The Greatest Love Story Ever Told (1 of 6) by Jerry Vines

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THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD (1 of 6)
Hosea
Jerry Vines
Hosea 1:1-11
1/7/2001

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 ...


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