One of the love languages is gifts. My wife loves jewelry. I love to give it to her. From our text, obviously, God loves to give good gifts to His wife as well. “She doesn’t realize that it was I who gave her everything she has-the grain, the wine, the olive oil. Even the gold and silver she used in worshipping the god Baal were gifts from me!” (Hosea 2:8) The larger context of this verse is that Hosea’s wife, Gomer, and God’s wife, Israel reached such a pitiful state that they realized they were better off with their husband than they are with their lovers. Their lovers were takers. Their husbands were givers. To borrow a phrase from Paul “What do you have that you didn’t receive?” (1 Cor.4:7) Israel had it all. God had poured out His blessings on her. He plucked her out of bondage and brought her to a land of milk and honey. Ezekiel provides a vivid picture in chapter 16. A “man” sees a helpless baby, recently born, dumped in a field, helpless and exposed, without even the cord cut. This defenseless child lay kicking in her own blood. The “man” rescued her, cleaned her up, cut the cord, and dressed her, and took her home. Over time she became a woman, and the “man” married her making her his queen. The text says, “I gave you expensive clothing of linen and silk, beautifully embroidered, and sandals made of fine leather. I gave you lovely jewelry, bracelets, and beautiful necklaces, a ring for your nose and earrings for your ears, and a lovely crown for your head.” (Ezekiel 16:10-12) There’s more. Keep reading. The “man” took her to New York city and gave her the American Express Gold card. (That part is not in the text.) The “man” is God, and the baby is Israel.
When God marries His people, He lavishes them with gifts beyond their wildest imagination. He withholds no good thing. He loves to give good gifts to His children. You have heard the old saying, “You cannot out give God.” Don’t try. He is the Master Giver. He wrote the book on giving. He set the gold standard for giving. He cannot help it. That is who He is. The prophet had a strong point to make. Israel should have been appreciative of what she has. Ten were healed, only one said thanks. Jesus died for every man, woman, and child. Few will send a “thank you” card. It should be so patently obvious that we brought nothing into this world, and we will take nothing out of it. Yet we strut around as if we are the source of all our stuff.
It gets worse. Not only is man ungrateful, but he also too often takes what was given by God and spends it on other lovers. This is what that little baby who became a queen did. The story takes a terrible turn at verse 15 of Ezekiel 16. That little word “but” changed everything. “But you thought you could get along without me, so you trusted in your fame and beauty.” Such a sad tale! It could have had a happy ending. Now with Assyria breathing down their necks it will all be lost. The gold ends up in a soldier’s belt. The crown ends up on the head of another man’s wife. God says, “I will take what you buried in the ground and give it to another.” Heed the warning of Hosea, the prophet. Don’t take your gifts for granted. Don’t squander your inheritance in riotous living. Enjoy your gifts within the relationship with your husband. Hear this message, church! Hear this message, America! Hear this message, China! Hear this message, Rod!