Key Verse: “The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” Hosea 3:1
Many a person has called out to God in regards to a relationship. Who to date and further who to marry. It is one the most important decisions we will ever make in life. Consequently, the godly man and women do not make this decision rashly, but the seek God’s confirmation through prayer. If you’re single today, you should be seeking firstly if it’s God’s will for you to marry and if so, you should be praying that God will shape you into a good husband or wife and be praying for your future spouse.
Hosea was a young man called to preach by God. He lived in a time where the people had fallen away in sin. God gives him a shocking answer in regards to whom he should marry. Hosea 1:2 says “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.”
This is most certainly not the answer we would want in regards to our future spouse. Imagine a young man, just out of seminary and called to preach, receiving a message to find a prostitute on the street and marry her. This is not ‘pretty women’, this is real life.
Hosea marries Gomer. Her name means “completion,” and possibly for a few moments, he feels complete. Maybe she promised to leave her sinful way of life behind now she had found true love. They begin a family together. First, they have a son, “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 (Hosea 1:4). Next, they have a daughter, and God says “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them. (Hosea 1:6). Thirdly, they have another son, and God says, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not my people, and I am not your God. (Hosea 1:9).
If you think your family life is messed up, think of Hosea. He is married to a prostitute, and his children are called, massacre, unloved and not my people. The circumstance the Hosea found himself in were unique as God was using his family life as an example of God’s relationship with Israel. Nevertheless, there are many people who find themselves in complicated families. Maybe you or your spouse has been unfaithful, and you’re trying to make it work, but the trust has gone. Maybe your children have gone AWOL. Perhaps you’ve brought them up in church, but now they are an atheist, an addicted or in a sinful relationship. If some, or all this applies to you, then you understand something of Hosea pain and consequently, a portion of God’s pain when people turn from Him and refuse His love.
Though your pain, God is giving you an understanding of how much He loves people. We can let this break us, or motivate us to proclaim His love to a hurting world. The book of Hosea is a demonstration of God’s love. When Hosea’s wife runs off with another man, he buys her back. What a reminder of how Jesus died to pay the price for our sins to redeem us. God’s love is absolute. It’s a love that “Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.” (Song of Songs 8:7). God’s love is unconditional and unconquerable and incomparable. He is the Father of the prodigal who runs out to hug the rebellious son who wished him dead and welcomes him back into the family.
If you have pain in your family, you understand that sin is not about breaking the rules but breaking the heart. When we sin, God’s heart breaks because He wants the best for us. As God used Hosea life as an example for the nation, He can also use your pain as an example of his love for this world.