Sermon: For Time and Eternity
Scripture: Matthew 5:31-32
In this week’s lessons, we learn what faithfulness in marriage means through a dramatic illustration from the life of the prophet Hosea.
Theme: God’s Faithfulness
“Now under ancient law a man could do as he pleased with a slave whom he had purchased. If Hosea had taken this woman and had told her that she was to be punished for all her infidelities, and if he had tortured her to death, he would have gone free with but the slightest fine. Men would have thought him indeed vengeful to have wasted fifteen pieces of silver and a bushel and a half of grain in order to wreak his spite upon her. They would have thought that life would have dealt hardly enough with her, and that she would have suffered more as a slave to some other man, or even worse as the slave to some woman, and that her menial way would bring her a living death when she remembered the life from which she was fallen. But that is all that would have happened.
“Hosea did not act in this way because he was reflecting the love of God, and God never acts thus with those whom He has redeemed by His blood. Hosea took Gomer and led her toward their home, and as they went he said to her, ‘Thou shalt 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 thee.’
“If we examine the words, their poignancy takes hold of the heart strings. Here is the climax of the expression of love. What Hosea could not have secured from the free will of a wife he now has the right to ask of the one who has 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 and be passed from man to man with the loss of gifts and the daily increasing degradation. But the extraordinary word is the one that follows, ‘So shall I be for thee.’ In this moment of home-coming, the love of Hosea shines through at its brightest. If he is demanding of her a faithfulness that shall be complete, she must understand that he is not offering her any less from himself. He will be wholly for her. His faithfulness to her shall continue. This is the faithfulness of the love of God.
Having bought Gomer, what was Hosea’s response toward her?
What does Hosea’s treatment of Gomer teach us about the character of God?
Application: How can you testify to the faithfulness and love of God in your own life, perhaps even during a time of spiritual struggles? Praise Him for His goodness and mercy toward you.