This is the last sermon in our study of the book of Hosea.  In each message Pastor Mike read us a narrative of Hosea, an Old Testament prophet, and Gomer, his wife who repeatedly committed unrepentant adultery.  After having to kick her out of the house, Hosea purchased Gomer years later at a slave auction and brought her home.  In the narrative, Mike showed Hosea and Gomer’s marriage as it experienced both highs and lows.  Ultimately, Gomer remained faithful and Hosea helped her heal from her previous sins.

If you take away one thing from this book of the Bible it should be this:  Always remember who you were without God and who you are in God.  Jesus died for us, His bride, even though we are wayward and adulterous.  We stand justified by the righteous Judge of the universe and redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb.  Did you know Hosea is another pronunciation for the Hebrew “Joshua” and the Greek translation is “Jesus”?  This is not an accident. 

BIG IDEA:  God offers forgiveness and restoration for those who genuinely repent. 

Restoration does not lead to immediate trust.  There are steps before we regain confidence in someone who has wronged us.  We see these steps in Hosea’s life.

1.)  We will struggle through a period of healing.  There is no such thing as a magic wand that will restore trust; there will be pain and memories of sin.  What does that period of healing look like? 

            Accountability (Hosea 2:16-17).  It is good to set up boundaries and take steps to get as far away from the sin as possible.  For example, a man who struggles with pornography should never use a computer without accountability; someone who struggles with immorality should have strict rules surrounding relationships with the opposite sex; someone who struggles with gambling should never step foot in a casino, even to eat the buffet; and someone who has struggled with alcohol, ought never take a drink again. 

            Probation (Hosea 3:1-3).  It’s not a bad thing to be on probation; it makes sure repentance is genuine, re-establishes trust, and ensures the safety of everyone involved.  For instance, if there is a teenage daughter who has abused the use of her car, set up a plan for how that daughter can slowly get the keys back. 

2.)  Enjoy a period of flourishing! 

            Flourishing in love (Hosea 2:18-23).  Just as Hosea took Gomer back in an intimate way, Israel will also experience a beautiful, restored relationship with God when Jesus rules and reigns from Jerusalem.  When someone has sinned, the time of restoration can be beautiful, and we can often experience a better relationship with them than we ever had before.

            Flourishing in influence (Hosea 14:4-7).  This passage says someday Israel will bless all the nations of the world and have a greater influence than ever before. Sometimes after we have sinned and been restored, we can have a greater impact on others than we ever imagined.  Proclaim your story of the restorative grace of God.  You are a masterpiece of His grace, and He is waiting to use you in ways you cannot imagine.

What have we learned from Hosea?

            1. We are perpetually unfaithful.

            2. God passionately pursues us even though we are unfaithful.

            3. God repeatedly forgives and restores over and over again.

The book of Hosea plumbs the depths of the love of God, which is, by nature, difficult to understand, but we must keep trying to understand it.  Has the book of Hosea impacted you, or are you struggling to agree with its truths?  When a child of God is confronted by the irrational love of God, it will move their soul.  Ask have you truly taken Christ as your Savior?  If Hosea was here he would say, “Your response to my book describes not the state of my book but the state of your soul.”

Tweetable Quotes:

God loves us in spite of our sin, and we can replicate the love of God to our spouse if we are willing to forgive.  #iamgomer

Always remember who you were without God and who you are in God.  #iamgomer

We stand justified by the righteous Judge of the universe and redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb.  #iamgomer

You are a story of God’s grace. Never feel you’ve lost your chance to serve Him.  He can always use you. #iamgomer