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The Greatest Love Story Ever Told (1 of 6)
All of us love a love story. Romance novels are perennially on the best-seller's list because everybody likes to read a love story. Movies that have as their theme a love story, sell in the millions because everybody loves a love story.
Unfortunately, much of what people in our world today call a love story is really a lust story. I want to tell you a love story here for a few weeks. I want to share with you a love story which comes from the pages of the Bible. There's a book in the Old Testament which tells the greatest love story ever told. I'm referring, of course, to the book which we have before us this evening-the book of Hosea.
In your Old Testament, the last twelve books, are known as the minor prophets. They begin with Hosea and go all the way to Malachi. It's something of a misnamed section, really. It is not that the messages of these Minor Prophets are minor, but it is rather that for the most part these books are not lengthy books. The message is a major message but it is found in more brevity than in some of the other books.
The first of these Minor Prophets is this man named Hosea. We do not know a great deal about Hosea. We do that his name means "salvation." We have the background given to us right here. But we really do not know a great deal about Hosea as an individual.
Hosea was chosen by the Lord to give a message to Israel which has given him the title through the years as the "prophet of love." Probably no one in all of the Old Testament-no preacher that God ever used-ever came to comprehend and understand and enter into the wonderful love God has for fallen man as did this man Hosea.
The way Hosea found out about the love of God was through a personal experience in his life which was heartbreaking to say the least. He found not only that he was the prophet of love, but that he was also the prophet of the broken heart. He came to understand the love of God by a heart-breaking experience in his own life. He came to understand how that the love of God broke God's own heart as well. We know that sin does break the law of God. The Bible says that sin is transgression of the law. Sin is a violation of God's law. It is rebellion against God's law. It is a spit in the face of God. It is a strike at the heart of God. Sin breaks God's law, but sin is also against God's love. Sin breaks God's law, but sin also breaks God's heart.
This man Hosea came to have experientially some understanding of what the love of God was all about.
Why are we studying a book like this-written so many centuries ago? Well, the Bible says in II Timothy 3:16, "all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable." That means that God has a message for us in all of the pages of the Bible and in all of the books of the Bible wherever we are in the Bible because it is the Word of God. God's Word is contemporary and up-to-date. It's just lik ...
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