Scripture Reading: Hosea 1:2-9
2 When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.” 3 So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
4 Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. 5 In that day I will break Israel’s bow in the Valley of Jezreel.”
6 Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them. 7 Yet I will show love to Judah; and I will save them—not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the Lord their God, will save them.”
8 After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son. 9 Then the Lord said, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not my people, and I am not your God.
The Lord said, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means not my people), for you are not my people, and I am not your God.”
What a strange command! God told Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman. Why would God tell Hosea to do that? How would that make Hosea feel in his heart? What was happening in God’s heart that he would tell Hosea to do this?
God did this to point out that the people of Israel had become unfaithful to him, just as a promiscuous woman would be unfaithful to her husband and family. God’s people had been following after the gods of other nations, even though all those gods were false and couldn’t do anything for them. Only God could provide for the people and care for them, but they ignored God and became spiritually unfaithful.
What happened to the household of Hosea? His wife, Gomer, ran away from home. She had affairs with other men. Imagine how this must have hurt Hosea’s heart. Then God commanded Hosea to bring his wife back (Hosea 3). If we were in Hosea’s place, would we want to bring our spouse back?
Hosea’s situation helps us to see how painful it was for God to keep loving his people and caring for them. Even though they kept turning away to their own destruction, God kept loving them—just as he keeps loving us today. Eventually he sent his only Son, Jesus, to pay for all the sins of us fallen sinners and to take us back. What an amazing God of love!
Loving God, we praise you for giving your Son to save us. Help us to understand what it cost you to keep loving us. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.