[JUNE TWENTY- FIFTH TWENTY SEVENTEEN]
I just got back from my teen Sunday service, and decided to write its sermon up here because it’s eye-opening. It’s taken from Hosea, and you can read it right here on: Hosea 1: 2-9, 3:1-5.
We are prostitutes, and I’m about to explain why.
The Story of Hosea
Hosea is never really talked of (at least not what I know), so his character is still pretty foreign to most of us. Before moving on to what I mean by us being prostitutes, I’m going to type in what kind of prophet we’re talking about.
Hosea is one of “minor” prophets in the Bible. God called him in a very peculiar way, and Hosea worked in a very unique way too. God called him as if He was punishing him. Why? Because unlike any other prophet, God called Hosea to marry a prostitute, and build a family with that prostitute. That was the starting point.
In the following years, he was perennially rejected, and was even made to eat human waste. His prostitute wife, most presumably, had a kid whose father was not Hosea, and as expected from prostitutes, was always on someone else’s bed.
Hosea witnessed the glorious ages of northern Israel for 7 eras, up to the fall of it below the feet of Assyria.
Why such a hard life? For what?
To tell us a story of ourselves.
The Story of God and Us
As Hosea had to marry a prostitute under God’s order, God decided to choose us as His bride.
At that time, God gave His best to His people in Israel. He gave them the utmost best they could ever have. From bread from heaven, until a land of milk and honey; they had it all. But His people kept on cheating on God, giving their blood and flesh to other gods–false gods. And it’s not only “at that time“, because until today, we still do the same things. We idolise so many other stuff, be it our electronic devices, our books, our games; we worship so many idols, even when God gave us His life.
We killed our groom so many years ago, and we still don’t stop hurting Him.
We are the prostitutes He chose to love.
We might think, “then why should God love us in the first place?”, because we think we don’t need Him. We’re wrong He doesn’t need us. We need Him. Without Him we would’ve suffered an eternal furnace alive, not dead. And yet, here we are, confessing our love to other idols, when He offered His life. We should be the one falling at His feet, pleading for forgiveness, but now we’re the ones pushing Him away from our lives.
Love is not letting go. Love is passionate and pursuing. God’s love is a love that will not let go, because His love is perfect.
We need to wake up. We don’t deserve to live, but an everlasting life is given for us, with our Saviour’s blood.
The Story Hosea Tells
I’ll sum up what Hosea has been intending to say; what God is intending to say through Hosea’s story.
- God should be the upmost priority in our lives.
Everything in this world may and will surely disappear, and in the end, what matters most (life-and-death matter) is whether we have a real relationship with God. A relationship with Him is the only thing worth fighting for.
- The relationship with God has to be personal and intimate.
Our God doesn’t ask for our offers. All He asks for is our faithful love. Our God doesn’t asks us to personally know Him. Coram Deo: we live before God, and we are to be responsible. Don’t just near ourselves to God when trouble comes, rather be near with Him at all times. It takes effort to know whom we love, and we shouldn’t gamble on loving both God and our idols, because that’s not what love is like. Love is loving one and hating the other. God himself had said that we couldn’t have two masters (Matthew 6 : 24)
We might think that doing what we choose and loving what we choose to love other than God will result in happiness. But it doesn’t and it will not. We will be slaves of what we choose to love. Slaved and shamed, like Hosea’s wife, Gomer (chapter 3).
So don’t just learn to love God in hard times, because God is not a method, God is not an object. God is a Person. He has feelings, and He loves us even at our lowest.
- The God who demands us to love Him, is a God who still loves us even when we betray Him.
He is the God who chose to be brought low for us. God yearned for us, and He disposed to die so we can be His. His love for us, prostitutes, is the second biggest story in the Bible (the first is the story of how He saved man). It’s a risk God is willing to take, until we turn into a perfect bride, without a single flaw.
Long story short, God’s love is a love that won’t let us go. It’s time for us to give up on our fake lovers, to love Him too.
O Joy, that seeks me thro’ pain,
I can not close my heart to Thee,
I trace the rainbow thro’ the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn’ shall tearless be.
– O Love That Will Not Let Me Go-
George Mattheson, 1882
Sermon: Vic. Ivan
p i c t u r e : o s a k a, 2 0 1 3