Hosea 1

Hosea 1

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The word of the LORD that came to Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.

Hosea’s Wife and Children

When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.” So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

And the LORD said to him, “Call his name Jezreel, for in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. And on that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.”

She conceived again and bore a daughter. And the LORD said to him, “Call her name No Mercy, for I will no more have mercy on the house of Israel, to forgive them at all. But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the LORD their God. I will not save them by bow or by sword or by war or by horses or by horsemen.”

When she had weaned No Mercy, she conceived and bore a son. And the LORD said, “Call his name Not My People, for you are not my people, and I am not your God.”

Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it shall be said to them, “Children of the living God.” And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint for themselves one head. And they shall go up from the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel.

(ESV)


Hosea 1 Commentary

by Hank Workman

In one of the most unpredictable and outlandish commands of God, He instructed Hosea to marry a prostitute. Yes, you read that right.

It was during the reign of King Jeroboam II, Hosea was called to be a prophet to the northern kingdom. Although he was a skilled politician, Jeroboam II had zero devotion to God. There had not been a time since Solomon the nation enjoyed such wealth and prosperity. Yet, he ignored the Laws of God, did not consider or take into account the poor within the nation. Justice and fairness in rulings sided with the wealthy, the voter’s people of distinction. Consequently, the rich became richer, the poor poorer and the moral decline of right and wrong was sidelined. As a result, the people became more than complacent in their own commitment to God. Sound familiar?

In a costly and deeply personal object lesson for the people to see, Hosea did as was instructed and took prostitute Gomer to be his wife. They would have children together, all of which were given names to represent the waywardness of the people’s hearts and state of sin the nation lived within.

In what would become a living example before the people, Hosea (ironically whose name means salvation) would become a representation of the tenacious love of God as hardship and heartache racked their marriage. Hosea’s commitment to Gomer would in time reveal the faithfulness and mercy of God. God as the Husband would not let his wife Israel go. The demons Gomer wrestled with and gave into would become a living reflection of the idolatry and unfaithfulness that swept the nation. Her unfaithfulness would not sway nor deter the love of God.

The book of Hosea is a beautiful love story of the relentless tenderness and affection God holds.

Many times we are Gomer. We fall back into our own ways of which we’ve been saved from. We give into our own desires and wants over the direction and hope God has. We sell ourselves to things of this world, ways contrary to God. Like a cheap trick, we give ourselves intimately to a quick moment of enjoyment only to find them empty when over.

And yet in our own whoredom, God still loves us. He still desires us. He doesn’t give up. May the beauty of this story resonate deeply in our spirit as this book unfolds before us. May there be situations the Holy Spirit brings to mind of our own unfaithfulness to God. May the words spoken by Hosea reverberate within our choices ringing loud and clear of the tenacious love of God that will not let us go.


Hosea 1 Commentary

by Brad Boyles
Hosea 1

Hosea and Jonah were most likely the only writing prophets who lived in the Northern Kingdom. We know this because Hosea addresses the king of Israel as “our king” in Hosea 7. Historically, Hosea saw many different kings during his ministry. He would have seen the last six kings from Israel which places his reign at the end of 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles.On that note, it was a time of spiritual compromise for the nation of Israel. They had misguided leadership and were on the verge of Assyrian captivity because of their sinful rebellion.

Hosea does not mention the Assyrian capture so many scholars assume that his ministry ended a few years short of that event. Most of his writing takes place during the reign of Jeroboam II who guided Israel to national prominence. In just over 20 years time, Jeroboam II took a struggling nation on the verge of death and turned in into a political and military powerhouse. All of this, however, came with a cost. As Israel grew socially and economically, they floundered spiritually. In many ways, Hosea is the northern version of Jeremiah as they both sounded the spiritual alarm and their warnings were fulfilled through captivity.

The story of Hosea centers around the sorrow of a broken home. Its relevance spans our era as so many can relate to this pain today. Hosea was given the task of experiencing what God had experienced. He was called to feel God’s pain. His life was a spiritual representation of God’s relationship with Israel.

Our home is supposed to be a safe haven. It is known as a place of peace where love and security are found. This was not the case for Hosea. On top of this, within the turmoil of betrayal, he was given the task of explaining this reality to all the people who were rebelling against God.

When the LORD first spoke to Israel through Hosea, he said to Hosea, “Go and get married; your wife will be unfaithful, and your children will be just like her. In the same way my people have left me and become unfaithful.”

Hosea 1:2 GNB

This was Hosea’s life. Let that sink in… The law said to stone her, but God said to marry her. He could have run like Jonah. He could have given up and gone into hiding like Elijah. As far as we can tell, he didn’t even question it. He married a prostitute.

This isn’t a Disney movie with a rags-to-riches love story. Hosea married Gomer knowing she would not give up her prostitution to reciprocate his love. Even if Gomer wasn’t a prostitute befoe Hosea married her, he knew she would become one. His obedience to God was unwavering. He did what was asked.

I wonder, how many of us would do the same? How many of us would follow through with such a request without blinking an eye? How many of us would allow our lives to be used as an example to glorify God in the end? Hosea’s obedience was steadfast. Even though he knew his wife would not be faithful to him, he was still faithful to God.

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