Culture Of We: THEM
Marry a prostitute
Pastor Jason began the third part of our sermon series the Culture of “WE”, and he was focusing on “THEM”. He shared the stories of the good Samaritan, and the prodigal son, to convey the message of what powerful people do.
- Powerful people restore “THEM” (others) to life.
- Powerful people give their life away.
We are powerful people!
Today we will continue to focus on THEM in this Culture of WE.
If you are a parent with a little one in here today – I want to caution you.
- I need to let you know that I will be using a term that you may not feel ready to explain to your little one.
- I will be using this term profusely. This is a word that describes someone who is very promiscuous, and gives of themselves for exchange of $$$.
The title of this message is “Go Marry A Prostitute!”
Now that I’ve got your attention let’s stand as we read the Word.
2 When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustratehow Israel has acted like a prostituteby turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.”
3 So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son.
Hosea dates to around 750 days before Jesus
- It wasn’t unusual for prophets to do unconventional things, or weird things in order to convey a message.
- Warren Wiersbe calls these things done by the servants of the Lord “action sermons”.
- The prophet Isaiah walking the streets dressed as a prisoner of war
- The prophet Jeremiah carried a yoke on his shoulders
- The prophet Ezekiel acted like a little boy and “played war”
What God was asking Hosea to do as his “action sermon” was costly.
- In my opinion, outside of the sacrifice of Jesus, Hosea provides us with one of the greatest examples of the love of God in the scriptures.
Let’s look at Hosea for a moment:
- Hosea was a prophet of God. He was God’s spokesman. He had a good reputation, he was revered, and he had a good standing in the community.
- He was a holy man, a servant of the One true God!
- What he said God was going to do actually happened!
- This means he had A LOT of people watching his every move, and examining his every word.
- They didn’t have social media back then, but I’m sure the critics were not lacking.
Walmart Story (7years ago)
This is who Hosea is: A PROPHET OF GOD!
- Then God comes and says “marry a prostitute.”
- Not only marry her, but “have children with her.”
- The Bible says that Gomer gave Hosea two sons and one daughter. (v3-8)
This was SO significant! Children were so important in this culture.
- These kids were going to be Hosea’s legacy.
- This is a shame and honor culture
- We don’t really care about these things here in America.
- So what if I bring shame to the family name? Right?! We don’t think in those terms, but it was a different story in the ancient near East.
- How is his community going to look at Hosea’s children? They will surely look at them as the children of a prostitute.
There was a specific reason why God was asking Hosea to marry a prostitute and to have children by her. (Verse 2)
This will illustratehow Israel has acted like a prostituteby turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.
God wanted to show Israel how they had prostituted themselves by turning away from their covenant with Yahweh.
- They had settled for something less than what God had for them.
- They had settled for a relationship with a “thing” instead of a relationship with The Living God.
- You prostitute yourself when you give your worship to an Idol. It’s always about worship! What/who has your worship?
In this story we see Hosea’s unconditional obedience to the Lord. (Verse 3)
3 So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant
Here we go – Faith in action. I call this the ultimate Palms up moment!
- Hosea marries Gomer, which is not a pretty name, but it’s meaning is beautiful.
- It means “complete.”
- It’s just like us. Our name may not be pretty, but we become “complete” once we enter into covenant relation with Jesus!
- Hose made a decision for his life to become an “Action Sermon”!
What message is your life preaching?
In this Culture Of We when it comes to THEM, God is asking us to:
- Marry THEM (Relationship)
- Let me explain so our young people don’t take me out of context. When I say “marry a prostitute” I’m saying be in relationship (not marriage) with someone whom you KNOW it’s not worshiping Yahweh/Jesus.
- God called Hosea to marry a prostitute in order for Israel to be able to see how far they had gone.
- Hosea was a picture of God to the Israelites. We must marry a prostitute in order to be the picture of Jesus to THEM.
- Hosea did not judge Gomer. He loved her.
- Why is this important? Because many of us here were Gomer!
- Romans 5:8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us whilewe were still sinners.
- WHILE we were still sinners! While you and I were STILL PROSTITUTES!
- Why is this important? Because many of us here were Gomer!
- Do you remember when you use to give yourself to the highest bitter?
- Do you remember when your life was filled with guilt and shame?
- Do you remember when you use to try to clean yourself up, but remained so dirty?
- Some of us NEED to remember how hopeless we were. THINK about it! SEE yourself in that place.
- Why am I asking you to do this? So that you can see GOMER!
- So you can see how much she needs God’s love, mercy, grace, and compassion.
- It’s not just those who are morally wrong, but also the ones who have been marginalized. tThe ones who have been dismissed as worthless, and the socially weird/awkward.
- Who is your Gomer?
I need to let you know that when, and if, you are in a relationship with Gomer, she will mess up!
