Lord, I remember what You have done for me, and I thank You for Your goodness.
Read Hosea 1:1—2:1
The word of the Lord that came to Hosea son of Beeri during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the reign of Jeroboam son of Jehoash king of Israel:
Hosea’s Wife and Children
2 When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.” 3 So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
4 Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. 5 In that day I will break Israel’s bow in the Valley of Jezreel.”
6 Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them. 7 Yet I will show love to Judah; and I will save them—not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the Lord their God, will save them.”
8 After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son. 9 Then the Lord said, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not my people, and I am not your God.
10 “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ 11 The people of Judah and the people of Israel will come together; they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.
2 “Say of your brothers, ‘My people,’ and of your sisters, ‘My loved one.’
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHumble yourself before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
“Go, marry a prostitute.” Not what you’d expect God to command his prophet. And yet he did (2). Why? Hosea lived in a time when Israel enjoyed prosperity—and forgot about God. In fact, they mixed local Canaanite religion with the worship of the Lord. Temple sacrifices shared a space with golden calves; for fertile crops and fields, idols were venerated and cult prostitutes used. These were God’s covenant people who were meant to love him with all their heart and soul! No wonder God was angry.
So God says to Hosea, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord” (2). And so Hosea did what God commanded and married Gomer (not a victim, see 2:5).
Gomer’s adultery represented the adultery of Israel. The covenant between God and his people was never first and foremost about the laws, it was about a relationship of heartfelt love (Deut. 6:4). So in telling his prophet to marry a prostitute, God is shouting from the rooftops that the sin of Israel is not OK. This is the vilest spiritual adultery.
It must have been terrible for Hosea. But God was giving him—and us—a glimpse of the bitter pain God himself feels at the unfaithfulness of his people.
Does your heart ever stray after “other loves”? Take some time to see what things may be drawing you away from God.
Confess your sins in the knowledge that Jesus has fulfilled the promises of Hosea 1:10—2:1.
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