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                    "STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS"

                Hosea - God's Redeeming Love (11:1-14:9)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our survey of the book of Hosea we have proposed the theme as
   "God's Redeeming Love"; this may have seemed strange...
   a. As we considered "God's Indictment of Israel" in chapters 4-7
   b. As we considered "God's Punishment for Israel" in chapters 8-10

2. But as we saw in the first three chapters, Hosea's experience with
   Gomer serves as an analogy of God's experience with Israel...
   a. Following the adultery there was a period of separation
   b. Following the separation there was the ultimate restoration
   -- Therefore Israel would be restored, but only after a period of
      separation

3. Here is another way to summarize chapters 4-14...
   a. God is holy (which is why He must indict Israel for her sins) 
      - Hos 4-7
   b. God is just (which is why Israel must be punished for her sins)
      - Hos 8-10
   c. God is love (which is why He will restore Israel) - Hos 11-14
   -- So having declared the holiness and justice of God, Hosea now 
      proclaims His great love for Israel

[In this lesson we shall complete our study of Hosea by first looking
at...]

I. GOD'S PROMISE OF A FUTURE RESTORATION (11:1-14:9)

   A. GOD'S LOVE DESPITE ISRAEL'S REBELLION (11:1-11)
      1. God brought Israel out of Egypt, yet they worshipped the Baals
         - Hos 11:1-2
      2. God nurtured Israel though they knew it not - Hos 11:3-4
      3. God will send them to Assyria because of their backsliding 
         - Hos 11:5-7
      4. Yet God will return them to their homes - Hos 11:8-11

   B. ISRAEL'S REBELLION AND GOD'S CHASTISEMENT (11:12-13:16)
      1. Ephraim (Israel) is full of sin, and while Judah still walks
         with God to a degree, God has a complaint against Judah as 
         well - Hos 11:12-12:6
      2. Ephraim is cunning and boastful, and so God will bring his 
         reproach upon him - Hos 12:7-14
      3. Ephraim and Samaria (both representative of Israel), shall be
         held guilty and punished accordingly - Hos 13:1-16

   C. ISRAEL'S FUTURE RESTORATION (14:1-9)
      1. A call to return to the Lord, for Assyria will not save - Hos 
         14:1-3
      2. God promises to heal their backsliding and return them to the
         land - Hos 14:4-7
      3. Ephraim (Israel) will finally be cured of her idolatry - Hos 
         14:8
      4. A concluding call to wisely consider these things - Hos 14:9

[God fulfilled His promise to restore Israel (and Judah) starting with
the decree of Cyrus and under the leadership of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and 
Nehemiah (cf. the books of Ezra and Nehemiah). As indicated in Hos 
14:8, Israel was once for all cured of her idolatry. Her faith in God
may have weakened later on, but idolatry never had the appeal it once 
had.

In the spirit of Hos 14:9, which calls upon us to understand and know
what is revealed in this book, here are some...]

II. CONCLUDING LESSONS TO BE DRAWN FROM HOSEA

   A. GOD IS A GOD OF LOVE...
      1. He loves His people
         a. Like a man loves his wife (cf. Hosea and Gomer)
         b. Like a father loves his child - Hos 11:1
      2. Because He loves His people...
         a. He blesses them abundantly
         b. He nurtures them patiently - Hos 11:3-4

   B. GOD IS A GOD OF HOLINESS...
      1. He expects His people to know His will - Hos 4:1-2,6; 8:12
      2. He expects His people to avoid harmful influences - Hos 7:8-9
      3. He expects His people to sow righteousness, not wickedness 
         - Hos 10:12-13

   C. GOD IS A GOD OF JUSTICE...
      1. He cannot let sin go unpunished - Hos 9:9
      2. Those who remain in sin He will devour - Hos 13:7-8

   D. GOD IS A GOD OF MERCY...
      1. He call upon His people to repent - Hos 14:1
      2. He will gladly heal those who do so - Hos 14:4

CONCLUSION

1. Hosea presents a picture of God who is certainly desirous of
   redeeming those He loves
   a. Sadly, not many took Hosea's message seriously
   b. I.e., only a remnant of Israel returned after the restoration
 
2. Today, God's redeeming love is offered through His Son Jesus Christ
   - cf. Ep 1:3-7
   a. Sadly, not many take the gospel message seriously either
   b. Even as Jesus warned - cf. Mt 7:13-14; 21-23

What many need to heed is the call of Hosea at the end of his book...

   Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? 
   Let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right; The 
   righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them.
                                        (Hos 14:9)

Are we growing in our knowledge and walking in the ways of the LORD?
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