Grace Greater than our Sin
Do you think you understand how wonderful God actually is?
Well I doubt that you do.
My point is that God is greater than we can realize.
And His Love is greater than we realize and appropriate.
Through Jesus we have access to the power to have a wonderful life here and now and then forever.
“I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.” Hosea 14:4
Isn’t it amazing that the Lord God Almighty offered to be the Lord of Israel but they seldom wanted to follow Him and His way.
In the process forsaking the great blessings that God had for them.
And the same condition is the general condition of people today.
God offers and mankind says, no thank-you.
It is said that Hosea picked up where Amos left off.
That is to say that Amos was a stern preacher of righteousness, but Hosea saw beyond God’s stern demands to his mercy and grace.
After preaching a sermon on the high standards that God calls us to uphold, one member of the congregation took him aside and said, “What if we can’t do these things. What if we are weak? Is there any hope?”
God showed Israel hope in Hosea’s words and actions.
Even if we are unfaithful like Hosea’s wife was, God’s grace is sufficient to take away our guilt and sin.
God will buy us back as Hosea bought Gomer back and took her into his home once again.
As God believed in the nation Israel he believes in us today.
He loved us so much that he sent his Son to die on a cross that a lost world might be saved.
There is a uniqueness in creation.
No two snowflakes are identical.
And no two individuals are identical.
Each human being is a unique creation.
God uses each of us, as we are, and gives us strength to conquer personal weakness.
Amos and Hosea are two cases in point; they illustrate the fact that God delights in diversity and never tries to fit one person into another person’s mold.
Amos was rustic, often caustic, reflecting the type of background from which he came.
Hosea, on the other hand, was either from the city or from a high-class rural community.
Where Amos condemned sin fiercely.
Hosea stressed forgiveness.
Amos saw sin as a transgression of God’s law, but Hosea saw sin as a breach of relationships and a failure to love properly.
Never has the fact that the heart makes the preacher been more clearly portrayed than in the lives of Amos and Hosea.
It would not be fair to say that Amos was hard and unforgiving but we can safely say that he placed more emphasis on conforming to a standard than in repenting and receiving Gods love.
Even when he invited the people of Israel to repent, his words consisted of “prepare to meet thy God.” Amos 4:12
Hosea was more than a preacher who cried for justice.
He presented mercy.
He found God’s unending love through his own domestic tragedy.
As he was led to forgive his sinful wife, a revelation burst in his mind, opening his lips and making him a gentler prophet.
God gave him a broken heart so he could understand God’s broken heart.
Hosea learned that the fundamental difference between God and humanity is not God’s power verse our lack of it, his greatness that dwarfs our smallness, not his omniscience that exposes our ignorance.
Rather God’s greatest attribute is his unconditional love that shames our own conditional love.
However, Hosea was not an emotionalist with no iron in his blood nor rigor in his gospel.
To think of Hose as mild or weak would be a terrible mistake.
He had a passion for righteousness that was just as forceful as that of Amos.
He diagnosed the moral and social diseases of Israel and did not hesitate to announce that remedies were desperately needed.
But his last word was forgiveness , not judgment.
He knew that God smites to save and cuts to heal.
We learn little in the good times.
It is the difficult times that we see God at work and learn about his love and mercy toward us.
God made this clear in the life of Hosea.
As a young man he married and had a family with Gomer.
Then Gomer becomes unfaithful to Hosea.
Some scholars believe that their second and third children were products of her unfaithfulness.
After the third child is born Gomer leaves Hosea and lives a life of immorality.
This broke Hosea’s heart and Hosea writes a beautiful poem to express his state of brokenness.
Later God commanded Hosea to go find his wife.
Hosea did as God commanded and bought Gomer back from slavery.
He took her home and restored her to the former position she had held in the house.
First he made her endure a probation period in which she proved herself a faithful wife.
Hosea learned many lessons from this experience.
Sin is not against arbitrary decrees but against the love relationship.
Israel was guilty of more than breaking the ten commandments.
They were guilty of breaking God’s heart.
Hosea learned the essence of religion.
What does God want from creation?
It is the same as what a husband wants from his wife.
Not just washing dishes, vacuuming the floor and doing the laundry.
Those perfunctory duties to external requirements.
God wants a person’s devotion, which establishes fellowship between the two.
God desired Israel to return to him so that a loving fellowship might exist between the two once again.
The greatest lesson Hosea learned was about God’s heart.
The chief characteristic of our Creator is that he is also our Redeemer.
God chose Abraham to make a great nation through Abraham’s seed.
The ultimate seed, through whom the world would be blessed, is Jesus The Christ.
In him we learn the fullness of a truth that is brought to us in part throughout the Old Testament.
God is merciful, and he delights in forgiving people when their repentance is genuine and their faith is sincere.
God is a loving father.
Hosea traces the anguish of a father whose son has rebelled against him.
God, as the Father, said that he will not cast off his people. Hosea 11:8-9
The later part of verse nine explains why God will not make judgment his last word.
Hosea, speaking for God, said, “I am God, and not man.”
How does God forgive?
God is both God and man in the person of His Son Jesus The Christ.
Hosea is anticipating the gospel of God’s grace through His Son.
In Jesus Christ we see Hosea going to the marketplace and buying back his erring loved one.
The chapter expresses that even though we have gone astray, God is always ready to forgive.
Only one thing is greater than our sins, that is God’s grace.
More than love, grace is undeserved love.
We love those who are lovely, but God loves even those who are unlovely.
Paul said, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die”.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
The most cherished hymns of the Christian faith have always been those that tell of God’s forgiving love.
We who are saved never tire of hearing the gospel story.
We are warmed every time we hear of how someone like Hosea would forgive his wife after she had disgraced him.
The greatest story of all, however, and the one to which Hosea points, is that of our Savior, who knew no sin, become sin so that we might be the righteousness of God in him!
If that isn’t love the ocean is dry, there’s no stars in the sky and the sparrow can’t fly.
If that isn’t love then heaven’s a myth, there’s no feeling like this, If that isn’t love.
All Father God wants is a sincere believer who will acknowledge their sin and ask Him to redeem them and make them fit for His Kingdom.
That is the Love of God