The setting of Hosea
Hosea spent 50 years of ministry to the people of God. His primary audience was the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Israel had been doing reasonably well politically and economically but that would not last. Their greatest danger was their sinful idolatry. An idol is anything that replaces the one, true God For modern America, idols may not look like figures of stone or wood, but they may take on other features. It is quite often seen today as worship of our own self.
The word of the Lord and His Prophet
The prophet of God had the main job of communicating whatever message God intended for his people to hear. Sometimes the message was of encouragement and comfort, sometimes the message was of warning and sometimes the message was a prediction of what God was going to do in response to their repentance or disobedience. The underlying motive for a prophecy is the love of God, his mercy, and his justice. Deuteronomy 18:15-22
“A wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom”
Gomer was a woman that God had called Hosea to marry. Hosea would not only verbally give the message but literally live the same experience. At the center of God’s message is fidelity. Covenant faithfulness is what God wants to speak to the people of Israel and he commands Hosea as a prophet messenger to not only share this message in words but in his life.
“Children of whoredom”
Each birth notice of Hosea’s children contained a word of instruction from the Lord about the child’s name and an explanation of the meaning of the name. The names of Hosea’s children all reminded everyone who heard them of the broken relationship that existed between Yahweh and Israel, and each one anticipated judgment.
Jezreel – a judgment on the leadership
The name refers to a place that had a history of judgment. King Jehu in the mid 800s BC had correctly dealt with the evil Ahab, Jezebel, and prophets of Baal. He also went beyond the command and killed the King of Judah (South) and much of his family. He had at one time done what was right but later away from God and worshiped idols.
The name given describes the response of God toward a people of stubborn hearts and minds. Israel had early enjoyed a prosperity that would be part of their confidence that they were “all right” with God. And the mention of the Southern Kingdom would be an example of what God would do for those who would live in faithful obedience.
Not My People
The last child to receive a name shows the extent to which the people have distanced themselves from God by their sin. The identity that was theirs has been broken and they have a broken relationship. It was the most accurate description of the result of their choices.
The words of God reflect his response to a disobedient people. The book of Deuteronomy repeats the responsibility of walking with God in faithful obedience. Israel would receive this great blessing of God and peace not because Israel was better or had done something to achieve it. This would seem like the end of the story, a very sad story, HOWEVER, God is faithful to his covenant. He brings out a warning and a hope, the end of the story still has a future so that the end is what God had intended – to return.
What would Jesus say about your life? Encouragement, Direction or Discipline? Or maybe all 3.
I want to hear a word from the Lord!!! Read what he has already spoken. The prophets didn’t invent anything, they took the people back to covenant relationship already written.
What does God really want? – He wants us to be His.