Friday, November 4, 2016

Hosea Reveals God's Adulterous Wife - What?!


The book of Hosea was written by the prophet Hosea. Hosea was a contemporary of the prophets Amos, Isaiah and Micah and prophesied around the years of 758 B.C. to 725 B.C. during the reign of king Uzziah.

The major theme of the book of Hosea is that Israel is Jehovah’s adulterous wife, apostate, sinful and rejected, but ultimately to be purified and restored. The book is in 3 parts: the dishonored wife, the sinful people and the ultimate blessing and glory of Israel.

Here is a summary of the story of Hosea:


God tells him to take “an adulterous wife” so he marries a woman named Gomer. Think about how humiliating that must have been for Hosea. (After all, Jesus was judged as “no prophet” when He merely let a prostitute touch His feet.) Gomer has two sons and a daughter. God tells him to name the first son Jezreel, the daughter Lo-Ruhamah and the second son Lo-Ammi. The names are important to the story. They mean “God scatters,” “not loved” and “not my people.” Take a moment and think about how significant those names are.

Gomer is, as expected, an adulterous wife and Hosea rebukes her for the adultery. She leaves to be with her lovers, but we read a poetic declaration of Hosea’s (God’s) love and promise of mercy. Look at Hosea 2: 14-23:

14 “Therefore I am now going to allure her;
   I will lead her into the wilderness
   and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
   and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
   as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
   I will lead her into the wilderness
   and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
   and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
   as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
 16 “In that day,” declares the LORD,
   “you will call me ‘my husband’;
   you will no longer call me ‘my master.’
17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips;
   no longer will their names be invoked.
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them
   with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
   and the creatures that move along the ground.
Bow and sword and battle
   I will abolish from the land,
   so that all may lie down in safety.
19 I will betroth you to me forever;
   I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
   in love and compassion.
20 I will betroth you in faithfulness,
   and you will acknowledge the LORD.
 21 “In that day I will respond,”
   declares the LORD—
“I will respond to the skies,
   and they will respond to the earth;
22 and the earth will respond to the grain,
   the new wine and the olive oil,
   and they will respond to Jezreel.
23 I will plant her for myself in the land;
   I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’
I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’;
   and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”

Did you notice at the end the wonderful references to the names of Hosea’s children? Remember what they meant? Do you see the prophetic story of God’s persistent love for His children? Since the beginning of time God’s ungrateful and undeserving creation has been accepting God’s love, grace, and mercy while still unable to abstain from sin and wickedness.
Hosea reconciles with his wife. In fact, he has to buy her back from the sex trade. The last part of Hosea shows how God’s love once again restores His children as He forgets their transgressions when they turn back to Him with a repentant heart.

The prophetic message of Hosea foretells the coming of Israel’s Messiah 700 years in the future. Hosea is quoted often in the New Testament and is one of the most significant books of the Old Testament. No other messenger gives as full a summary of the ways of God with man as this book does. For example, Hosea reveals that God suffers when His people are unfaithful to Him. Hosea shows that God cannot condone sin. Yet through the marvelous analogy of Hosea’s love for Gomer we see that God will never cease to love His people. And most marvelously of all we learn that God seeks us and will not fail to win us back no matter how far we have sunk and abandoned Him.

To backtrack just a moment—in the book of Joshua we learn that Joshua sent out two men to spy out Jericho. They went and stayed with the harlot, Rahab, who helped them. She is remembered and mentioned in the New Testament as the harlot who was saved by faith. Rahab was also the great-great- many greats- grandmother of Jesus. Think of that symbolism.