Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Hosea and Gomer

 


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 from the Lord.” – Hosea 1:2


No one can fully understand the heart of God. We cannot understand nor explain His thoughts, His ways, or His love.  God is God – and we’re not.  We’re mere humans made by God. 

But the life of Hosea the prophet is one that has intrigued me.  After Jerusalem and Judea had turned their worship over to idols, God chose several prophets to tell what was going to happen as their punishment.  But when it came to Hosea, I believe God wanted him to feel what God felt in His heart towards His children.  Hosea had to experience it all in his own life.

That’s why God asked him to marry a harlot.  His people had turned from loving and worshipping Him to worshipping idols.  They had committed adultery against their God by loving and worshiping idols (Ezekiel 23:37).  Therefore, Hosea was commanded to marry a woman who would soon do the same to Hosea. 

God named Hosea’s children according to the way He felt towards the Israelites as well.  Hosea’s children by Gomer were given names that would cause Hosea to feel God’s heart when he said them. 

The first son was named Jezreel, “God will disperse”.  God scattered the Israelites across many nations and had them taken into captivity.  I don’t know the heart or mind of God, but I do know that seclusion, being separated from others, will cause you to reach out to God more often.  Perhaps the dispersion was intended to break down cult culture, whereby we all agree to agree with each other?  Imagine Hosea calling his son and being reminded that all around him would be scattered.

The second, a daughter, was named Lo-Ruhamah, “not having obtained mercy”.  God’s mercy had run out on the Israelites, but not His love.  The two are not one and the same.  Mercy proceeds punishment when mercy stops bringing repentance. Repentance then comes because love endures the pain of being neglected. 

Hosea has a little more than a year to get used to calling Jezreel by name, scattered, pondering God’s meaning for this on his son.  Then comes a daughter whose name is no mercy.  The Israelites in all their idolatry and turning away from God had run out of mercy.

The third and last child Hosea has by Gomer is a son named Lo-Ammi.  The meaning is a complete dismissal of relation with the Israelites.  Oh friends!  How the thought of not having God by my side is beyond words!  Lo-Ammi means “not my people”.  It would appear that God is turning His back to the people, forgetting His promise to Abraham to raise up more than the stars from His lineage, and the promise to David that his dynasty would be forever.

But that is not the case!  Punishment is for a time.  A time meant to turn the hearts of those He loved back to love Him as their God and Father.  God ends the conversation in Hosea 1 with Hosea by giving him hope for the future, even the future of his first born.

“Yet the number of the children of Israel
Shall be as the sand of the sea,
Which cannot be measured or numbered.
And it shall come to pass
In the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’
There it shall be said to them,
‘You are sons of the living God.’
Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel
Shall be gathered together,
And appoint for themselves one head;
And they shall come up out of the land,
For great will be the day of Jezreel!” – Hosea 1:10-11

Friends, I want to encourage you.   We look around in our world and it seems that so many have not only turned away from God, but even despise His name.  Yet God’s everlasting love is still there.  Even in a world so bent on sin that murder becomes entertainment, life has become of no value, children are treated as animals, and cult culture has overtaken our minds, God’s love for us has not changed.  His mercy, however, will one day turn to great punishment that is intended to bring us to Him.  Get on that train early!  Life with God is far better than battling against Him.  Be a child of the living God.

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