So I just finished reading the book of Hosea. Prior to doing this, I’ve mostly only opened the book of Hosea in search of the verse that says “my people perish for lack of knowledge” (which is Hosea 4:6). This doesn’t mean that I knew nothing about the story of the Prophet Hosea.
A few years ago, I read Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love, a novel based on the book of Hosea. The author used a combination of the scripture and literary license to beautifully tell the story of Hosea and Gomer: the prostitute that God asked him to marry. Yes, you read right.
Hosea 1:2 says, “Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry, For the land has committed great harlotry by departing from the Lord.” When I first read this verse, I knew that if I were Hosea my response would have been: “Ehn?” And when God repeated himself, my follow-up response would have been: “But why do I have to suffer for what the people are doing?” I mean, imagine Hosea as a prophet: obeying and serving God, striving to be holy, refusing the advances of all the fair maidens that might have expressed interest in him and keeping himself with the hope that God had set apart a special, fair maiden just for him. Then he is told by God to go and marry a harlot! Me as Hosea to God: The number you have dialed is out of service.
On a more serious note, it was not a small command. The bible does not record if Hosea initially responded in any of the ways I would have as it simply says in Hosea 1:3, “So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.” As I read this verse I couldn’t help but think, “Just like that?” Hosea is the real MVP! I’ve now come to understand that for the prophets of old, God usually required them to do certain things in order for His messages to resonate deeper than if He used mere words. Hosea’s story helps us understand better the relationship between God and Israel as a marriage. We can see Israel (and if we’re being honest, ourselves too) as Gomer, the harlot who was privileged to be married to a man who chose to love her regardless of what she was and yet, time and time again, chose to sleep with other men. We can see God as Hosea, the ever forgiving husband who kept taking his wife back no matter how many times she betrayed their marriage by sticking to her ways of harlotry and sleeping with other men. It’s a story of an unending love that refused to wane. An unwavering kind of love from God to Israel, from Hosea to Gomer and from God to you and I.
I honestly can’t say that I would have done what Hosea did. I’m also really glad that God hasn’t asked me to because He is the not-more-than-you-can-bear giving God and for me (or even anyone else) this is A LOT. So shoutout to Prophet Hosea for his sacrifice of obedience that produced this eternal example of God’s unwavering love for us even when we blatantly disregard Him and do things that give Him the right to do away with us.
I’m grateful to be loved like this by God and I hope you are too.
-Thanks for stopping by.