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For Time and Eternity

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
August 22, 2021 8:00 am

For Time and Eternity

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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August 22, 2021 8:00 am

The greatest and strangest love story in the Bible is that of Hosea and Gomer. It’s a narrative of the unconditional love of a husband under the worst of circumstances. What are its implications for today? Learn more on The Bible Study Hour, as Dr. James Boice recounts the unusual story and the conclusions we can draw from a marriage that should have been destined for failure.

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The strangest of love stories recorded in the word of God is the story of Hosea and his wayward wife Gomer. It's a narrative of unconditional love that mirrors the unconditional love of God for his people to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically the Lord created marriage to show that when he joins us to Christ through salvation.

He does so in a bond that will endure hardship, God gave us the story of Hosea and Gomer as an example of that unbreakable bond that should characterize the Christian Union of man and wife join Dr. Boyce says he shows us from this remarkable story that our love must cover the sins of even a wayward partner in this most holy of unions gone has established marriage primarily to promote happiness among mankind or even for reproduction.

He's established it primarily as an illustration of the relationship between the Lord Jesus Christ and his bride, the church marriage is to show that when God joins a man or a woman to Jesus Christ and salvation. He does so in love and in the bond that will endure forever. For this reason, the possibility of divorce between Christians and we must remember that nothing that has been said here applies to non-Christian marriage, divorce should be unthinkable. Marriage among all true believers should be permanent what the Christian attitude should be as illustrated in the greatest and strangest love story in the Bible the story of the prophet Hosea and his marriage to unfaithful Gomer, it's so poignant and so revealing of God's unfathomable love for us right propose to conclude our studies of Christian marriage by telling it I found my own study of Hosea that no one has told the story with greater insight or more human interests than Dr. Donald Ray Barnhouse, the founder of the Bible study our what follows is therefore a composite of the story as it was told in several of his published writings, there came a time when the Lord appeared to one of his servants, who became one of his prophets and told him that he was to enact in his life. The relationship of God with Israel. The prophet was told that he was to marry a woman who would become a harlot and that he was to be faithful to her in spite of her unfaithfulness and the Lord said to Hosea go taken to the wife of Horton's and children of Horsham's for the land has committed great boredom departing from the Lord. In other words, Hosea was to live a dramatic pageant before the nations of Judah and Israel, whom God counted as one nation. Hosea was to play the part of a loving and faithful God fearing wife would be cast in the role of the perverse nation she would play the harlot with many lovers, even as Israel had left the true God to go after a multitude of strange gods.

The heart of the pageant would lie in the fact that Hosea would be faithful to her even in the midst of her greatest unfaithfulness he would even provide the means for her to continue in a runaway life and when the lowest point in her folly should be reached. She would find her husband fair at the nadir of her misery and he would redeem her and bring her back into the joys of truth and righteousness. So we went and took Gomer, the daughter of the blame and she conceived and bore him a son Hosea and Gomer had three children and God dictated the name for each. In order to illustrate the tragedy which their willfulness would bring the first trial, God said, call his name Jezreel, which means scattered God has scattered the Jews all over the world.

Gomer next bore a daughter, and God said call her name alone, lower llama means not pitied because I will know more, have pity on the house of Israel to forgive them at all. Hosea was instructed to name the third child, a son little army which means not my people. You are not my people and I am not your God, says the Lord.

I wish we had no more than this, it would indeed be a terrible story would appear as though it were possible for God to divorce his people and break the marriage covenant by which he had bound his people to himself.

Christians today would be permitted to seek divorces, but it is that this point that God intervenes to tell us that it will all turn out well that they will live happily ever afterwards we read in the next verse yet, the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea which cannot be measured nor numbered and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said under them, you're not my people there. It shall be set under them. Here, the sons of the living God, the names of the three children are now changed by God himself first child will still be called Jezreel, but with the meaning God sews instead of God scatters the Oriental sold seed by throwing it to the ground with the same motion that he used for throwing something away lower llama not pitied becomes Rama pitied her. I will have pity on them. I shall call low IME Army, for they shall be my people. The new meanings illustrate how God's unchanging love covered the multitude of Israel sins even as Hosea's love covered Gomer sins. Therefore, I will. Christians love must cover and hearing partners sins. Now Gomer left Hosea and lived with other men, and each lover was poorer than the man before him one day. Hosea said to a certain man man was currently living with Gomer, the daughter of the blame. Well, whatever the man replies, I Hosea her husband. The man recoiled. Hosea said, but I love her and I know that you don't have enough money to take care of her take this money and see that she doesn't lack for anything the man took Hosea's money and bought clothing, oil and wine for Gomer who gave her lover credit for providing these things, but Hosea said she doesn't know that I paid the bills. Here's the story as told by God in the words of Scripture. Their mother hath played the harlot. She did conceived them has acted shamefully for she said, I will go after my lovers who give me my bread and my water, my wool in my flex my oil in my drink and she did not know that it was all I who gave her the grain, wine in the oil and who lavished upon her silver and gold. No doubt man who took Hosea's money was thinking. Well, there is no fool like this old fool, but who can explain true love.

