Hosea 1

Hosea 1 has a new prophet coming on the scene. “The word of the Lord which came to Hosea”.   Plainly said, Hosea was a prophet. He spoke the word of the Lord, and applied that word to his life, and to the people and circumstances around him. Hosea was a man, but he was a man God used to speak through. The name Hosea means “salvation.”It comes from the same Hebrew root (hoshea) as the names Joshua and Jesus.Throughout the book, Hosea will show us that salvation is found in turning to the Lord and away from our sin.

God’s first word to Hosea was something for his own life. This is how God almost always works. Hosea probably would have preferred it if God gave him a word for someone else. But before the prophet can speak to the nation, he first has to hear from God for himself.  “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord”.  Through His command to Hosea, God brings to life a consistent picture used throughout the Old Testament. In this picture, the Lord is the husband of Israel, and their passionate, constant attraction to idols was like the lust of an adulterer. His people were as unfaithful as a prostitute was.

In this vivid picture, we see how our idolatry and rejection of the Lord feels to God. When we put anything in front of the Lord, it hurts Him like unfaithfulness hurts the victim of an adulterous marriage. “He went and took Gomer….she conceived and bore him a son”.  We can assume that Hosea would never marry a prostitute except by the commandment of the Lord. It showed a lot of obedience for him to actually carry out this difficult command.

When Hosea and Gomer first married, she probably promised eternal love and devotion. She probably showed every sign of being committed to Hosea. But after a while, and in difficult circumstances, she fell back into prostitution.  They have a few children along the way.  God shows that He is in the restoration business with His people, but before that happens, they have to go through some difficult times.  “I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them….You are not My people and I am not your God”. Though God has promised judgment, the days of judgment won’t last forever. After judgment, there will come a day of prosperity, increase, and blessing.

Credit to David Guzik’s commentary for many of these thoughts

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