Betrothed

By Bobby Blakey on July 17, 2016

Hosea 2

AUDIO

Betrothed

By Bobby Blakey on July 17, 2016

Hosea 2

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:02] We had a wedding at the church yesterday and they got married. Good news, everybody. One of the perks of being a pastor is I have the best seat in the House.

[00:00:14] I have the best seat in the House when it comes to weddings and not only at the ceremony, but I get to meet with people before they get married. And I even get to see God take this person who's serving Jesus here at the church and this person who serve in Jesus at the church. And I get to see the ultimate matchmaker at work as he brings them together and their lives intertwine. I love watching people at church fall in love. One of the best things about being a pastor for sure, and the great thing about some of these weddings we've been having here at this church, because if you've looked around, this isn't exactly like your fan fairy tale dream venue for a wedding, you know what I mean? This isn't like the place of your dreams. Sorry to say. I do. And so some of the weddings that we have here at the church are people who really never planned on getting married. They were live in a certain way where they were enjoying some of the things that God has said are just for marriage. But they were already partaking of those. And they had never said I do to one another. And then all of a sudden, God comes in and he turns their lives around in repentance and they start to follow Jesus Christ. And then they get up and up, get married here at the church. And that's the kind of wedding we had. It wasn't just about a new life together. It was about their new life in Jesus Christ. And so we praise the Lord for that. And we're studying a marriage right now in Hosai. If you want to grab your Bible and open it up to the book of Hosanna. We are going to go through Chapter two today. And we just went through Chapter one in Chapter once, the most famous part of the Book of Joseph. You've heard of this minor prophet at all. You know that Hosanna married this woman named Gomer, who it says was an adulterous or a prostitute, a woman who either already was practicing adultery with other people or was going to. And so that's the kind of marriage that was not a happy ending to to the wedding ceremony between Hozier and Gomer when he knew already as a prophecy from the Lord that she was going to cheat on him. And then we're three children are described here in Hozier, chapter one. So let's just review what happened. One is Hosoya was told to marry Gomer. Then they had three kids. And then hopefully this is review if you've been here. The first kid was named Jazz Real, which was a specific place where there had been a massacre, a blood bath in the nation of Israel. And this was now a pronouncement of judgment that God was going to judge the northern kingdom of Israel and then to continue the judgment theme. They had a daughter and we're not sure where the daughter came from. It says that Gomer had the daughter. Maybe Hosoya was the father, maybe not. It's not clear. But the daughter was named symbolically no mercy to show that God was not going to give mercy to the people of Israel anymore. And then their third child, the son, his name was not a people, which we looked at last week. So God has set up this symbol of years. God hears the people of Israel and they're supposed to be in a covenant of love with one another. God has definitely proven his has said his covenant, love for his people. And they, unfortunately are worshiping other gods. They unfortunately are committing sexual morality with people who are worshiping idols.

[00:03:35] And so God has set up with his prophet Hosoya and his wife Gomer and their three kids a symbol of what is happening between him and his people in Israel. And so we've been studying that symbol. But now in Chapter two, we're going to take the symbol away and God's going to tell us how he really feels. You're going to see the broken heart of God because his people are loving other lovers. And so God is going to take this love analogy, this marriage analogy, and he is going to make it very personal. You are going to see that God is a jealous lover here in Hozier two.

[00:04:11] And there's also going to be some things that might be hard for us to fall low into grasp with. There's going to be a lot of agricultural analogies. One thing we need to understand even before we read our text, is that when people worshiped the idol, but all that, we're gonna see the name come up a few times in our chapter. But all was a fertility God. And so when the crop when the rains came and the crops grew, the idea was you were thinking, but all was the one who was watering the ground, who was making things grow. Who was bringing life when you had a crop. When you were able to live. When you were able to sell what you were growing, perhaps, or barter with it. You would give credit to somebody and the people were giving credit to. But all and because he was a fertility God, there were many different idols that they could have worshiped under the. Heading off ball, but because the idea was fertility a lot of times when you were worshiping, but all the way that you asked for him to send the rain or to make the crops grow was through sexual immorality with the idea that somehow that would encourage by all these false idols to give lie.

[00:05:17] And so you're going to see a lot of that in this chapter that God is a jealous lover who is seeing his people now worship another God. And he is not going to stand for it. So I would ask that you would grab a Bible and stand with me as we read all of Hozier Chapter two together out of respect for God's word. I'm going to read it. And this will be our text that we're gonna study this morning. So please follow along, Hosoya. Chapter two.

[00:05:47] Read it with me. Say to your brothers, you are my people and to your sisters, you have received mercy.

[00:05:53] Plead with your mother, plead for she is not my wife and I am not her husband, that she put away her hollering from her face and her adultery from between her breasts, lest I strip her naked and make her as in the day she was born, and make her like a wilderness and make her like a parched land and kill her with thirst upon her children. Also, I will have no mercy because they are children of whoredom, for their mother has played the war.

[00:06:21] She who conceived them has acted shamefully poor.

[00:06:25] She said, I will go after my lovers who give me my bread and my water, my wall and my flaks, my oil and my drink.

[00:06:33] Therefore, I will hedge up her way with thorns and I will build a wall against her so that so that she cannot find her pad's. She shall pursue her lovers, but not overtake them. And she shall seek them but shall not find them. Then she shall say, I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better for me then and then now.

[00:06:56] And she did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine and the oil, and who lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for all.

[00:07:07] Therefore, I will take back my grain and its time and my wine and its season, and I will take away my wall and my flax, which were to cover her nakedness.

[00:07:18] Now I will uncover her lewdness in the side of her lovers, and no one shall rescue her out of my hand. And I will put an end to all her mirth, her face, her new moons, her sabah's all her appointed face. I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees, of which she said, these are my wages, which my lovers have given me. I will make them a forest and the beasts of the field shall devour them, and I will punish her for the feast days of the balls when she burned offerings to them and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry and went after her lovers and forgot me, declares the Lord.

[00:07:56] Therefore, behold, I will lure her and bring her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the valley of a corps, a door of hope.

