When’s the last time you heard a sermon from Haggai? Can’t remember. Not even sure you can pronounce it. Have you ever heard a sermon from Obadiah? Probably not. Even though you think you can say it right.
That gap in our biblical preaching is one reason our church will be walking through the Minor Prophets for the next twelve weeks. The greater reason, however, is that the messages of the Old Testament’s twelve Minor Prophets are completely applicable to life today. There is Major Stuff in the Minor Prophets.
As such, I’m inviting both my blog readers and my church family along. Each Monday or Tuesday, I’ll post an introduction to the following Sunday’s book. We’ll share some background and a few application questions. It’ll prepare us for Sunday, but mores so that we might live a life shaped by God’s changeless truth.
Taking the books in canonical order, we’ll begin today with Hosea.
Melanie had a card given to me before the ceremony on our wedding day. The front of the card read, “Here comes the bride all dressed in white. Here comes the groom...” The verse continued inside, “but Frankly nobody cares about rental boy. It’s all about the babe in the dress.” Still makes me smile.
I love my wife. She is a righteous babe. In more ways than one. On our wedding day we entered a three-party covenant with one another and God to be faithfully united for life. I married up. Way up. Melanie is God’s grace to me.
Many of you are married too. You know the feeling of being blessed by God and your spouse. But what if God had told you ahead of time that in spite of your marriage covenant your spouse would cheat on you, parent the children of others, and have to be bought back as if a slave? Would you still have married your spouse? Would you still consider your spouse an act of God’s amazing grace?
Obeying God, Hosea the prophet, did just that. His marriage to Gomer was a living parable of the relationship of the Nation of Israel with God. Israel turned to false gods as an adulterous spouse. God continued to love her and call her back even seeking to reconcile. Israel ultimately fell to Assyria by God’s judgment in 722 BC. Chapters 1-3 recount the relationship of Hosea and Gomer. Chapters 4-14 are a collection of speeches from Hosea’s 30 year prophetic career in Israel. The Book of Hosea is a call to repentance and return to the faithful Lord God. It is a call to be transformed by God’s covenant love.
Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them. Hosea 14:9 NIV84
Today, let’s use the two rhetorical questions of the concluding verse of Hosea to apply God’s Word to our lives.
What does God want me to do in faithfulness to Him?
How can I seek God to better discern His will?
Don’t forget, read the book of Hosea for a better overall understanding, personal reflection, and application of it’s truths. And, as always, feel free to share a comment below, share this post, or subscribe for future posts.