrestle with, but also believers. You see in the story of Gomer, she’s representing the nation of Israel to God and in coming into relationship with Hosea and marrying Hosea, her past begins to Rob her of her future. I think Christians can even do this. You get so stuck in sin and the insecurity of it that you don’t even feel the strength to get up and continue on. Well, you find in Christ is that right? Identity leads to security.
Second Corinthians chapter 10 and verse five it tells us to take every thought captive in Jesus, meaning there is a war waging within us, apart from Christ that would lead us in other directions, trying to find satisfaction and things that do not satisfy. It may, it may temporarily pleased, but ultimately does not satisfy and learning in the mind to, to retrain the mind, to take everything captive for the cause of Christ. In fact, Romans 12 tells us to renew our minds and things of God that we may prove what the will of God is. The Bible tells us in first John chapter four in verse four, that that greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. Meaning wherever you go, you and God are always a majority. And when it comes to identifying yourself in Christ, apart from other things, finding security in him, I think our identity is important to recognize that, that you do not find your identity in your inability nor your capability, but you always are who you are about the grades.
Oh God. So the problem thinking, recognizing the insecurity that existed in the garden of Eden is that finding identity in insecurity lead to instability in your walk with God. What happens in the midst of those challenges in our lives that we get so focused on what’s wrong with us, that we cannot focus on what’s right with Jesus. We get so absorbed, uh, thinking about where we fell that we refuse to look at where Jesus succeeds, but when we’re secure and cry, yes, we’re able to look beyond ourselves and look at the hope of what Jesus brings to us.
And that’s where I’m going to pick up this morning and Hosea chapter two. And so if you flip over there for just a moment, Hosea chapter two then gives us the backdrop to what I just explained to us this morning as it relates to security and insecurity in our walk with God. When you look at the story of Hosea Marian Gomer called by God Hosea to marry a prostitute, it’s been sad categorically about Hosea, about this book that Hosea is described as the greatest lover to ever live. And the reason God chooses Hosea to demonstrate this type of love is because in him, he is the example of God’s love towards us.
And the reason God wants to declare this to Israel is because I said this last week for us as people, oftentimes the Bible says things for us as people because the antithesis of of those statements are often what we believe in our heart. For instance, the love of God. Repeatedly throughout scripture, God declares for us his love and as human beings, you know how significant that is to your own life and even thinking about relationships that are close to you. Use the example of of husband and wife last weekend. No one in here would say this about their spouse, that when you got together at the very beginning, you use the L word for the first time, right? I love you. I hope they see I’m back. Right? You just let that out there in space. You said theL word, but after that point you didn’t look at each other and be like, yeah, you said it to me once 34 years ago, so I still believe it today. Right?
No, I mean that’s a word. As you, as you begin to experience that relationship and you go deeper in that relationship with each other, that you continue to, to exercise the use of that word just to lavish on one another, to remind one another of where your heart is toward each other cause we wrestle with insecurity. No, I think the demonstration of Hosea and relating to God here is is a pronouncement to us, a continual reminder of where God stands and connection to you and no matter where you are in this world. And so Kyle Kyle Yates, he wrote this about this passage or this, this chapter of the Bible. He says, Hosea takes his place among the greatest lovers of all ages. His love was so strong that the violence behavior could not dull it. Gomer broke his heart. She made it possible for him to give to the world the picture of the heart of the divine lover.
This book of Hosea in fact is written as a poem. You think about, man, you really want to get loving towards your wife. You’ve got to whip out. The roses are red, violets are blue. You know, poetry is the love language and how fitting when God chooses Hosea as an example of his love towards us, that Hosea illustrates the love of God in poetic form towards Gomer, his wife, and when you look at this passage in chapter two beginning in verse 14 on to verse 23 this section of scripture, it talks about the restoration of Israel in God, but God gives five points of reminding Israel of, of where his heart is towards them. Chapter two we didn’t read all of chapter two but if you look at the first half verses one to 13 it’s the judgment of the unfaithfulness or the condemnation that Gomer is facing and Israel is facing because of the rejection of God. But then you see in verse 14 it flips and begins to talk about God’s statement towards Israel and where he feels or how he feels towards these people. Verse 14 he says this, therefore, behold,
I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. God’s statements from verse 14 verse 23 are our statements of I wills you. Consider Gomer in this position, a place that we’ve maybe all been where you feel like a failure. You can’t hold your head up. You wonder if you can be loved. And then God comes in after declaring all that that Gomer has done. And in the beginning of chapter two and he says this, this is where you are. This is your heart towards me. This, this is where you’ve sinned, but I want you to know where I am. And he gives these proclamations of his position towards the people of Israel in their failures. And the first thing that God says to Israel is something maybe we would all think in that insecurity of ourself and wondering, trying to find something that satisfies something that validates us. Something that proves our worth having lost it in idolatry. Now looking for other places, will God accept me? Oh God, how will God respond? The Lord says this rather than come to GeMar with a heavy hand, he says,
I will allure her, which is another word for wooing God wants to lavish on Israel, on Gomer, his love. He’s not crushing, but he’s, he’s bringing about the idea of healing and it says in verse 15 then I will give her vineyards from there and the Valley of a core as a door of hope and she will sing there as in the days of her youth as in the days when she came up from the land of Egypt. What is that talking about?