[00:08:11] And there she shall answer, as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. And then that day declares the Lord, you will call me my husband, and no longer will you call me my boy, all for I will remove the names of the balls from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more, and I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land. And I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betrothed you to me forever. I will betrothed you to me and righteousness and injustice in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betrothed you to me in faithfulness and you shall know the Lord.

[00:09:01] And in that day I will answer, declares the Lord. I will answer the Heavens and they shall answer the Earth. And the Earth shall answer the grain, the wine and the oil. And they shall answer Jez's real and I will so her for myself in the land. And I will have mercy on no mercy.

[00:09:16] And I will say to not my people, you are my people. And he shall say You are my God.

[00:09:24] Please be seated. I don't know what she thought when we read that chapter.

[00:09:28] Maybe there was some some analogies maybe that we don't really relate to culturally live in here in the suburbs of Orange County. But God is clearly addressing his people. The first thing we want to think about as we examine this chapter is who is it written to? Who is God talking to? Because he's pronounce this judgment on Israel. But then he has seemed to act like that he wants to continue a relationship with Israel. Now, we know that as Syria comes in and wipes out the northern kingdom of Israel. And 722 B.C. not too long after this is written, and so some people speculate, well, he's saying that he wants to continue a relationship with Israel. And even though they're going to get wiped out while he's riding to the southern kingdom of Judah so that they could see the relationship that he wants to have with them. The problem with that is in 586 B.C., the Babylonians come in and wipe out the southern kingdom of Judah.

[00:10:25] And so who is God really talking to?

[00:10:28] Who is God expecting that they would read this chapter and they would see one? He is his jealous love that if you don't love him, there will be consequences. But then at the same time that he still loves people, even people who don't love him. Who does he want to really understand this and see, we see here that in verse one he's appealing to the children, to the brothers, to the sisters. And he's telling the children to plead with your mother. So it's almost like he's got the audience is the kids and he's talking about the mom and the mom, Gomer, who she represents in the symbol, she represents the whole nation of Israel. But the kids who they represent are the individual people, the people of God.

[00:11:16] And if you were here last week, we learned that when we talk about someday there being a future for the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah, the descendants of Abraham, where we're actually grafted into that by faith, Abraham is not just the father of the Jews. It turns out he he's the father of all who have faith. And we're gonna be numbered like the sand of the sea, the people of God.

[00:11:37] So don't be confused by maybe some of these analogies that are hard for us to understand here in Orange County in 2016. This chapter is written to any one of God's people or any one of his children who will listen. Hey, see what happened to mom when she went after other loves besides me? Hey, you're one of my kids. Learn how I love. Find a relationship with me. See that there is a hope for the future of my people. So I believe that this is written to any one of God's people who want to learn from the example of ancient Israel. This is written to us here today. And and you might be confusing what God is exactly rebuking his people for. Just jump back to verse 13, because this is where the rebuke ends. You could just draw a line if you want to in this chapter. Does the first 13 verses are clearly a rebuke against the people and then versus 14? Twenty three are clearly a statement that God is still going to love his people even though they have not loved him. And right at the end of the rebuke, I think you can see the two main rebukes that God has for his people right there at the end of the phrase. They went after her lovers. They're pursuing other loves besides him and for got me, declares the Lord. So these are the two things we're going to see that God is upset about with his people. And one is that they forgot him. And then when they forgot him and what he had done for them and how he had loved them, well, then what they did is they went to seek love somewhere else. And so look back it at verse three after he kind of addresses his audience that he's talking to the kids and we're talking about mom to plead with the nation to turn around. But I want to also communicate to the kids what's happening here. He says something that sounds extremely harsh in verse three, lest I strip her naked and make her as in the day she was born, lest I take her all the way back to two, went when she was just a a naked baby. And they're exposed with it with no one to care for her. And then it might seem like he's saying something different when he says make her like a wilderness and make her like a parched land and kill her with thirst. What God is doing when he says those things there is he's trying to remind the people of Israel how their relationship began. What we're going to be celebrating all week at Camp Compas is that God showed what salvation looked like once and for all when he delivered his people out of Egypt and he met with them there on the mountain. He met with Moses and all of his people. And where did it happen? Where did they meet? Where did the relationship start? Where did the love between God and Israel begin? In the wilderness.

[00:14:25] And he's saying to him, hey, if you've forgotten, if you've forgotten how much I loved you and if you've forgotten what I've done for you.

[00:14:32] Look, can we go back to the wilderness? Can we go back to when you were naked?

[00:14:36] Can we go back to when you were wandering around complaining that you had nothing to eat and nothing to drink? And I did things like provide manna from heaven and gave you water out of the rock. I mean, can we go back and can we start to remember the ways that I have loved you, how you were slaves in Egypt. You were nobody's in the wilderness. And I the Lord delivered you. I brought you to a promised land flowing with milk and honey, where you became rich and fat and you forgot me. Can we remember how this whole thing started?

[00:15:07] That's what God's saying.

[00:15:09] God does not want his love for you to be forgotten by you. He will not stand for your forgetfulness. It's a big problem.

[00:15:18] All right.

[00:15:19] Just imagine my friends in your marriage, if you are married, if God has blessed you with the grace of life. The Bible says with the gift it is to be joined together with another person to be one flesh before his sight. Can you imagine forgetting your anniversary? Maybe some of you don't have to imagine.

[00:15:39] How did that go down?

[00:15:41] Your spouse's birthday, but you've planned to do something else and you figure it out before it happens. But you're still having that conversation, right?

[00:15:51] How does that conversation go? Right. Warm affection, tender moments.

[00:15:57] I mean, even let's just consider like if you just pulled out the door in the morning and you got big things to go do and you're on your way and there's no hug, there's no kiss, there is no acknowledging of your loved one. If it feels to your loved one like you have ever forgotten them, how do they take it? Are they cool with being forgotten?

[00:16:17] I hope your marriage has not disintegrated to the point where we can regularly forget each other and God is saying, hey, let's go back to the beginning.

