Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes -

Hosea: God's BALANCE Of Judging And Blessing His People
Part IV: Understanding WHY God PAINFULLY Disciplines His People
(Hosea 3:1-5)
  1. Introduction
    1. Hebrews 12:11 KJV states that no discipline from the Lord "seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness."
    2. Thus, we might wonder WHY God sees fit to use PAINFUL discipline to produce righteousness in us.
    3. Actually, painful discipline is meant to drive us from false idols, a fact God illustrated in Hosea 3:1-5:
  2. Understanding WHY God PAINFULLY Disciplines His People, Hosea 3:1-5.
    1. God called His prophet, Hosea to take back his adulterous wife, Gomer from her lovers, Hosea 3:1a with Hosea 1:2-3. This act would illustrate God's gracious plan to take Israel back to Himself after the nation had sought other gods in spiritual adultery and their "sacred raisin cakes" used in "feasts associated with Baal worship," Hosea 3:1b NIV; Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, p. 1387.
    2. Accordingly, Hosea purchased his wayward wife back from another man who apparently had possibly kept her as a mistress, paying fifteen shekels plus apparently another fifteen shekels worth of barley (a homer and a lethek), the total price of thirty shekels, the going price for a slave, Hosea 3:2; Ibid.
    3. To cause the reconstituted marital arrangement to succeed, Hosea provided discipline for Gomer, telling her to dwell alone at home with him in isolation from her former lovers so that her adulterous lifestyle would be replaced with the role of a faithful wife unto himself, Hosea 3:3a.
    4. Similarly, Hosea claimed he would focus on relating to his wife, Gomer alone as opposed to any other woman so that they two would become committed to one another as opposed to any other party, 3:3b.
    5. This restored marital arrangement illustrated God's plan to use painful discipline on His idolatrous people as His MEANS to wean them from their false gods back to the Lord as their only true God, Hosea 3:4-5:
      1. Since God's people, Israel had gone after the false Baal gods by way of various influences, the Lord planned for His people to dwell alone without these influences similar to how Hosea directed for Gomer to be weaned from her false lovers by isolating her from their immoral influence, Hosea 3:4:
        1. God planned to cause Israel to dwell as a people for a long time without a king and a prince, for such men throughout the Northern Kingdom's history had led the people of Israel into idolatrous worship beginning with king Jeroboam I, cf. Hosea 3:4a; 1 Kings 12:26-30 with 2 Kings 17:20-23.
        2. God planned to cause Israel to dwell as a people for a long time without formal worship that had been polluted with idolatry: they would dwell a long time without a sacrifice or a sacred stone pillar, for their true sacrifices had been polluted with idolatrous practices and the stone pillars were outright pagan cult objects they had employed in turning to raw pagan idolatry, Hosea 3:4b ESV, NIV; 1 Kings 12:31-13:2; Ibid., p. 1387-1388.
        3. God planned to cause Israel to dwell for a long time without "ephod" or idols, the context implying these were not priestly garments, but cultic objects used for divination, Hosea 3:4c NIV; Ibid., p. 1388. God hated them as they turned the heart of His people to seek guidance in their lives from false cultic objects that were on occasion used in association with evil spirits, Ibid.; 2 Kings 23:24.
      2. After this, God predicted His people Israel would return to seek Him as their only true God, Hos. 3:5a.
      3. Thus, they would seek the Davidic reign opposite how the Northern Kingdom had rejected the Davidic reign when it split from it in the time of David's grandson, Rehoboam, Hosea 3:5b; 1 Kings 12:16, 19.
      4. In the end, Israel would return to Jerusalem to worship instead of going to Jeroboam's false gods at Dan and Bethel out of reverence to God and His goodness unto them, Hosea 3:5c with 1 Kings 12:28-30.
Lesson: God painfully disciplined Israel to go a long time without usual blessings to SHIFT her from FALSE GODS she connected with those blessings TO HEED GOD ALONE much as the jealous husband, Hosea painfully isolated his immoral wife, Gomer from her lovers to have her all to himself.

Application: May we appreciate the PAIN of God's discipline as a TEACHING tool whereby He directs us to DEPART FROM FALSE IDOLS that we SEEK HIM ALONE for BLESSINGS, cf. 1 John 5:21.