The Mute Button

The prophet justifies the Lord’s coming judgments with a litany of offenses that amount to the radical ingratitude of a wayward wife. But punishment is not ultimately what the Lord wants for his people; he desires that they leave their fornication and return to the One who first loved them and can indeed provide what is for their best.

Hosea is a clarion call to the sanctity of marriage. Hosea will use life in the parsonage and his own marriage to illustrate the unfaithfulness of the nation. But there is more in play in the study of this great book. Hosea is about how God deals with unfaithfulness, how God suffers along with His people, how God will not always chide His people in their sins, how God will never cease to love His own no matter how low we stoop and how God is always the first to seek after and to reconcile sinful people.

Hosea’s personal marriage is the mirror reflecting the Lord’s compassion. It is an incredible story of grace under fire. It is a story about how God used isolation and exile, the greatest fear of both Israel in the North and Judah in the South as the means to restoration (1:6–7; 2:14–23; 3:1–3; 5:6–6:3; 11:8–11; 12:9). Yes, God can and does isolate us when we are bent upon sin. He often mutes His own voice and delivers us into the abyss of divine silence to get our attention. This discipline is actually an act of His love.

Has God hit the mute button in your marriage? Is life behind the closed doors of your sacred bedroom crazed by the myth of the greener grass? Do you really believe God winks at our lusts and covetousness driven by the lie that insists your spouse is not enough? The message of Proverbs 5 is eternal:

Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. [16] Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? [17] Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. [18] Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, [19] a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. [20] Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? [21] For a man's ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths. [22] The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. [23] He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray. (Proverbs 5:14-23 ESV)

There is so much more to this little book that is rich with repeated judgment warnings, but even greater is the powerful description of God’s broken heart and unending love for His people.  You can join me in my verse by verse exposition of this passion-packed story by accessing my current preaching at In His Grip on Lightsource.com. http://www.lightsource.com/ministry/in-his-grip/it-was-the-best-of-times-it-was-the-worst-of-times-404391.html

In His grip,

Chuck

Digging Deeper:Hosea1:6–7; 2:14–23; 3:1–3; 5:6–6:3; 11:8–11; 12:9; Proverbs 5:13 – 23

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