[00:16:26] Our love should be growing. Our love should be flourishing. Do I need to go back to the wilderness and remind you of where we started? This is something that God said was going to happen. Go back to Deuteronomy, as we've seen so many times in the Book of Hozier. He's commentating on what the on how the people have obeyed or disobeyed the law. And if you go back to Deuteronomy Chapter eight, you will see very clearly here in verse eleven, everybody go to Deuteronomy eight eleven. And you got to see that this was something that God made very clear, that he didn't want the people of Israel to do that. He doesn't want you to do. This is something that is going to really cause a problem in your relationship with God and me. Eight 11. Look at it does. Take care. Watch out. Be alert. Take care. Lest you forget the Lord, your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today.

[00:17:21] You don't obey God. You don't do what God tells you to do. How does that feel to God? How does he receive it in your relationship with him? Like you have forgotten him? That's how he takes it. Don't forget the Lord.

[00:17:34] List, here's what might happen if we're not careful, verse twelve list when you have eaten in our fall and have built good houses and you live in them and your herds and your flocks multiply and you're silver and your gold is multiplied, all that you have is multiplied.

[00:17:50] So many good things that have been given to you. Where did all those good things come from?

[00:17:55] Well, your heart is lifted up and you forget the Lord, your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water? Who brought you water out of the flinty rock? What a miracle. Who fed you in the wilderness with man that your fathers did not know that he might humble you and test you. Why? To do you good in the end. Beware, watch out. Lest you say in your heart. My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth. Oh, you forgot where good things come from. You forgot who loved you, who gave you everything that you've ever had. And now there you are in your suppose it might and you're suppose it power acting like you did something to make all of this happen. Don't forget me, says God to his people.

[00:18:51] And now he's showing up and he said, we need to go back to the wilderness.

[00:18:55] Do I need to just rip everything I've given you off and remind you of what it was like to be naked and have no water and have no food and have nothing? Before I've multiplied all of these things to bless you, to do good to you. To show you tangible expressions of my love. And what have you done with my gifts? You've enjoyed the gifts and forgotten the giver.

[00:19:16] And God will be jealous every single time that we forget him. He will feel it. That's what he's saying then. Hozier. Chapter two.

[00:19:24] God does not want to be forgotten. He gave you those gifts so you would give him. Thank you. So you would acknowledge him, not you would take the gifts and run.

[00:19:35] We just were reminded about this in our Song of the Day this week, if you're still reading through the songs. It's been over a hundred days now that we've been reading through the songs. And one of my favorite passages in all of the Psalms, I mean, one of the passages that that has to stir up your soul, if you know the goodness of the Lord is Psalm 103, let's all turn there just in case you missed it this week. And if you did hit this psalm up, you're not going to mind going there again, Aria, because it's that good. Look at what it says here. Here's a here's a reminder that we need a solemn one hundred and three. This is a Psalm of David. It's actually the psalm that's led to what is the most popular worship song in the church in America right now.

[00:20:18] This song called 10000 Re Reasons, written by this guy named Matt Redman. Bless the Lord. Oh, my soul. Right. And then there's a line in the song that says Sing like never before.

[00:20:33] Sing like never before. And how is your heart gonna be so in love with God that you're singing to him in a way that's beyond anything you've ever sung to him before?

[00:20:44] Well, here's the key. Psalm one, two, three. Bless the Lord o my soul. See, he's talking to himself. He's giving himself a pep talk. He's doing something that's very important here. He's reminding himself why he wants to say good things about God bless the Lord. Oh, my soul. All that is in within me. This isn't just some external motion we're going through here on a Sunday morning. This is me singing my heart out to God bless his holy name, bless the Lord or my soul. Why? Why would we say such good things about God?

[00:21:16] Well, forget not all his benefits. We might want to circle that. We might want to underline that. Why do I not feel like singing to the Lord? Why am I not blessing him more than ever before?

[00:21:26] I've forgotten how he loved me. I've forgotten how many good things that he's given me.

[00:21:32] I mean, there should be some things, some some things that remake you remember how you fell in love with God, that you can recall, that you can count your blessings, that you can name them one by one, and you can see yourself get stirred up as you see what God has done for you personally.

[00:21:51] David starts to give us his list right here in verse three. He says, Who forgives all your iniquity? Is anybody glad they're not going to hell for their sin here this morning? Is anybody here messed up, sinned before a holy God? And today you feel like you can walk around with no guilt, no shame. And the slate has been wiped clean because God forgave you.

[00:22:12] Is that a benefit? Is that a reason to sing to the Lord? Then it says, who heals all your diseases? Anybody ever hug the toilet bowl of life before? Right. Anybody ever been sick? Maybe we have some people who survived cancer in the room. But we have some people who had near-death accidents that they had to rehab for months over. And the Lord has renewed their physical strength and yield them. Is physical strength something you take for granted? We take it for granted until it's gone and then we wish we had it back. Man heals our diseases. He redeems your life from the pit. I know some of you guys have been in some rough places.

[00:22:48] We got two people at this church that are put in the con and congregation around here, we got two people who've been and some rough spots, some deep dives. I've met some people at this church in a Home Depot parking lot drunk out of their mind. We've had people who have been down in the pit. And guess who brought them out?

[00:23:06] The Lord did. And any crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, he satisfies you.

[00:23:13] Your heart feels full with good so that your youth is renewed. Like the Eagles, like you could have wings. Like you could fly. Anybody ever have the Lord. Renew your youth. That all of a sudden there was a zeal for life and its strength and just a passion that was lost but was re found as the Lord gave it back to you. These are things God has done for you. Have you forgotten them this morning?

[00:23:41] Did you roll out of bed and walk out the door without letting God know that you love him? On your way to church.

[00:23:52] How does God feel when his own people that he has love so perfectly, so faithfully, so generously, people who did not deserve to be loved?

[00:24:01] And we forget his love. And he's just going to roll with that.

[00:24:06] Now, we see today that he wants to go back to the beginning and he wants to remind you of what it was like when you first fell in love, and God has this idea not that you're going to love him the most at first and then fall away from that love now that your first love is going to continue to grow and he's going to continue to build on it.

