Faithlife Sermons

Religious Debauchery

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Hosea 1:1-2:1

Hosea 1:1–2:1 NET
This is the word of the Lord which was revealed to Hosea son of Beeri during the time when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah ruled Judah, and during the time when Jeroboam son of Joash ruled Israel. When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, he said to him, “Go marry a prostitute who will bear illegitimate children conceived through prostitution, because the nation continually commits spiritual prostitution by turning away from the Lord.” So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim. Then she conceived and gave birth to a son for him. Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Name him ‘Jezreel,’ because in a little while I will punish the dynasty of Jehu on account of the bloodshed in the valley of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel.At that time, I will destroy the military power of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.” She conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the Lord said to him, “Name her ‘No Pity’ (Lo-Ruhamah) because I will no longer have pity on the nation of Israel. For I will certainly not forgive their guilt.But I will have pity on the nation of Judah. I will deliver them by the Lord their God; I will not deliver them by the warrior’s bow, by sword, by military victory, by chariot horses, or by chariots.” When she had weaned ‘No Pity’ (Lo-Ruhamah) she conceived again and gave birth to another son. Then the Lord said: “Name him ‘Not My People’ (Lo-Ammi), because you are not my people and I am not your God.” However, in the future the number of the people of Israel will be like the sand of the sea which can be neither measured nor numbered. Although it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it will be said to them, “You are children of the living God!” Then the people of Judah and the people of Israel will be gathered together. They will appoint for themselves one leader, and will flourish in the land. Certainly, the day of Jezreel will be great! Then you will call your brother, “My People” (Ammi)! You will call your sister, “Pity” (Ruhamah)!

Context:

Divided Kingdom
Kings are doing evil in the sight of the Lord
A drama of revelation of Spiritual Adultery
A revelation of Debauchery by the Holiness of God

Content:

Prophet revealing the debauchery of the Nation of Israel
5 Kings between the two nations: 4 from Judah (Southern) and 1 from Israel (Northern)
A Prophet called by God to carry out a dramatic revelation through the marriage of a prostitute
Drama includes illegitimate children, names representing the actions God is using to call Israel into repentance

Intent:

Through the holiness of God, depravity of mankind is revealed.
To reveal that the grace of God is limited by time
To reveal that the mercy of God is limited by time
To reveal that the plan of God is by order, discipline, present, and future
To reveal that God is involved in all aspects of the life of mankind (Politically, Personally, and Positional)
To reveal that God is a jealous God by His standards and His methods, not ours

Circumstance

The kingdom has been divided. Power struggles are occurring between the living God and the gods of the nations around Israel and Judah. Baal appears to the god of preference for Israel, and through this preference Israel is sinning. Acts of worship primarily focus on sex by which a temple prostitute would provide sexual intercourse to the men for blessings upon the land in which they farmed, the herd in which they tended, or for general prosperity. Prosperity was increasing in the land of Israel, and Baal is receiving the credit.

Situation

God is calling out the Kings of the North, Israel. His holiness is being tested and He has decided to put an end to the debauchery. He chooses to use Jezreel to punish the Jehu for the extreme bloodshed brought by his dynasty. Furthermore, God provides a daughter to Gomer, in which no father has been identified. The revelation of how far the nation of Israel has chosen from God, and the reaction of God toward Israel has become one of “no pity.” Another son is born, again no father is implied, and through this son God proclaims to Israel that He is no longer their God, rendering them fatherless. However, God is no completely through as a partial hope is provided through a promise of redemption.

Bridge

It is important to note that Prophets were individuals that God used to speak through. Hosea is not being spoken to, nor he is being spoken with, but is the “Living Word” of God. This is part of the foreshadowing of the complete incarnation of God in Jesus the Christ, and the completion of the Holy Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The Holiness of God reveals the debauchery of mankind. Questions of debauchery should arise within us, as the holiness of God reveals those which we are undertaking both personal and positional. Ultimately, it is a call to repentance, not just for salvation, but also for sanctification or a call to be set apart; Holy. Hope is the end result, not the means. Faith is the means by which we end up with hope. Israel was putting their faith into everything but God, and Hosea is prophesying that the their end result would not be hope, but despair. Only through faith in God do we end up with hope, without faith there is no hope, and without hope there is only despair.
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