A Pattern

Bible Book: Hosea  3 : 1-5
Subject: Salvation; Redemption; Love of God; Love for Souls

Hosea 3:1-5

When Twenty-First Century Christians read the Minor Prophets and especially the minor prophet Hosea there seems to be nothing that is helpful or applicable to their lives. Three good reasons may be given to avoid the Minor Prophets and Hosea in preaching, reading, and studying. The Minor Prophets were written a long time before Christ’s birth. The Minor Prophets were addressing the Jewish nation at a specific time to address a specific problem. The minor prophet Hosea was told to marry a harlot and there is nothing applicable about that for Christians.

The Minor Prophets and Hosea had a Word from the Lord to deliver at a time in the past, but because they are in the Bible they have something to say today. One has to be very careful how they read, understand, and apply the Minor Prophets, but God does have something to say to Christians today through them.

I. The Prophet - Hosea

Hosea was called by God to deliver His message to the Northern Kingdom of Israel that He had redeeming love for His people even though they had drifted from Him. God called Hosea to marry a harlot. The prophet was to demonstrate that God was faithful even though the people of the Northern Kingdom were not. What can a Christian learn from this and what pattern in this book and passage can a Christian live by?

A. Hosea Listened To God

Hosea listened to God and heard from God. In Hosea 1:1 we read, “When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea…,” and in verse one of chapter three we note, “the Lord said to me.” Any person that has attended church any short amount time or read any portion of the Bible knows that God speaks. He speaks the world into existence. He spoke and called Abram. He spoke to Paul and the early disciples. He spoke to believers today through His Word, the Bible. Here is the question, are we listening? NASA has a program that works through home computers that is listening for contact from alien sources. Scientists are listening and so far they have not heard from anyone. On the other hand God is speaking, who is listening?

B. Hosea Obeyed

He married a woman loved by another lover.

Hosea did what God commanded him to do. He took a woman loved by another and purchased her. God had a plan and even if Hosea did not understand the plan he obeyed.

C. Hosea Loved

He loved this woman that he purchased.

He stated to the woman that she would remain faithful to him and that he would remain faithful to her. His love motivated him to care for her and remain faithful. God remained faithful to His people even though they wandered and even loved other gods and lifestyles. God loves His people and will remain faithful.

D. Hosea Redeemed

He paid the price to redeem her.

It is unclear, but this woman may have been a harlot. Hosea purchased her from the bondage of harlotry or at the least adultery. God set up a temporary sacrificial system of redemption to set up the final act of redemption He would provide for the world.

II. The Priest - Jesus

Jesus follows a similar pattern to the one Hosea followed.

A. Jesus Listened To God

He took time to get away from the crowds and noise to spend time listening to the Father. We can only image what those prayer times were like when the Son incarnate prayed and listened to the Father.

B. Jesus Obeyed The Father

He humbled Himself, became a man, and suffered death on the cross. His obedience brought Him to earth as a man, walk and teach, be baptized by John, and suffer the cross.

C. Jesus Loved

He demonstrated His love through His compassion for others. He talked to the unloved, He allowed the sinners and publicans to follow and listen to Him, and He loved the religious leaders enough to challenge their way of life and thinking. We love because Christ loved us and we are known to the world as the disciples of Jesus by our love for one another.

D. Jesus Redeemed

He paid the price to free persons from sin and the penalty of sin. His substitutionary death paid the price to free persons who believe from bondage. Redemption is only possible, we can only be freed, because of Jesus’ obedience and love.

III. The Person - You

Just like Jesus and Hosea you are setting pattern. The pattern is being followed by those who are looking to us for direction. What pattern are we setting for our kids? - Brothers and sisters in Christ? - Co-workers? The pattern set by Hosea can be seen in Christ and is one that we can follow today.

No, we do not have to marry a harlot to illustrate the Word of the Lord to His people, but we are illustrating the life of a follower of Jesus to the World. Following the pattern of Hosea we cause us to listen to God, obey His Word, love others, and be at work presenting His redemption offer to the world.

Do not be afraid to read and study the Minor Prophets especially Hosea. In these writings we find aspects that are applicable in our lives as Christians. Follow a biblical pattern and set one for the generation that is watching you.