[00:24:24] So you're going to sing like never before that you're going to love him more, not less. I mean, there was a church that was doing good things and they were going through the motions and they were being faithful and they were teaching the truth. And Jesus said to that church in Revelation, Chapter two versus four and five, he said to them. But I have this against you that you have abandoned, that you have lost the love that you had at first. And he says a key word. Remember? Remember, he says, the heights from where you have fallen repent and do what you did at first. Let's get back to those days when we just loved each other with a passion. Jesus is inviting that of you. If you can't say that you're here this morning singing like never before. Jesus wants you to remember from where you have fallen. He wants you to repent of that sin, of forgetfulness, of his love for you. Because when you remember his love for you, you will love him in return. And so point number one, let's get it down like this, you need to remember your first love. I mean, we could put it negatively like it is in the text. They don't forget God. But let's put it positively. Let's think about it like this. Remember your first love.

[00:25:46] I mean, I want you to picture with me your spouse coming up to you in a tender moment, a quiet moment, maybe they're in your room and you can see that your spouse has a sad look on their face and there is maybe a tier coming down from your spouse's eye. Can you imagine if your spouse said to you today, I feel like you used to love me a lot more than you do now?

[00:26:11] How would that hang in the air between you and your spouse?

[00:26:16] What kind of feelings with that stir up inside of you?

[00:26:20] I want you to see Jesus today with his face that shines like the sun in his glory, with his eyes of fire, Revelation says. And Jesus is saying to you, to some of you here this morning, hey, you used to love me more than you love me now. And he's calling you to repent.

[00:26:40] Jesus hates church that goes through the motions. He wants love or nothing.

[00:26:47] And he says, let's go back to the wilderness where we fell in love. Let's go back to those first days. Let's remember the heights of our love. And let's get back to those days. Let's do the things that we did at first as the call of Jesus to you here this morning and go back to Hozier chapter to turn back there with me. And after the forgetfulness, we'll see. This is the next step. When you forget that God is good, when you forget that God loves you. Then you start looking for goodness somewhere else. This is the natural digression here. This is the natural way we progressed in descent. When you find yourself in sin. See, the first thing that you did is you stopped remembering how good God is and that he loves you. If you're thinking about how much God loves you and how good he is and you know his goodness, you're not going to be turning away from sin. But when you forget God's goodness and love. That's when you start to look for other loves. And this is where you can really see the jealousy of God come out. Look at what he says in Hozier. Chapter two, verse five. Look at how he says it. Right. As for their mother has played the whore. I mean, what would an intense phrase. Is she who conceived them has acted shamefully and here's what she's done that's so shameful. She said, I will go after my lovers and they give me.

[00:28:07] And then she starts to list when I love the balls, when I worship these idols, when I commit this sexual immorality with the people who are worshiping these false gods. That's where I'm getting all my good things from. That's where I'm getting my bread, my water, my wall, my flax, my oil, my drink. Look at all the good things I have.

[00:28:26] They come from me seeking out this, but all idolatry, this self-expression and sexual immorality. And so God makes it very clear, if you think that the balls if you think these other lovers are the ones giving you good things, then here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to start taking those good things away from you.

[00:28:45] You think that your love is coming from a relationship? You think that your money is coming from your career. You think that your happiness in life is coming from pursuing this pleasure, pursuing this drug, pursuing this kind of feeling or experience. I'm going to build up a hedge of thorns.

[00:29:00] That's what God says. A hedge of thorns growing up, a hedge of thorns is like old school bar. Barbed wire basically is what it is. Right. I'm going to build up something. He says. I'm going to build up a wall. Look at look at verse six. I'm gonna build up the hedge of thorns. I'm going to build a wall. So she cannot find her path.

[00:29:17] You want to go after your lovers? Well, I'm going to stop you from getting to that, and I'm going to show you where you're good things in life come from. So you go pursue these things. You go think these things are gonna make you happy. Well, I'm going to start taking those things away from you to remind you that I gave them to you. And if you won't acknowledge that I gave them to you, then I'm just gonna take them away. See, this is what God's angry about. Look at verse eight. She did not know. Here's what she had forgotten, that it was I who gave her the gray in the. Why the oil. The balls didn't do anything for you.

[00:29:50] Your career didn't give you all that stuff. Your family didn't give you all of that.

[00:29:57] Who gave you your family? Who gave you the skills and talents to have your career? You start a tribute, ring your blessings in life to other things besides God and God is making it very clear here this morning.

[00:30:09] Let's bring up the hedge of thorns. Let's start building up the wall. If you're going to look for life in something besides me, I'm going to take that thing away from you, is what God saying. And how many people could testify to that here this morning. Right. You are pursuing life in the wrong thing and all in that thing for a while was a gravy train. For a while it was great. For a while the cash was flowing. The relationship was at peace. Everything seemed to be fine. And you started to think that that's where life was and that's where it came from. And then God put that wall up right there and the money stopped flowing in and the relationship broken down. And you had to get to a place where God made you admit no. If I have anything good in my life, it comes from him and nowhere else.

[00:30:53] So that's what God's saying. That's how jealous his love is.

[00:30:57] I mean, keep going with me in verse eleven. You you got all these fees that you're celebrating, all of these times where you're worshiping, but all you think. All is giving you these vines and these victories. That these are my wages, which my lover has given me. You think he's the one answering your prayers and blessing you? Well, here's what I'm gonna do with your vines and your victories. I'm going to make them a forest in the wild beasts of the field. They're going to come and eat these things. I'm going to take those things away from you because you can have no other lovers before me. God gets jealous when you love something else, when you give your heart to something else, when you try to find soul satisfaction in something besides God, he's going to remind you that doesn't satisfy.

[00:31:44] And he's going to turn you back to him. To see where life really comes from.

