Yesterday we began our new sermon series called Exposed: A Study of the Book of Hosea. As Shane was under the weather this morning (nothing serious, just not feeling well), Robbyn Abedi did a masterful job of pinch hitting.
Today’s message was titled When God Steps Forward, based on Hosea, Chapters one and three. Robbyn began with three questions about the passage:
- What is the text telling us?
- Why is it also our story?
- How do we change?
When the book of Hosea was written, there were two kingdoms: Israel and Judah. Israel had forgotten God’s laws and worshipped idols. God called Hosea to be a prophet to call them out on their unfaithfulness.
He told Hosea to marry Gomer, a prostitute and a woman of loose morals. His marriage to Gomer is compared to God’s relationship with us; like a good marriage, our relationship to God requires that we make it a priority and it requires authenticity and intimacy. But Gomer was unfaithful; she wandered away and pursued other men like a modern-day sex addict. She sought to find her worth through men and empty relationships.
A good marriage — like a strong relationship with God — has life-changing potency. It changes who we are and gives us the motivation and ability to be different people.
Through Hosea, God tells us that the best moments of the best marriages are just dim hints of the relationship He desires with us.
Why is this our story? Why do we relate to Gomer? Like Gomer, we often look outside our relationship with God for satisfaction. We aren’t satisfied with our reality and want to change the trajectory of our lives.
How do we wake up to our own unfaithfulness?
- Begin to understand the impact of our wrongdoing on God. We cause Him heartbreak when we don’t love Him back as He loves us. We get angry, we demand our own way, we decide His justice and goodness aren’t enough.
- When we’re anxious, we demand that things work our the way we think they should, in our timing. Anxiety says that God’s sovereignty is not enough — it has no place in our lives.
- Realize we’re apathetic. Narcissism rots our souls; it says to God, “Your love is not enough.” We look for other things to satisfy us. Gomer tried to find worth through promiscuity and other idols.
Hosea and God both loved and were both betrayed; both paid a price to forgive. That changes our reality. We don’t need idols or other gods; we have authenticity and belonging through Christ.