Well, the Valley of a core to the people of Israel was a place of judgment, a place of sin, a place they wanted to forget. Well, what it’s saying in verse 15 is that that what God wants to do in recognizing that Israel has has left God, that God wants to bring them back to this place where they are able to sing fresh when the days when they were young in their youth and they want, he wants to take this place that they’ve learned to feel judgment and, and he wants to turn the tables on that to where they learned to sing songs of praise before presence because of the love that he’s demonstrated towards them, a place of darkness. God rather wants to bring Israel back into the wilderness where they walked with him in the beginning when he brought them out of slavery and the places where they made sin against God or mistake and saw destruction. God wants to write it new on their heart.
Verse 16 and 17 then he says this and it will come about in that day, declares the Lord that you will call me is she and will no longer call me Bali file. Remove the names of the balls from her mouth so that they will be mentioned by their names no more. What God’s pointing out to Israel in this section of scripture is that there is this war that’s going on between them and what they’re recognizing as Lord and where they’re finding satisfaction between the false God of all or the Lord himself. Yes, she is this word for husband and in Bali is this word for master. It’s to recognize the FOSS got a ball and he’s saying, I want to remove that from your life and all. All I want you to have is me as your husband says, I will allure her. I will give to you and I will take away the next thing God says in verses 18 and 19 then is this in that day, I will also make a covenant for them. Well, for beasts of the field and the bird of the sky, the creeping things on the ground, well abolish the bow and the sword and war from the land and I will make them lie down and safety. I will betroth you to me forever as I will betray with you to me in righteousness and injustice and in loving kindness and in compassion. I will betray with you to me in faithfulness. Then you will know I am the Lord.
What it’s talking about here is the idea of the new covenant. God’s desire is to restore Israel and liquids in this passage of scripture. It’s literally God in establishing this, this covenant with them. He, he speaks to the earth and the earth responds and, and from that the the earth begins to supply for, for God’s people. It’s this, the singing back and forth and, and for the whole purpose of bringing his bride into this beautiful place to enjoy him. And the things that he sows into, that relationship will go to. It says righteousness and justice and loving kindness and compassion and faithfulness.
If I were to point in this passage, I would say to us this long for security in the midst of insecurity from the loss that we experienced in the garden and the fall and said God is sowing into relationship. Those things that continue to build what promotes security together, finding trust in him. The last thing he says, then verse 21 it will come about in that day that I will respond declares the Lord, I’ll respond to the heavens and they will respond to the earth and the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil and they will respond to Jezreel and I will sew her for myself in the land and I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion and I will say to those who were not my people, you are my people and they will say, you are my God.
What happens in this passage should remind you of what we discussed last week when we looked at chapter one verses verses five and on, you remember within, within the context of, of chapter one, when God calls Hosea to marry Gomer, he calls them to name their children’s specific names. He tells Gomer, okay, when you have children or when you have children, these are the specific names I want you to give because it’s going to be an illustration of your relationship to me. And so what he says in this passage of scripture, he says, call jazz real, which we said means judgment. I’m gonna explain that a little deeper today. And then he says, next kid, call them no mercy. And last kid called them, not my people when he named Jezreel, he said, the reason when you called him Jezreel is because what happens in the house ofJ who, which is an illustration in Israel’s past and verse five, chapter one Jay who brought judgment in the place of Jezreel in Israel’s history.
And so the name Jezreel literally means God’s sows. And because he attached that name to what took place with Jay, who it’s talking about God’s sewing judgment, and so he’s allowing his role in that harlotry to contemplate those names. If you ever met a family that just might shock you, hi, it’s nice to meet you, right? Tell us about yourself. Well, we’re in the prostitution business and these are our kids, not my child, and no mercy and judgment title it. You’d be like that. I mean, some of us, you may struggle with remembering names of new people, but I can guarantee no one would forget that here, right? I mean, those would be the names that, I mean, you would tell her, Facebook, social media, whatever. Everyone would need to know. Gosh, can I get a picture with you guys? I cannot. Okay, and so God’s doing that with Israel to shock them in these because he wants to lead them to this passage in the scripture. It’s as if to say, if this story connects to them, let let me, let me now connect it to you.
