“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 ~NKJV
Hosea, the first of the OT’s Minor Prophets, was often seen as a “prophet of doom.” What a sad title to be given!
The Book of Hosea describes how GOD’s children,Israel, forsook the worship of Him and the observance of His word, to worship Baal and other false gods. This was followed by others sins: homicide, perjury, theft, and sexual sin.As a result, GOD allowed their destruction and enslavement by another nation, Assyria. Hosea was sent by GOD to warn them of the impending doom. Hence, his title, “Prophet of Doom.
“To ensure that Hosea completely understood GOD’s feelings of sorrow, betrayal, and agony, He told Hosea, “Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry.” GOD knew that Hosea’s wife, Gomer, would not be able to resist her old life, just like the children of Israel could not resist their old habits of worshipping false gods! (This was not their first time!)Gomer, Hosea’s wife could not resist and went and sought another.
But GOD would say to Hosea, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.” So, Hosea went looking for her.In essence, GOD was saying, “Take her back just as I am going to take the Children of Israel back!” What an amazing action of grace!We were like Gomer, so unfaithful, returning to sin! We were like Israel, so unfaithful, returning to gods that cannot save!
“But GOD demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)Hosea bought her back at a price (just as Jesus bought us back at a price):“So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley. And I said to her, ‘You shall stay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man—so, too, will I be toward you.’” Hosea 3:2, 3 (NKJV)
This is GOD’s unending love towards a sinful people—to Israel and to us! In reality, Hosea was not a “Prophet of Doom,” he was a “Messenger of the Greatest Love Possible!”Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” I think we’ve all used this verse to describe GOD’s never-changing attributes. But, because of His messenger of love, Hosea, I think He used this verse to describe His everlasting love for us—like an extension to Jeremiah 31:3
“The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.’”Lift up your eyes and hands and know this:“For the grace of GOD that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great GOD and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”Titus 2:11-14 (NKJV)