[00:31:51] Go back to Deuteronomy again, please turn with me to Deuteronomy for some reason, Deuteronomy does not sound like an exciting book to us, but it is the key to understanding Isaiah. It is where God has said, here's how I want you to live. And now they're reaping the consequences for not listening to what God had said. In the second telling of the law here in Deuteronomy and in Deuteronomy 11 13, God warned them this would happen. And again, everything that happens to the people of Israel, God had already told them about and they had refused to listen. And he says here in Deuteronomy for chapter 11, verse 13, he says. And if you will indeed obey my commandments, that I command you today to love the Lord, your God, and to serve him with all your heart, with all your soul, he will give you. Here's what God will give you. He will give you the rain for your land. And it season the early rain, the latter rain. And that you may gather in your grain, in your wine, in your oil. There it is. God saying he's going to give him all those things. He will give grass in your fields for your livestock.

[00:32:53] You shall eat and be full.

[00:32:57] Here it is, watch out. This is what happens to people, take care. Don't let this be you. Take care lest your heart be deceived. Really the ideas. Lest you be seduced and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, then you have other lovers, as it would say in Hozier, too. Then the anger, the righteous jealousy of the Lord, the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you. He will shut up the heavens. So that there will be no rain and the land will yield no fruit. And you will perish quickly off the good land that the Lord is giving you. I mean, God's making it clear. I want to love you is what God saying this morning. I want to bless you. I want you to eat and be full. But if you're seduced and you're deceived and you start thinking that your life is going to come from somewhere else besides me, I will take it away to remind you that I am the one that you should love with all of your heart. Go to Jeremiah chapter to turn to Jeremiah, chapter to this chapter to the southern kingdom of Judah and Jeremiah to is very similar to Hosain. Chapter two people forget God. The people pursue other loves. That's what's happening now with the Southern Kingdom. They didn't learn the lesson from the northern kingdom. And so they end up unfortunately going down the same path. And look at the analogy that God uses here. Hopefully you're familiar with this verse in Jeremiah two, 12 and 13. Such a great way that God says it. He says, be appalled. Oh, heavens. He's calling the heavens and the earth as he often does as a witness against his people. And he's saying, let me tell you something that should shock you. Something that's scandalous. Be appalled. Oh, heavens. Be shocked. Be utterly desolate, declares the Lord. My people have committed two evils. Here's the two things that they've done that are sins against me. They have forsaken me. That's kind of the forgetting God. The turning away from God. The not remembering how he loved you. They have forsaken me. The fountain of living waters. The one who can help them eat and be full. The one who can give them water out of a rock in the middle of a dry and weary land. So they've forgotten me. And second thing, they've hewed out cisterns for themselves, broke insistence that can hold no water.

[00:35:12] They've forgotten me and they now are other lovers. And he uses a water analogy here. He says, I'm over here. I'm the fountain of living water. And now they're gone and they're digging other wells. And the wells that they're digging are broken wells, broken systems. They got holes in the bottom. They can't even hold water. God has already given you a nice, full, refreshing glass. He said drink and be full. And he has promised that when you pour yourself out for him, he will give you free refills, endless bottomless refills for your soul. God has promised you as one of his people. Life everlasting.

[00:35:48] And not only do we forget that God has given us a cup of life over here we go and we start making our own cup and we start to say, you know, I know God's promise to be good. And he said he's going to satisfy my soul.

[00:36:00] But I think really lust is going to satisfy me. And I think looking at that person, I think imagining about that person, I think watching that thing on that screen, I think that's going to fill my cup up. And so I'm just going to pour my life out into this. You know, I know over here God has said that he will give me peace and joy and justice. But you know what? I'm tired of my spouse saying this to me. And this time I'm going to prove in my righteous anger once and for all in this house that I'm right. And I'm going to give my staff and my my spouse a piece of my mind. And I'm going to let them know what I really think about my spouse. And this time, I'm gonna raise my voice and I'm going to yell and I'm going to put them in their place.

[00:36:42] And God's given us life and we're pawn it into something else.

[00:36:46] Waste in our life away, thinking something else besides God is going to satisfy you.

[00:36:54] Why are we doing that?

[00:36:56] Why do we seek Why do we go time and time after again to the same things that only leave us empty and wanting more?

[00:37:05] When will we realize that he is the source of everlasting good and keep going to him? Point number two. Let's get it down like this. Seek God as your source of good. Seek God as your only source of good. Sorry about that front row splash zone today. For real this time. Seek God as your only source of good. Put the word only in there.

[00:37:24] There's no good anywhere else. I don't know what it is you're trying to find life in what your number one temptation is. God's given you a full cup and you want to go have drinks and get drunk. God's given you a full cup and you're pursuing money and you think that's going to satisfy your life. Whatever it is you are going to give your heart to and love besides God, it will let you down. God will make sure it does.

[00:37:50] Can you believe it? I'm over here, fountain a living water and they're poor in their life out into things that don't satisfy you. Here's what's gonna happen to the northern kingdom of Israel. Syria is going to come and they're going to wipe them out. This is how jealous God gets. He's not he's not playing around when God loves you and you don't love him back, man. He will take it away until you love him.

[00:38:13] And the northern kingdom of Israel. They never get the message. They never turned back to him to love him faithfully. And so as Syria comes in and destroys them, the northern kingdom of Israel and what Syria does is they take a lot of the Israelites back to a Syria. And then because the Assyrians were really good at like wiping people out in a racing their name from the history books and destroying their landmarks, like when they took over a nation, they wanted to end the nation. And so what they did is not only did they take some Israelites away to a Syria, they brought people from other nations that they had conquered and they brought them to live where the northern kingdom of Israel was in the area around the capital city of Samarra.

[00:38:54] And so they wanted to wipe these people out. I mean, that was the jealousy of God like, hey, if you're not going to love me, you're not going to exist, is basically what he said to his people.

[00:39:03] And so what happens over the hundreds of years after this is they intermarry with all of these other nations and to the self-righteous Jews, to the religious, like Orthodox Jews, they become the Samaritans, they become the half breeds, and they become what all the real Jews are looking down their nose at.

