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Jesus Has Greater Love

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Theme: God's Love is Unconditional and Persistent

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Introduction: "If people fall into sin and turn their back on God, will he still love them? If people who have a relationship with God (like the Israelites) reject God’s love and prostitute themselves by loving someone or something else more than God, will God totally reject them?
― from "Hosea, Amos, Micah (The NIV Application Commentary)"
This is the primary question of the Book of Hosea.

What will God do with an unfaithful spouse?

The Story of Hosea
God Calls Hosea to Marry an Adulteress Women - Gomer is a women who has already lived a life of adultery, and she does not change her ways in marriage.
Their Children’s names - Jezreel, Lo-Ruhama (No Mercy, or Not Loved), Lo-Ammi (Not my people). - Clearly she was unfaithful
Chapter 2:2 - Divorce
“Researchers at The New School in New York City have found evidence that literary fiction improves a reader’s capacity to understand what others are thinking and feeling” (Julianne Chiaet, “Novel Finding: Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy,” Scientific American, October 4, 2013, While this story of Hosea isn’t fiction, it is meant to stir empathy. Reading it gives you a better understanding of God’s perspective when we walk away from him. If we were in his shoes, how would we react?
fiction improves a reader’s capacity to understand what others are thinking and
Hosea’s Story is a true story that is a parallel to How God was feeling about Israel and how he feels about humanity.
God Chose Israel to be his people, they entered into a covenant, “marriage” if you will, even though he knew they were prone to worship other gods and turn from him.
The entire O.T. is the story of Israel’s adultery, and how impossible it was for them not to turn to other gods.
feeling” (Julianne Chiaet, “Novel Finding: Reading Literary Fiction Improves
Progression of names
Jezreel - “I will bring the bloodshed of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu.” D. Garret - From NIV Application Commentary - In other words Jehu’s dynasty is about to come to a violent end (idolatry continued)
Lo-Ruhamah - No Mercy - God’s Jealousy was strong, trust had been broken.
Zondervan. Hosea, Amos, Micah (The NIV Application Commentary) (Kindle Locations 843-844). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Lo-Ammi - Not my People - Divorce - The Exile
Empathy,” Scientific American, October 4, 2013,
Qualification - This story is not a prescription of what we should do.
God does not call us to marry adulteress people - in fact it may not be the wisest thing. Too often young people think, (I can reform them, but instead they get pulled into the trap.) Hosea is unique and was called for a unique purpose - so that we might empathize with God’s position, and see How Gracious God truly is.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/novel-finding-reading-literary-fictionimproves-
By setting Israel’s sinful behavior in the framework of the vile behavior of a prostitute, Hosea reminds his audience both of the seriousness of sin (it destroys a mutual trusting relationship) and the amazing greatness of God’s love. Unfaithfulness to God in Israel and the church cannot be ignored. Either people are believers and are faithful to their covenant commitments to God, or they are not a part of the family of God. Those who are unfaithful to God are really more like prostitutes. They are not and cannot be members of God’s family unless two things happen. God must love them in spite of their sins (which he does), and they must respond to God’s love with a new commitment of love for him. Hosea reveals that God has and will continue to give undeserved love to those who do not have a covenant relationship with God. The question is: How will people respond to his gracious gift of love?
Zondervan. Hosea, Amos, Micah (The NIV Application Commentary) (Kindle Locations 777-780). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
empathy/) While this story of Hosea isn’t fiction, it is meant to stir empathy.
Zondervan. Hosea, Amos, Micah (The NIV Application Commentary) (Kindle Locations 780-783). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Reading it gives you a better understanding of God’s perspective when we walk
Zondervan. Hosea, Amos, Micah (The NIV Application Commentary) (Kindle Locations 777-780). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
But he doesn’t leave. He doesn’t give up, like most of us would. He chases after us.
away from him. If we were in his shoes, how would we react? But he doesn’t leave.
He doesn’t give up, like most of us would. He chases after us.

God’s Love is Unconditional and Persistent

Hosea’s answer is that no one has ever deserved or earned God’s love; it is always a free gift to those who are unworthy."― from "Hosea, Amos, Micah (The NIV Application Commentary)"
To Show us how God’s love is greater
Hosea 3:1–5 NIV
The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.” For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.
Unconditional
Hosea
This is how God’s Justice and Love are both satisfied.
Hosea Divorces Gomer = As God Divorces Israel (Exile)
To Not Do so Reasons =
It is not loving to stay in the relationship - You can not force love on someone and so he gives Israel/Gomer over to her choices.
It is enablement to stay in the relationship = Nothing will change for Israel/Gomer if there is this imbalance in the relationship - One Party is always faithful and is always giving, the other party is always taking and always unfaithful.
So God/Hosea cuts Israel/Gomer from all the benefits of the relationship. - Not perhaps because they want to, but because nothing will change if not.
The Result is slavery, indebtedness, - emotionally, physically,
Qualification: This is not a prescription for you if you have experienced this. It is possible to take someone back if they have been unfaithful, and that is tremendous love, and I would suggest there has to be a change in that person, and you can not change them...
Hosea Pays Gomer’s Debts and re-marries = God Pays for Israel’s Debts and re-marries.
Why, because they still love their spouse, and despite all of the pain, despite the ugliness, despite the idolatry, despite the unfaithulness.
Gomer and Israel realize that the only one who ever truly loved her was Hosea was God.
Hosea does this with a sacrifice = Paying off her debts.
God does this through a sacrifice = Jesus dying on the cross, and Jesus becoming that King God promised to lead the people into a loving relationship with the Father.
Matthew 6:14–15 LEB
For if you forgive people their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive people, neither will your Father forgive your sins.
Romans 5:6–11 NIV
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
1 John 4:20 LEB
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar, for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen is not able to love God whom he has not seen.
Conclusion: Invitation to accept God’s proposal. He will never leave you or forsake you. His love is unconditional. No matter what you have done, no matter what trap you are in. Yes, that may have been your choice, and God has not forced you to love him, but he wants you to know he has never given up on you. Jesus has paid your debts, he has freed you from slavery, and he is expressing his un-dying love to you.
Persistent
Reference the Reformed Confessions: The Reformed Confessions are statements of faith written to clarify the Gospel at times when the Church was in crisis. Heidelberg Chatechism: Q&A 11, 95 Belgic Confession: Articles 17, 20 Canons of Dort: Head II, Article 2;
Belgic Confession: Articles 14-15, 18, 23, 26, 40 Canons of Dort: Head I, Articles 1; Head II, Article 1-2; Head III and IV, Articles 1-4;
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