(1 John 4:8) He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
(1 John 4:16) And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
There are many things about God that is difficult for us to grasp. The very concept of a great and gracious God is nearly beyond us. What we know of Him, He has revealed to us in the Scripture. And even though we read it, we still struggle to fully understand Him. One aspect that is especially difficult for us is to understand the love of God. We ask ourselves, "How could He love me?" And yet the Scripture reminds us again and again that He does! We realize that God showed His love for us in giving His Only-begotten Son to die on Calvary. We read it, but it is hard to grasp. In the small O.T. book of Hosea, we find a glimpse of God's love. Hosea, along with Amos, prophesied to the northern kingdom of Israel while Isaiah and Micah ministered to the southern tribe of Judah. In the first two chapters of Hosea we see a broken home and a broken nation. A broken relationship between a man and his wife, and a broken relationship between a people and their God.  God used a heartbreaking tragedy in the life of Hosea in order to enable Hosea to catch a glimpse of the sorrow and suffering God experiences when His people sin against Him. In the five verses comprising chapter 3, the love of God is described and demonstrated four ways. Read Text
I. God's Seeking Love (1)
A. God commanded Hosea to love Gomer
1. She had left Hosea to follow after other lovers.
2. By all human standard, Gomer had forfeited her right to any degree of acceptance.
(Hosea 2:5) For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.
B. He was to love her according to the love of God.
1. Here is a great lesson to be learned about God's love.
2. God does not love man because man is lovely!
3. God loves man because God is love!
4. Gomer was Hosea's wife and the mother of his children.
5. Hosea loved her before she fell and now He is to love her as she is.
C. God's seeking love is seen through the ministry of Jesus Christ.
1. Man had willingly disobeyed God and thereby lost any right of acceptance.
2. But God so loved…while man looked to other gods, God looked down with love.
(Romans 5:8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
3. Jesus didn't go to the cross for us because we were worthy, but because God loved us with a seeking love.
II. God's Redeeming Love (2)
A. Hosea redeemed Gomer (bought her back) from the slave market.
1. She had voluntarily sold herself, she had become a slave…a concubine.
2. Hosea bought her back at the price of a slave which speaks of her worth and value.
3. When Hosea found her, a woman who had defiled herself in prostitution, he saw her in a way he had never seen her before.
4. He saw he through God's eyes and loved her with the love of God.
B. God redeemed us.
1. We were once slaves to sin, Satan, and self but God sought us and loved us with a redeeming love!
2. Mere silver and gold could not buy us back.
3. Peter reminds us that it took the blood of God's only Son, Jesus.
(1 Peter 1:18-19) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
III. God's Disciplining Love (3)
A. For Gomer, a period of discipline was necessary.
1. She was to be kept separate.
2. She was not to behave in the same manner as before her redemption.
3. This renewed relationship was not to be taken lightly.
B. For new believers discipline is also necessary.
1. There needs to be a time of instruction and nurturing for proper growth.
2. Just as our own children need time to grow into maturity, the same is true for God's children…those who have been born again.
3. They need time to grow in grace and knowledge.
4. That is what discipline is all about…it is about discipling…training and teaching.
C. God disciplines in love.
1. God knows how subtle our adversary is.
2. Satan attacks us when we are at our weakest point.
3. Obedience to Christ's commands, Bible study, coming to church, are important to all believers…but they are especially important to new believers in Christ.
4. Discipline leads to spiritual growth and maturity.
IV. God's Triumphant Love (4-5)
A. The nation of Israel will experience triumph.
1. History records for us that the nation is about to be taken into captivity.
2. But God gives the promise of their return and their great victory.
3. God's love encourages the nation that He will not forget them.
B. The love of God will not forsake.
1. God is a longsuffering God.
2. It is His love, not our merit, which will bring triumph.
(Romans 8:35-39) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
3. If God is for us…who can be against us?
C. The love of God will bring us victory.
(Job 19:25) For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
(2 Corinthians 5:8) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
(1 Corinthians 15:57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. These statements of victory and triumph are not based upon man's achievements or man's abilities.
2. The victory is in God through His Son Jesus Christ!
Do you know the love of God this morning? Do you know the victory that comes through faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary? If not, then you will not know the victory that is available for us today and for all eternity. Have you experienced His great love for us? What about His seeking love; His redeeming love; His disciplining love; and His victorious love? I invite you to come this morning and allow us to introduce you to God through His Son, Jesus. Trust Him today. Christians, do we love God as we should? If we love Him…we will keep His commandments.