[00:39:21] And there's a lot of racism now against these people that live in the area of Somalia because they're not real Jews. And it might seem to you and me like these people are forgotten by God. And then one day, Jesus, instead of going around some area, like most Jews, he walks right through the middle of some area and he goes to a well in the middle of the day and a woman walks up. And this woman, it seems like, was coming out in the middle of the day. Usually you would have drawn water at the beginning of the day. She had the water for the whole day, but maybe she's coming out in the heat of the day to avoid the crowd because this woman might have been a little bit of a social outcast. And Jesus says, hey, give me something to drink, and they begin a conversation and he begins to tell her of living water, that he has water that will satisfy her soul. And she says, give me this living water so I don't have to keep coming back here to get something to drink. And Jesus says to this woman, Go call your husband.

[00:40:22] And she says, I have no husband, and he says, yeah, that's right, because you've had five husbands and the man that you now have is not your husband. Hey, I know about you. He said you keep pouring your life out in the wrong. Well, and I've got living water. Jesus is. So he didn't give up on the Samaritans, he sought out the Samaritan woman and he said to her, Hey, you can come to me and you can live, stop looking for life and broken things when I'm offering flowing springs of living water in your soul, Jesus says. And the woman ran back into town and said, come see a man who's told me everything I've ever done. Could he be the one, the anointed one from God, the Messiah, the Christ and the whole town of forsaken Samaritans comes out. And many of them, it says, believe in Jesus and are safe because God loves his people. Even when they betray him. He still loves the. I mean, when you get to the end of verse 13 in our text, I mean, you feel like this is an intense chapter. I mean, we're stripping people naked.

[00:41:39] We're killing people with thirst. We're gonna take away from people everything good because they're loving others, like, whoa. What jealousy? What rage. This is God's really angry. And then right there, there's a radical shift between verse 13 and verse 14. Go back to Hosain, chapter two, or maybe turn your hand out over and you'll see we got the second half there on the on the back.

[00:42:07] You see, this relationship between God and Israel has completely broken down. So one of the other things I do as a pastor is I don't just get to enjoy love when people are getting married and don't get just get the best seat at the weddings. So I have a very unique see and that sometimes I have the worst possible perspective to view some of the marriages here at the church because people come in for marriage counseling.

[00:42:34] And the day that we walk the aisle has long been long forgotten. The first love, the passion that began this. We're having a hard time, remember, and what that was about.

[00:42:47] And we've got some serious problems in our marriage.

[00:42:50] Perhaps talk to some people who are going through, I mean, points where their relationship is so broken down, they're openly speaking to each other of wanting to divorce each other and wanting to leave one another, because maybe there's something better out there than this person and how this is going.

[00:43:10] I mean, things get really broken down sometimes in people's marriages. And you have a choice what you're going to do in that situation. You could see how the other person hasn't loved you. I mean, maybe they've even committed adultery against you.

[00:43:22] Maybe they haven't committed adultery and really love somebody else in a sexual way. Maybe it's just they filled their heart with other loves besides you. I know people who have said to their spouse that they're still in it just for the kids.

[00:43:35] I love the kids, but not you. I love our house, but not you. I love my job, but not you.

[00:43:43] Yeah, maybe you haven't technically committed adultery, but your heart is so loving other things besides your spouse. Or maybe that's how you think your spouse is to you. What are you going to do when your marriage breaks down? What are you going to do when your relationship hits rock bottom and you have a right to be jealous and angry at your spouse for forsaking their love for you? What are you going to do? Well, I hope you'll do what God does here in Isaiah, Chapter two.

[00:44:11] Because he initiates love.

[00:44:16] He might be a jealous lover, but I guarantee you God will be a lover and he will not give up on his people. And what he says here is such an about face, such a change of heart. You got see, look at verse 14, therefore. Behold. OK. Well, now we're ready for the the throwdown judgment of what we're gonna do. We've went after other lovers. We've forgotten you. OK. God, tell us how you really feel, what you're really going to do. Therefore, be old. You got my attention. What are the consequences? And then he says I will lure her. I will bring her into the wilderness, he says, and I'll speak tender leader. Hey, let's go back to that rock where I gave you that water. Hey, let's go back to that. Dry and weary land where you were complaining because there was no food to eat. Not like the good food you had in Egypt. Not like the cucumbers and the leaks and all these things they complain about that they used to have in Egypt that they didn't have in the wilderness. God says, hey, I'm ready to woo you all over again.

[00:45:17] I want to speak tenderly to you like lovers do. They forsaken the love.

[00:45:24] They've gone after other lovers. I mean, they've cheated on you, God. And he's saying, no, I'm ready to restart the love right now. Let's go back to the beginning and let's rebuild the foundation. That's what God say.

[00:45:37] Look what he says in verse 15, no, I'm going to give her vineyards and I'm going to make the Valley of Aikau a place where where Aiken sinned against God before they entered the promised land. I'm going to turn something bad into a door of hope.

[00:45:51] And there she so answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. Hey, let's go back and much renew our vows is almost what he's saying here. Hey, let's go back.

[00:46:06] And let's remember when we were young and we fell in love and this whole thing got started. We don't we don't need another ceremony. We don't need to wait for an anniversary or some kind of intervention. Let's do it right here, right now, today. Let's go back and let's love each other again. I'm ready to love you. God saying, in fact, what he says here is powerful. When you get diverse 19, because we know that whenever the Bible repeats something three times, like we just know in Hebrew when you do. Holy, holy, holy. You're making a point. We get that. It kind of intuitively we get that that that's how the Hebrew language works. Holy, holy, holy. That's what the Cherubim and Seraphim are saying about God in heaven. OK. They're making a point, he said apart. There's no one like him. We get it. We just recently looked on a on Wednesday night at Nahum, chapter one, where God said vengeance, vengeance, vengeance, because he was going to make. Right. What had been wrong. Hey, we get that. That sounds serious when you say vengeance three times in one verse. I get that you're serious. Look what God says here in Hebrews two, 19 to 20. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and injustice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me and faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord three times. He says very clearly to people who have cheated on him and forgotten him. He says, I will betroth you. Pitroda betrothed betroth. I'm going to Pitroda you, he says. This time we're even going beyond. For ever. For ever. I will betroth you. I'm going to give to you my very self, my very attributes, my justice, my steadfast love, my mercy. I'm going to give to you who I am and Amen it. We're going to love you in faithfulness. This time we're gonna stay together and you are going to know me because I am going to love you.

