Hosea – Object Lesson Life
by Violet Nesdoly (reprinted with permission)
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Hosea 1:1-21
TO CHEW ON: “When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea:
“Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry
and children of harlotry
for the land has committed great harlotry
by departing form the Lord.”
So he went…”( Hosea 1:2,3 NKJV).
Imagine being told to embark on marriage, one of life’s most challenging relationships even in ideal circumstances, knowing your partner has a habit of being unfaithful. That’s what God told Hosea to do — marry a prostitute. He did it without argument.
Later, when children came along (and my Bible’s notes indicate that Hosea may not even have been their father), God told Hosea to name them odd, doom-filled names:
His firstborn son was to be called Jezreel.
It meant “God scatters”, or “God Sows.”
“Jezreel was the name of the place where Jehu had killed 70 sons of Ahab (2 Kings 10:11). As Jehu brought an end to the line of Ahab, so now God will bring an end to the whole dynasty of Israel. By 722 B.C. the northern kingdom and its capital will fall.” – endnotes to Hosea 1:4 New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1144.
(That would be in about 28 years from when Hosea penned this if the date of the book’s writing — 750 B.C. — is accurate.)
His second child, — a daughter — was to be named Lo-Ruhamah.
It meant “No Mercy.” and ‘indicated a lifting of the Lord’s compassion from the rebellious nation” (source as above).
A third child — another son — got the name Lo-Ammi.
It meant “Not My People” and “indicated the end of the relationship (p. 1145 – source above).
Through all this we never hear a whisper of objection from Hosea. He simply listened and complied. Which tells us at least two things about him:
1. He recognized God’s voice. Why else would a devout man do such outlandish, even morally questionable things?
2. He trusted God and obeyed with a simplicity of heart that is quite beautiful.
God has never asked me to do such things — probably not you either. But, to my shame, I even argue and try to talk Him out of things that make sense, things like finishing a hard job, making contact with certain people, how I spend my time… Oh for Hosea’s jump-to-it attitude whenever God speaks!
PRAYER: Dear God, Hosea’s unquestioning obedience is refreshing to see. Help me to follow that pattern of hearing and immediately obeying. Amen.
MORE: “No religious singles in God’s eyes”
John Piper on Hosea:
“…God made him (Hosea) live the tragedy of Israel’s unfaithfulness by marrying a harlot…. Some Christians who would never dream of marrying a pimp or a prostitute will fall in love with a well-bred unbeliever. But in God’s eyes, everyone who forsakes the Lord is a whore. There are no religious singles in God’s eyes. Everyone is either faithfully married to God or is a prostitute. God made you (not just Israel) for himself. If you get your kicks from somewhere else, you commit great harlotry against God. That was Israel’s condition. And so God took Hosea and said, as it were, “Before I give you a word of judgment and grace, I am going to make you know what it’s like to be married to an unfaithful wife. Go, marry a harlot!” Hosea obeys and has a son. His marriage is an acted-out parable of God’s relation to Israel.”
Read all of “Call Me Husband, Not Baal”
By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org
Violet freelances in several genres and has been published in a variety of print and online publications. Her articles, stories, and activities have appeared in Keys for Kids, Devotions for Girls, Devotions for Boys, Clubhouse, Guide, Primary Treasure, Partners, Pockets and others. She has also published two books of poetry and is an avid blogger. She is a member of Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and a professional member of The Word Guild.