- I know this seems obvious, but it’s been my experience that sometimes things are not as obvious to us as they should be.
- Gomer will not keep her covenant.
- You can’t expect Gomer to act like Hosea.
- Yet isn’t that what we do sometimes?
- She will do things that match who she thinks she IS, and NOT who you think she SHOULD be.
- This is exactly what happened to Hosea.
- Gomer disappears and goes back to her old life.
- That should be the end right? No!
God asks the prophet to go and find her.
- This, again, puts Hosea in a predicament.
- He has to go to places looking for Gomer were a holy man ought not to be.
- Imagine the humiliation.
What did God say?…
2. Love THEM again! (Intimacy)
- LOVE your wife…AGAIN! And God is saying to US,LOVE THEM again!!!
- This is such an amazing and powerful picture of God’s love.
Love her again, EVEN THOUGHshe commits adultery with another lover
- Even when they are unfaithful, love THEM again!
- Even when they don’t deserve it, love THEM again!
- Even when they hurt you, love THEM again!
- Even when they sin, love THEM again!
To love a spouse after they’ve been unfaithful is difficult even in our culture, but in Hosea’s time it was even harder.
- Remember that their culture was based on shame and honor. This was surely shameful.
- There were also very strict laws concerning adultery.
In John chapter 8we see the story of the Pharisees and religious leaders bringing a woman who was caught in adultery to Jesus.
- Inverse 5they say “The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
- Men’s law says one thing, but God’s law is love.
1 John 4:7 ESVBeloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love
- God was asking Hosea to show his wife His love; God’s love!
- God is asking us to show THEM His love.
Hosea had a right. Gomer had walked out on him and the kids.
- She deserved to be punished
- She deserved judgement. Does this sound familiar to you? If you have accepted Christ as Lord it should.
10He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
We are called to…
Luke 6:36 ESV Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
- “Love them again” doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve done something to you but they have been separated from God due to sin.
Who do you need to show God’s mercy by loving them again?
In what practical ways can you “love them again” ?
So Hosea made a decision to go and..
3. Pay the price for THEM (cost)
2 SoI bought her backfor fifteen pieces of silver and five bushels of barley and a measure of wine.
Hosea looked for his wife and found her at the auction block.
- He had to pay for what was already his.
- Imagine that someone sins against you, hurts you deeply, and you not only go after them but you also pay their debt.
Having a relationship with THEM will cost you. It cost God greatly to have a relationship with you.
1 Peter 1:18-19
18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
God payed for what was already His.
- He didn’t have to do it, BUT He did!
- He did it because of LOVE
- He did it because He desired a relationship with YOU…with THEM!
The astonishing thing about God’s love is that it doesn’t stop at His payment.
- His desire to reconcile everyone to Himself is so great that now he is asking US to be the vehicles by which THEY know payment was made.
2 Corinthians 5:16-20
16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
We don’t look at others from a human point of view.
- We view others from heaven’s point of view.
- God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. Reconciling THEM back to relationship with Him.
- They were already His.
What price is God asking you to pay in order to show THEM His love?
- Marry THEM (relationship)
- Love THEM again (intimacy)
- Pay the price for THEM (cost)
The number 15in the Bible pictures rest, which comes after deliverance, represented by fourteen. The 15th day of the first Hebrew month (Nisan) is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a day of rest for the children of Israel (and for Christians). The 15th day of the 7th Hebrew month begins the Feast of Tabernacles, also a day of rest.
The number 5symbolizes God’s grace, goodness and favor toward humans and is mentioned 318 times in Scripture.
Each of the three main feast days of Israel are associated with different harvests
- Thebarley ripens first around the time of Passover; the wheatripens later around the time of Pentecost; and the grapesripen last just prior to the Feast of Tabernacles.
- The Hebrew word for barley is sehoraw. Strong’s Concordance says that the feminine form means “plant,” and the masculine form means “grain.” There is another word for grain as well, and this Hebrew word sheds much light on the symbolic meaning of barley. It is the Hebrew word bar.
- The Hebrew word, bar, or “grain,” may possibly be the root of our modern word for barley. But baralso has some other meanings. It means a SON, in the sense of an heir. For example, Barabbas (John 18:40) means “son of the father,” and Barnabas means “son of consolation” (Acts 4:36). Barley thus signifies the overcomers, who are known also as the “sons of God.” This term is used of Israel in Hosea 1:10
There are a couple of things that Silver represents in scripture:
- A symbol of value-Used for payment, redemption, ransom.
- A symbol of purification –The process of heating silver to burn off the dross and other imperfections is a metaphor used throughout Scripture. God’s Word itself is described in value beyond silver: “The promises of the LORD are pure, like silver refined in a furnace and purified seven times” (Ps 12:6). The purification process was sometimes used as a symbol for the way God tests and refines people:
“You have tested us, O God. You have refined us in the same way silver is refined” Ps 66:10