[00:48:08] I mean, what a powerful statement that guy would say to you.

[00:48:12] Maybe, you know, this morning that you have forgotten God, that you have cheated on God in your heart with idols, other loves besides him. He wants to say to you this morning, betrothed, betroth, betroth. That's what he's calling you. What does that mean? What does it mean? It's kind of like an engagement today, but it's a lot more serious. I mean, we do it a little bit differently today. We get engaged. We hire paparazzi to follow us around. Right. We drop a lot of money on a ring. It seems like a big deal, but there's no real formal legal binding commitment at that point. No, it's not. Until we have a ceremony and we sign the marriage license, that's when it becomes legal. And then after the ceremony, after the signing of the marriage license, we have a party get down with all of our friends, maybe hire some lame deejay. I mean, that's usually how we do it these days, right? They did it a little differently back in the day. In fact, you kind of know about this because maybe you've read Matthew, chapter one where it is found out that Mary is great with child, that Mary's pregnant and her betrothed Joe stuff. He knows that he's not the father of that baby. And so it says that he, being a righteous man, desire to put her away secretly. Basically, when you got but trolled to someone, you were promised. There was like an exchange, maybe even of animals. As we arranged this marriage, some kind of price was paid. And the idea was, once you were betrothed, that was a legal binding thing. And then the way they did it is they were betrothed for a while and then they had a massive party of feast, really, that went for days. And then they had a ceremony at the end of it. But once you got betrothed, it was already legally binding. It was already a lasting thing before God and in the courts of men. That's why Joseph was basically going to have to go to what we would call divorce Mary to get out of the betrothal to her. That's the kind of relationship God wants with you. That's kind of relationship. He's saying he has with you. If you're one of his people, no matter what you've done, he's saying we're betrothed and he saying it three times.

[00:50:21] So you'll hear him clearly your betrothed forever. You have his very attributes, his covenant. Love is yours, your betrothed in faithfulness. This relationship is gonna work out. And here's something you're going to know. If you know anything, you're going to know God.

[00:50:34] That's what he's saying to you. Whether you believe it or not, the love of God is on the table for you today. He's offering it.

[00:50:43] He wants to start a legal binding relationship or he wants you to know that you have that relationship with him, that there is nothing that can separate you in this life from the love of God, not even yourself, not even your forgetfulness, not even your other loves can separate you from the love of God because that's how he's going to love you. You're his betrothed.

[00:51:05] That's what he's saying.

[00:51:08] I think we underestimate how much God really loves people like us. And he's saying, hey, I want to go back to the wilderness and I want to speak tenderly to you if you're not loving God like you used to. He wants to speak in an intimate, affectionate voice to you today. And he wants to say to you, hey, do you remember what it was like when we fell in love? Do you remember the joys to remember when we were newlyweds, honeymooners? Do you remember the excitement when you were driving away from your wedding, leaving your friends and family behind thinking this is legit? We get to go be together in a way, and nobody thinks there's any shame about it.

[00:51:48] Do you remember what it was like? God says to you, sir. I want to go back to the day that we said I do. Go to Exodus Chapter 24 with me.

[00:52:00] This is what he's talking about in verse 15 when he says when all the people is said in the wilderness. Well, he's referring to a specific moment that clearly delighted the heart of God. And he says here in Exodus 24, this is after the Ten Commandments, after he's given the law Moses on the mountain, and Moses has communicated the law to the people. Then he said to Moses, Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron need Abitibi, you and 70 of the elders of Israel and worship from afar. Moses alone shall come near to the Lord. But the other shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him.

[00:52:35] And Moses came and he told the people all the words of the Lord you all the rules. Here's what God says. Our relationship is going to look like. Here's how we're gonna know God. And all the people answer with one voice and said all the words that the Lord has spoken.

[00:52:53] We do. They made a vow.

[00:52:57] They made a solemn commitment. They made a promise. They heard the law of the Lord. They heard what God expected from their relationship with him. And they said on that day, we do. And you can tell that God wants to go back to that God delighted in that. Look at look at her seven in Exodus 24. Then he took the Book of the Covenant. The book of what it's going to be like to have this covenant relationship with God. And he read it in the hearing of the people. And they said all that the Lord has spoken.

[00:53:26] We do. And we will be obedient.

[00:53:31] And God says, wow, what a great day that was when the people of Israel wanted to love me with all their hearts and live out that relationship together. Let's go and say that to each other again. Sometimes people wish that they could renew their vows.

[00:53:45] And you can do that any day at your house. You can tell your spouse that you love them like you did on the first day.

[00:53:52] I do, I still do.

[00:53:56] Let's go back to that and let us love now God says this covenant that he's going to establish is not going to be based on his people's performance. Right. When we read Deuteronomy, it's like if you forget this is going to happen if you have other loves. This is going to happen. But now he says, I'm going to be betrothed to you forever. Now he says, I'm going to be betrothed to you in faithfulness. This time he's setting up the relationship. So it's going to work out. Go to Jeremiah, 31. Everybody keep keep turning in the Bible with me to Jeremiah, Chapter 31. And this is a telling of the new covenant. This is a telling of the way that God saves people today, prophesied here in the Old Testament, fulfilled in the New Testament. This is the kind of betrothal that God wants to have with you right now. This is Jeremiah, 31 31.

[00:54:51] Read it with me. Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant. All right, let's set up the terms and conditions of the new betrothal. The new covenant with who? The House of Israel. The House of Judah. Well, they both got destroyed. Yeah, he's talking about all of his people. Not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. My covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares, Lord, no. This is the new covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, declares the Lord, I will put my law within them. This time I'm going to write it not on tablets of stone.

[00:55:25] I'm going to write it on their hearts. And I will be their God and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother saying No, the Lord no. For they shall all know me from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity. I will remember their sin no more. If you're going to know one thing God says you're going to know me.

[00:55:51] We're gonna have a relationship. We're talking about the most intimate kind of knowledge. We're talking about the kind of knowledge where it says Adam and Eve knew each other and then one of their kids was born. That's the way this word sometimes works. We're talking about the closest possible relationship that you can experience is between you and God in an eternal covenant.