Love is of God, and it is infinite love is sovereign love is apart from reason love exists for its own reasons does not operate according to logic, but according to love, we can see Hosea working in the shadows to catch a glimpse of her, who filled his heart weeping as he sees her embrace her lover and thanked him for the gifts which truelove is provided which villainy offers and folly accepts houses God.

That is how I treat you, you run away from me and I pay your bills.

Story of Hosea is a picture of my faithfulness. I am a faithful husband and you were the adulterous wife turned other gods you run away and still I love you man runs away from God and says I've gotten away from him. I have gotten away from God.

God touches him on the arm and says, my child.

I took a shortcut here I am tell you that I love you and them providing for you man pulls away from God again and runs but God says my child.

I took another shortcut. I want you for myself. Someone asks you mean God loves us even when we run away from him all course he does. You never run away from God. Does he not give you the strength to run when we see this love that work through the heart of Hosea, we make wonder if God is really like that but everything in the word and experience shows us that he is, he will give man the trees of the forest and the iron in the ground and then he will give the man the brains to make an ax from the iron to cut down a tree fashioned into a cross.

He will give man the ability to make a hammer and nails when the man has the cross and hammer and nails the Lord will allow man to take hold of him and bring him to that cross. He will stretch out his hands upon it and allow man to nail him to the cross. In so doing will take the sins of man upon himself and make it possible for those with despised and rejected him to come under him know the joy of sins removed and forgiven. Know the assurance of pardon and eternal life and enter into the prospect of the hope of glory with him forever. That is how much God loves you. He pursues you because he loves you and wants you to commit yourself to him and so Hosea kept on loving Gomer who gradually sank to the depths of degradation. She thinks so low that she became a slave in accordance with ancient custom in the city of Jerusalem. She was put up on the slave block naked. God told Hosea to buyer know a great deal about the slave market in ancient times, almost half the population was in slavery to the other half. There was scarcely a day in scarcely a city in which human beings were not sold openly in the market. The ancient writers of leftist terrible pictures of this sale of human souls, writer of comedy laughs at the site of a very fat man being sold in the marketplace.

While the bystanders reflect that he would eat them out of house and home and one justifying his bid says that he is a mill wheel.

The squeaking of that, the slave, cut into pieces would be cheaper than buying grease than a female slave is put up for auction are closer removed the bystanders laugh among themselves as they bid for the body of the slave it was to a scene like this that Hosea was called to go.

The Lord told him that he was to go and purchase the wife that he had loved her so long but who is now being sold in the market suddenly before the eyes of Hosea appeared the woman he loved with all his heart.

Her veil was taken from her face. Her body was exposed to the gaze of the crowd and the bidding began three pieces of silver, five, eight, 10 pieces of silver, 11, 12, Hosea than bids 15 pieces of silver market is tense. The low bidders of dropped out another voice calls 15 pieces of silver and a bushel of barley Hosea replies 15 pieces of silver in a bushel and 1/2 of barley. The auctioneer looks around and is unable to get a higher bid announces that this woman is sold to Hosea curious onlookers gaze at the scene. The husband goes to the wife and helps her on with her clothing, but surveilled upon her face and then leaves her out into the crowd as God of us like that. Listen to the story as it's recorded in the third chapter of Hosea, then said the Lord and to me go yet love this woman be loved of her friend. This adulterous according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel love her even as the Lord loves the people of Israel but Lord, she is the harlot sold on the auction block is an adulterous slave goal lover says God lover, even as the Lord loves you under ancient law man could do as he pleased with the slave whom he had purchased Hosea had taken this woman told her that she was to be punished for all her infidelities and if he had tortured her to death. He would've gone free with but the slightest fine men would've thought them.

Indeed, vengeful to of wasted 15 pieces of silver in a bushel and 1/2 of grain in order to wreak his spite upon her. I would've thought that life would have dealt hardly enough with her that she would've suffered more as a slave to some other manner.

Even worse is the slave to some woman that her menial way would bring her a living death when she remembered the life from which she had fallen, but that is all that would've happened yet. Hosea did not act in this way because he was reflecting the love of God and God never acts bus those whom he is redeemed by his blood. Hosea took Gomer and letter toward their home as they when T said to her bowels shall abide for me many days thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man so will I also be for the we examine the words their poignancy takes hold of the heartstrings.

