We began these posts with the statement of James Montgomery Boice; “The third chapter of Hosea is, in my judgment, the greatest story in the bible.” We certainly agree with Boice. We said that this chapter contained tremendous truths in the light of the awfulness of sin. Israel had been unfaithful to God and had worshipped the false gods that surrounded them. They had loved them, worshipped them, sacrificed to them, and had trusted them. Yet God loved them with and everlasting love. It is no secret of the depths that Israel had sank as we read the Old Testament. The second truth depicted in this chapter was that of the awfulness of sin. We saw the awfulness of sin depicted by the humiliation and bondage of Gomer as she was stripped naked and put up for sale as a slave. She had lost her freedom, her dignity, and was about to be sold to the complete control of another. Of course this is the picture of the human race in bondage to sin. We have no freedom (no life as a matter of fact) no dignity and we are at the whim and will of sin. Thanks be, unto the living God that this chapter does end here, but also depicts one more tremendous truth. Hosea was dispatched by God to the capital city of Samaria where he bid on his wife and purchased her out of the slave market. Hosea put clothes on her and as Boice wrote, “…led her away…and claimed that love from her that was now his right.” What love! We see this love of God throughout the Bible! God dispatched his Son to the market place of sin, death, and bondage which held each one of his elect and he purchased us for himself. Here we attempt to fathom the unfathomable! We are depicted by Gomer. We had been sold naked and chained in the market place of sin. Christ gave his blood, the evidence of his life poured out as the payment to the Father to appease his justice and wrath. Then the most unthinkable and incomprehensible thing took place, the Father wrapped us in the righteous robes of his dear Son. We are now his to do his bidding. We have been told; “go and sin no more.” We are drawn irresistibly back to verse 3, “…you must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another…so will I also be to you.” Now we rejoice in the fact that our sins have been atoned for, we have acceptable dress in the presence of God and we belong to him. We have been made free, free to become his slave – a slave of righteousness.
Yes, Mr. Boice, Hosea chapter 3 is the greatest chapter in the bible, if not the greatest chapter in the Old Testament. It is in fact the most amazing love story ever!