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A Midweek Devotion for the Family and Friends of Lennox Ebenezer Presbyterian Church
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The following is an excerpt from James Montgomery Boice's commentary on the Minor Prophets.  I'm beginning this year by reading through the minor prophets first, and was immediately reminded of Boice's love for this chapter as I read through it today. First, read through Hosea 3, then read Boice's commentary on the chapter. Enjoy!

Hosea 3 (ESV)

And the Lordsaid to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lordloves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.” For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lordtheir God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the Lordand to his goodness in the latter days.

The Greastest Chapter in the Bible- James Boice

The third chapter of Hosea is, in my judgment, the greatest chapter in the Bible, because it portrays the greatest story in the Bible - the death of the Lord Jesus Christ for his people - in the most concise and poignant form to be found anywhere. Our study of Hosea's story has already shown that it is a pageant of the love of God for Israel, indeed, for his people in every place and age. But when we ask, "Where in the whole of human history is that love most clearly seen?" the answer is obviously, "At the cross of Christ." It is that cross and the work accomplished on that cross that is portrayed in this chapter. Hosea 3 shows us God's work of redemption - the work by which the Lord Jesus Christ delivered us from sin's bondage at the cost of his own life - portrayed in Hosea's purchase of his fallen wife from slavery.

Hosea owned his wife. She was his property. He could do anything he wished with her. If he had wanted to kill her out of spite, he could have done it. People might have called him a fool to waste his money on a worthless woman. She might have suffered far more as a slave to some beautiful woman where she wold have been obliged to fetch and serve and carry and watch and never enter into the kind of pleasures that brought her to her state in her first place. Still Hosea could have killed Gomer if he had wanted to. Yet he did not, because at this point Hosea's love, which is an illustration of God's love for us, burned brightest. Instead of seeking vengeance, he put Gomer's clothes on her, led her away into the anonymity of the crowd, and claimed that love from her that was now his right. Moreover, as he did so, he promised no less from himself.

Does God love like that? Yes, God loves like that! God steps into the marketplace of sin and buys us out of sin's bondage by the death of Christ. We read in our Bibles, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son..." (John 3:16). We ask, "What does somean?" The answer is in Hosea's story. When we see Hosea standing in the marketplace under orders from God to purchase his wife, who had become an adulteress and a slave, we recognize that this is the measure of God's love.

We are Gomer. We are the slave sold on the auction block of sin. The world bids for us. The world bids fame, wealth, prestige, influence, power - all those things that are the world's currency. But when all seemed lost, God sent the Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, into the marketplace to buy us at the cost of his life. 

Boice, James Montgomery. The Minor Prophets: Vol 1 An Expositional Commentary Hosea-Jonah.(Grand Rapids, MI; Baker Books, 1983) pg. 31-36.
Announcements
Rise with the Guys - Saturday at 7:00, we'll begin with breakfast then read and discuss Genesis chapter 43.
Women's Bible Study - The Women's Bible Study will take up 1 Corinthians 8
Midweek Youth resumes tonight. 1st through 8th grade meets from 6:30 to 7:30.
Session and Deacons Meeting
An all officers meeting has been called for Tuesday (Jan 8) at 6:30, just prior to the regular Deacons and Session Meeting.  This meeting will be to review the 2019 budget before the Congregational Meeting.
Sunday Night Service - Our Sunday Evening Services will resume this Sunday, January 6 at 6:30.  
Starting this Sunday I'll be preaching on the story of David: A Man After God's Own Heart. Join us at Lennox Ebenezer as we study what it means to live for God, trusting in His promises, and walking in His grace.
Sermon Series Schedule:
Jan 6        1 Sam 16:1-13     David Annointed
Jan 13      1 Sam 17:17-50   David and Goliath
Jan 20      1 Sam 18:1-16     David and Saul
Jan 27      1 Sam 20             David and Jonathon
Feb 3        2 Sam 7:1-17       David and God’s Promise
Feb 10      2 Sam 9:1-13       David and Mephiboseth
Feb 17      2 Sam 11:1-27     David and Bathsheba
Feb 24      2 Sam 12:1-14     David and Nathan
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