Look, if God can love Gomer, if God can be unconditional and sacrificial towards her, God can love anyone, right? There’s no one out of the reach of his love. There’s no one that can experience the security that comes with your identity in Christ. And I think all of the story that he began in chapter one culminates itself at the end of chapter two when he says these words now of Jesu and the end of verse two, then he brings up the word jazz real again, which means God sows. But this time rather than associating it with Jay who which would mean judgment, he now talks about what he wants to sow in his life because of his presence in yours. He’s sowing this to you. And so he says, remember, I will sew her for myself in the land. No, I’ll have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion.
And I will say to those who are not my people, you are my people. And they will say, you are my God, super Gomer for these children. Their identity brought insecurity. Not my people, no mercy. But with Jesus, they find security. And becoming his people with mercy.
This phrase becomes so important in scripture that in fact it’s even mentioned in the new Testament. It’s quoted in the new Testament. God broadens the scope here because in this story it’s, it’s talking about the people of Israel and their relationship to the Lord. But Israel works as an illustration of all of God’s people that would belong to him in the new covenant. And so in Romans chapter nine verses 25 verse 26 who Paul quotes this passage of scripture as if saying to all of us, this becomes our identity from the garden of Eden. There was insecurity in our walk with God because of the sin that has separated us from God. And we pursued things to find our value in life because we’re insecure as people in mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. There is insecurity in all of us.
But that security is designed to be found in God. And if you’re asking the question, how will God approach me if I would pursue him? Should I, as Adam and Eve run and hide? Should I cover myself? Should I prove my worth to God? And the statement of chapter two is, no, no. In fact, God allure your you. He writes the poetry of a lover’s heart to you and he gives you those sins and your past from the Valley of a core that that you can’t get rid of. He brings you into the wilderness of those places that have Marge your life in that insecurity, and he brings you new security in him. And he refreshes those memories of old that were upset any makes them new in him and he takes them away. Those false gods and he gives you a new name, calling him your husband and he Buttrose you to him. Any you an identity and relationship, you become his people in mercy, quoted to the New Testament, bringing us to the theme of chapter 14 return O Israel to the Lord your God. God, do you love me? God, do you care about me? God, do you know what a return O Israel, the Lord your God for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
Take words with you and return to the Lord, say to him, take away all, would he and receive us graciously that we may present the fruit of our lips. Verse four I will heal their apostasy. I will love them freely for my anger has turned away from them.
Let you think about the book of Hosea and what it represents. The key word throughout all of Hosea is the word return. 24 times within the 14 chapters, this, this calling is, is placed before the people of Israel. It’s calling us to return to him, recognizing we are insecure and when we as people are insecure in our our positions, two things happen within our lives. It, it leads us where we don’t belong and that keeps us from where we’re called to be. The challenge is the pressure of even validating yourselves to look at other people, to seem it. See if you’re better than them in order to to find security. All of us, all of us wrestle is some form of insecurity in our lives, but in Jesus, this is what we find. It’s okay to be insecure. We were never intended to find the security for which we were created to have within ourselves. It’s always been found not in other things, but in Christ who loves you, who welcomes us in our brokenness, who lures us into the wilderness to recognize that it’s okay to not be okay because in the places of a core, he gives us strength and makes all things new rather than look to self to satisfy. We try to fix it, but God himself, it’s the giver of the strength that we need.
Well, let me relate all this politically. If you want to make direct application to even today, I think when people feel insecure, we have the tendency to go crazy and it becomes divisive. Can I remind you this morning, church, no matter any political future of any place in your country, your security always belongs to Jesus. You always have hope. And in that you can always walk confidently and in the midst of people that struggle with insecurity, placing their hope in false things, it gives you the opportunity to point them to a greater hope in Christ and seasons of uncertainty. There’s always insecurity, but greater than that, there’s Jesus. God’s designed for us as people is to shape our identity in him. That through that we find the strength to live in this world as he’s called us to live because the validation that we look for outside of self or even inside of self, they’re broken cisterns, never intended and designed for us to find our security within those things, the results of those and pursuing them. It leads us to places we do not belong and keeps us from places we’ve been called to be, but Jesus and seasons of uncertainty, there’s always insecurity, but for us there is Christ and the call for Rosa is for us to return to him.