Originally scheduled for April 12
The book of Hosea in the Old Testament is
largely one of God prophesying his punishment for Israel and Judah
for their idolatrous behavior. But squeezed within the pages is one
of the more prominent allegories of the Old Testament. God commanded
Hosea to marry a prostitute.
This comes a somewhat of a surprise to the
average Christian. It carries with it some lessons:
Not everything God puts on your to do
list is pleasant. As a matter fact God sometimes needs someone to do
the dirty work, and you just might be someone.
Your pain-and-suffering might just be
there for God’s purposes, not as a punishment to you or somebody
else. You will remember the man born blind in John chapter 9? The
disciples asked Christ, “who sinned”, to cause this man to be born
blind. His answer was, “the glory of God.” He was blind so
that your eyes might be opened.
In this instance God uses Hosea and
his wife, Gomer, as a living illustration of his love for the nation
of Israel and his hatred of its idolatry.
In the third chapter of Hosea we find out that
Hosea is ordered to go and get his wife back. To do this, he has to
purchase her out of slavery. The common opinion today is that Gomer
had lived a wonderful life — all those men, all that money. Modern
feminism considers this wonderful; evidently it didn’t work out too
well for Gomer. She started out as a slave to sin and wound up being
just a slave.
And not just any ordinary slave either; she was considered damaged
goods and was sold for about half the price of an ordinary female
slave. Yet her husband bought her back.
God purchased us much the same way. We see in
the Scripture that God told Hosea to buy her back as an illustration
of his love for Israel and by implication his love for us. But
please consider at what price: Hosea purchased her as damaged goods
for half the going rate. You and I were purchased at the price of
God’s own son, hanging on a cross, dying for our sins.
So as you partake this morning, remember that
the bread represents his body broken for you. Remember that the cup
represents his blood, shed for you. And not just for you and me, but
the sacrifice was made for “whosoever will.” Christ made the
ultimate sacrifice so that everyone who wants to can be saved.
Rejoice in your salvation; be grateful for your redemption and
remember who did this for you.
 You think this
doesn't happen today? Hundreds of thousands of children are
sold into sexual slavery every year. If you'd like to learn
more, I suggest a trip to recoveryofchildren.org.