Here is the climax of the expression of love one Hosea could not of secured from the free will of a wife, you know has the right ask of one who is been redeemed out of slavery. She was to remain with him in faithfulness. She knew that this was her place as a purchased slave. She was no more to play the harlot be passed from man to man with daily increasing degradation of the extraordinary word is the one that follows. So shall I be for the in this moment of homecoming the love of Hosea shines through with its brightest.

If he is demanding of her.

A faithfulness that shall be complete. You must understand that he is not offering her any less from himself, he will be holy for her heels faithfulness to her shall continue this is the faithfulness of the love of God.

Now, in the light of the story we see the inner meaning of marriage is set forth in the word of God. Marriage is the union of Christ and the church in our salvation we were married to him. He it was the bows.

First of all I Jesus take the sinner to be my wedded bride and I do promise and covenant before God and these witnesses to be thy loving and faithful Savior and bridegroom, in sickness and in health, in plenty and didn't want enjoy end in sorrow in faithfulness and in waywardness for time and for eternity.

Then we looked up to him and said I sinner take the Jesus to be my Savior and my Lord and I do promise and covenant before God and these witnesses to be thy loving and faithful bride, in sickness and in health, in plenty and didn't want enjoy end in sorrow for time and for eternity. Thus, we took his name. We were miss world lying. We were married to him and now bear his name for Christian means Christ John when we realize the true meaning of this we understand how important it is to keep his name spotless before the world. Christ is the faithful one. We are the ones who slip in the flirtation and then into adultery with the world. We are loved by Christ Jesus. But we are drawn aside by our own desires and seduced from our love of Christ. Such a seduction is the worst of all transgressions since it is the sin against the love of Christ, he is faithful to the end. Loving us when we were unlovely and taking us through all steps of our wandering to the place of redemption and final attachment to himself forever. Perhaps some believer who hears this may say Lord Jesus, I took you as my Savior. But I've been living a worldly life just because I gave you 60 minutes and a few dollars on Sunday morning I thought I was serving you. Now I confess that I been faithless to you, from now on were Jesus, I will be faithful to you to such God replies I will heal their faithfulness.

I will love them freely for my anger has turned from them.

They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow. They shall flourish as a garden, they shall blossom as the line pressure life partner has been unfaithful and you are asking yourself how my the love that Hosea had for Gomer as my partner. Seeing that I love him that much. Can I really afford such love your old nature will immediately protest no you cannot. But the Holy Spirit will force you to say yes I can word the whole realm of nature mine, but the present for two small love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all. Although you don't possess the whole realm of nature or the world to give to Christ, you can give yourself to him in total surrender because you love the Lord, you can love your airing partner and be faithful. As I recall, the study of life of Hosea by Dr. Barnhouse my own heart warmed at the thought of God's great and unshakable love. I trust that yours has also may God use this and the preceding studies to help to establish us in his love and grace and to lift us to the highest possible standards of love in our home and Christian families and our father, we thank you for the great cruise that we have been studying together in these weeks the God-given nature of marriage. The standards of Christian love and the great and unfathomable love that you have toward us in the Lord Jesus Christ. We ask you to use these studies greatly through them draw many to yourself and develop in thousands of others new standards of divine love and faithfulness in their homes and marriages.

We pray in Jesus name, amen. You're listening to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce, holy matrimony is the creation of a new sort of Trinity made up of husband, wife, and Jesus marriages to be held in high regard. But today it's seen as a disposable covenant. Find out more in our free CD offer entitled the importance of marriage is free CD offer is our way of saying thanks for listening. Give us a call that 1-800-488-1888 will be happy to send you a copy of the importance of marriage that number again is 1-800-488-1888 the Bible study are is a broadcast ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals, a coalition of pastors, scholars and churchmen who hold the historic creeds and confessions of the reformed faith and who proclaimed biblical doctrine in order to foster a reformed awakening in today's church here to carefully preserve the truth. Your prayerful and financial support makes it all possible. Please give that's the Bible study God's word never returns void and there are many ways his word is proclaimed today radio and Internet broadcasts reach many with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Would you help us continue broadcasting. Dr. Boyce's messages by making a generous donation online that the Bible study you can also call us directly at 1-800-488-1888, and our mailing address 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601. Thank you for your generous support. How has the Bible study our impacted your life are you more confident in your personal ministry has Dr. Boyce's teaching inspired within you a fresh appreciation for God's word humbly sure to tell a friend and then tell us our entire staff will be greatly encouraged by your story when you call or write our email address is hi Mark Daniels, and I'm glad you joined us you know nothing is sweeter than the light of truth.

God takes truth telling very seriously. He takes the most solemn steps to assure us of the truth of his word and he expects us to do the same. Join Dr. James Boyce next time on the Bible study our studies. Christ words on the importance of truth. That's next time on the Bible study our very used to think and act biblically

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