Hosea 1-4

Adultery, Harlotry, and Faithfulness

Today we will be starting our study in the book of Hosea. Hosea is the last of the Minor Prophets sent to the ten tribes of Israel. God chose Amos, shepherd and farmer, to bring His message to the common people at the place of worship in Bethel. God called Hosea to act out His message to the people by telling Hosea to take a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry. Their first child was to be named Jezreel which means scattered or sown.   

Hosea’s relationship with his wife was to show the people how God viewed their relationship with Him. They broke their commitment to God when they rebelled and started to worship the golden calves that Jeroboam had made. Later king Ahab and his wife Jezebel introduce idol worship to the nation and the people started to worship idols which God saw as adultery.

Gomer, Hosea’s wife, had two more children. It is likely that Hosea is not their father. The first one, a girl, is named Lo-ruhamah which means I will not have compassion.  She represents the nation of people born under the government-run priesthood Jeroboam set up when he made the golden calves. The second, a boy, is named Lo-ammi, which means not my people. He represents the people who followed the false prophets and idolatry rather than the Lord.

The message in the names of the children is clear. God is no longer going to have compassion on the nation because the people are really not His children. Instead, He is going to scatter them among the nations when Assyria conquers Israel. There will no longer be a priesthood or a place to worship. There will be a remnant of people who will seek the Lord from among those who are scattered. They are represented by the first child, Jezreel, the ones sown. Now let's be clear here. It is not where, or under what conditions one is born that puts a person in one of these three catagories. It is what is born in the heart by what one believes. It is the belief that determines the catagory. The same is true for us today. This is why, in order to become a Christian, we must be born again. 

Though Israel will be in exile for a long time God will use this time to draw her to Himself.   Hosea is to live out this message in Chapter 3. Now that Hosea has acted all this out before the people he is able to prophesy the charges God is bringing to the nation in Chapter 4.

God in His mercy has gone to great lengths to reach a nation of people in rebellion against Him. The commitment they made to Him, and His to them, is like a marriage commitment. To rebel and follow an idol is adultery. To trust the false prophets who support the king and his alliances with other nations for provision and security is as harlotry.  God is not going to let this continue much longer. This is the message of the book of Hosea as we shall see in the days ahead.

God takes our commitment to Him very seriously. Do we?

Be faithful.

Pastor Dave