[00:56:13] When he writes his law on your heart and he is your God and you are one of his people, that's what he's betrothed.

[00:56:20] You too.

[00:56:21] He says, I'm not going to make it conditional like it was with the fathers based on what they did. This could happen or that could happen. No, I'm just gonna put it on your heart and me and you, we're going to have that relationship and you're not even going to need to be taught who I am.

[00:56:34] You're not even going to need to share it with your neighbor because in your heart, you are going to know me, God says, and you're going to know forgiveness of sin and you're going to know what it's like. To have your sin remembered no more.

[00:56:49] This is the promise of God to all of his people today, and I'm trying to think about what and what does that relate to. Right. I mean, when God says that he's going to love us in this kind of a way, this isn't just like forgetting an anniversary or a birthday. This is the kind of love, the kind of intimacy that God is is looking for. Like if you're leaving the house early, you're waking your spouse up to say goodbye to them so they can give you that sleepy smile because you won't even think.

[00:57:15] I mean, think about it. If we're betrothed to God, if that's the way he wants to put it. If you saw two people who were engaged and they were getting married in 10 days and you asked him how many days till your wedding and they couldn't tell you the number, would you be concerned for that couple? Hey, hey, hey, are you guys getting excited about the wedding? Oh, I don't know. We haven't talked for a couple of days like sirens. Red alert. Like I thought this was supposed to be the greatest thing ever.

[00:57:41] I thought we were supposed to be looking forward to the consummation of this relationship. The point where to we're going to become one like nothing could be more exciting than this and we're not even feeling it.

[00:57:52] Like two people who are engaged. It would be weird, it would be awkward if they went a day without telling each other that they loved each other and were so excited to be together. How awkward is it when you go a day or two or a week without hearing from God and without saying to God, you are my God and I love you and thank you for being so good to me and thank you for loving me.

[00:58:16] If you look on your handout at the end of verse twenty three, at the end of the chapter, God says, I'm not going to say no mercy. You're going to have mercy. I'm going to say to not my people, you are my people. And then you see what God wants us to say to him. Here's what God would love to hear from you every single day that you are his betrothed on this earth until you are united with him in heaven perfectly for all of eternity while you are betrothed right now. What he would like to say to you. To hear you say to him is you are my God.

[00:58:49] That's what he wants to know.

[00:58:51] He wants to know that you have not forgotten. And he wants to know that above all your other loves. He comes first and he wants to hear you say every single day, just like your spouse does before you got married. I love you. Point number three, don't go a day without saying I love you to the Lord. Don't go a day without spending some time stolen away. Man, you cannot pry people who are engaged away from each other. Have you noticed this? I mean, they're not leaving room for the Holy Spirit a lot of times, you know. I mean, people who love each other, they're just like magnets drawn to each other, wanting to be in each other's presence. We are the betrothed of the Lord.

[00:59:32] How could we go a day without letting him know, hey, got you. You are my God, and I'm one of your people.

[00:59:41] In Revelation, chapter 19, verse six, there's a passage that's often referred to as The Marriage Supper of the Lamb. That's where it says all of history. For God's people is going to lead to a wedding. I mean, right now we're the betrothed and it's legal and it's binding. We're in a relationship with God and we're not going to get out of it. No, it's on our hearts. He's our God. We're his people. It's going to happen. But we haven't had really the party yet and we haven't had really the ceremony yet. That's all still common in the future, more like how the Jews used to do it than how we do it today.

[01:00:12] And someday it says that there is going to be a marriage supper of the lamb when our Lord Jesus Christ who loved us by dying on the cross for our sin and by rising again the ultimate expression of God's love. If you ever doubt that God is real or that he loves you. Just picture Jesus on the cross. Dying for your sin. Just picture Jesus rising again. That is God telling you he loves you.

[01:00:40] And someday we're gonna be there with Jesus.

[01:00:42] And it's called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb because we're gonna see him. The one who died for us. The one we've been patro to promise to spoken for to our whole lives ever since we became a Christian. And all of God's people are going to be there dressed in white, like a bride coming down the aisle.

[01:01:00] And it says that I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, so many people, you can't even count them like the roar of many waters. It sounded kind of like a voice. I've never really heard of a sound like it before. It's like a a deafening waterfall. It's like the sound of mighty peals of thunder. It's like the sound of the loudest sound that you've ever heard. And this great crowd, this multitude of souls is crying out, hallelujah. Praise the Lord for the Lord, our God, the Almighty reigns. How does it end? What are we all culminating towards or culminating towards a wedding ceremony where all of God's people are going to shout at the top of their lungs? You are?

[01:01:48] My God.

[01:01:50] And he is going to be pleased with his people and the father and the son will perfectly love their people and we will perfectly love them. Right now we are betrothed. Someday we will have a wedding with our Lord Jesus Christ and we will let him know that he is our God and that he loved us first. And that's why we will not stop loving him. God, I pray for us as your people that we would never get over the idea that you love us, that it would never become old, that we would never take it for granted, that we would never lose our first love, because God, your steadfast love endures forever.

[01:02:32] Your love cannot get old to us because you won't stop loving us, Scott. Every morning your mercies are new. Great is your faithfulness. God.

[01:02:44] The sand of the sea cannot even count how many souls are yours.

[01:02:51] So, Jacqui, thank you. That you would love.

[01:02:54] People like us, that you would call us your betroth, that you would bring us to yourself in faithfulness and steadfast love, that you would bring us forever to yourself. We give you the glory for your love for us and God. Let us remember it this morning. Let us sing to you like never before of your love. God, let us get rid of any other love that we might have in our hearts so that we can say that we love you with all of our heart because we know God, that you love us perfectly with all of yours. Thank you for giving us your son. Thank you for calling us your betrothed.

[01:03:28] And God, we look forward to the day that we say to you that our God, the Almighty reigns. And God, let us tell you every day between now and that wedding that you are our God and we love you. We pray this in Jesus. Name a man.

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