Let's start off with a few facts about the prophet Hosea:
***His name means "Deliverance"
***He was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom of Israel from 760 to 722 B.C.
***He was probably a member of the upper class
***He was a man of deep compassion and strong loyalty
***He was deeply committed to God and His will
***He was commanded by God to marry a prostitute
***His wife, Gomer, eventually returned to her life of sin, but Hosea bought her back from the slave market and restored her as his wife. This was an example of the sin of "harlotry" of the nation of Israel in rejecting the One True God and serving pagan gods. Although the people deserved to be rejected because they had turned their backs on God....Hosea emphasized that God would continue to love them and use them as His special people.
***By not questioning God's instructions, Hosea demonstrated he was a prophet who would follow his Lord's will, no matter what the cost. He was sensitive and compassionate and his own life served as an example....that....GOD is LOVE!!!
In Chapter 1, the Lord spoke to Israel thru Hosea, the prophet....commanding Hosea to go and marry a prostitute so that some of her children would be conceived in prostitution....to illustrate how Israel had acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and to other gods.
So....Hosea married Gomer and she became pregnant and delivered a son....named Jezreel, meaning God scatters. Then, she bore Hosea a daughter....named Lo ruhamah, meaning not loved....because God would no longer show love to the people of Israel, or forgive them. The third son, Lo-Ammi, meaning not my people, represented the fact that Israel was no longer God's chosen people....that He was not their God. But...the day would come when the people of Judah and Israel would unite together.
Hosea 1:11 - "What a day that will be, the day of Jezreel"!!
Chapter 2 described what the Lord would do to Israel - comparing her idolatry with Gomer's prostitution....
***running after other lovers....false gods and idols
***cover for her nakedness....God gave the wool and linen clothing to His chosen people
***God would strip Israel and make her a public spectacle while her lovers (other countries) looked on
***God would destroy all Israel's good gifts He had given her that she claimed came from her other "lovers"
***But....just as Hosea redeemed Gomer....God would take back His chosen people
This was a favorite verse....wonder why? :)
Hosea 2:15 - ....transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of HOPE!!!
God's done exactly that for me lots of times....taken a time of darkness....and showed me the light of HOPE at the end of the tunnel!!!
Hosea 2:20 - I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as Lord.
In Chapter 3, God commanded Hosea to go and love Gomer again (this was after she had returned to her life of prostitution), even though she had committed adultery with another lover. This was to illustrate that the Lord still loved Israel, even though the people had turned to other gods and loved and worshiped them. So....Hosea bought back Gomer and told her she had to live in his house and stop her prostitution, and she could not have sexual relations with anyone....including Hosea.
This was a great verse...
Hosea 4:4a - "Don't point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame"!
This was something that started at the beginning of time....remember Adam and Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden?!?!
Chapters 4 and 5 contained Hosea's prophecies - God's charges against Israel, telling them of the severe consequences of their sin and a divine promise of future restoration.
This was the verse that I based one of my posts on this week:
Hosea 6:6 - "I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices, I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings".
Hosea emphasized the importance of knowing God....not just giving Him "lip service"....but truly KNOWING GOD...and LIVING for HIM!!!
Hosea 10:12 - Plant the good seeds of righteousness and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and shower righteousness on you.
Hosea warned the people to turn from their worship of idols....and turn back to the Lord.
When we think of an "idol"....we sometimes think of a Buddha, or some kind of actual statue, or shrine....that is worshiped....but....an idol is anything that comes between us and God. It can come in lots of different shapes and sizes and forms....a job....money....cars....homes....television....computers....even another person!! It can be ANYTHING that takes our minds and hearts....and our focus....off of God.....and onto anything worldly!!!
In His Most Precious Love....and with mine!!!