Day 1

God’s Command to Hosea

from the Hosea reading plan


Hosea 1:1-11, Titus 3:4-7

Hebrews 10:31 tells us “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

A number of years ago, a friend of mine got arrested for doing something bad in public—bad enough to make the evening news. That’s how we learned about his offense—by watching him get loaded into the back of a police car on tv.

One person in our friend group said, “Wouldn’t it be strangely freeing if everyone knew our most secret sins – if when we walked into a room, everyone knew the truth about us? Wouldn’t there be some good in it if people knew the things we work so hard to hide?”

In a manner of speaking, the book of Hosea opens with the people of Israel in cuffs, getting loaded into the back of the squad car. It happens like this: God tells His prophet to Hosea to “take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord” (Hosea 1:2 ESV).

Hosea’s life was to be a sort of performance art. His marriage, along with all the pain it would bring him, was meant to stand as a witness against the people to whom he had been sent to proclaim God’s call to repentance. Good things—great things, in fact—lay in store for God’s people; but first they needed to be busted for who they really were: unfaithful people, raising a new generation in their infidelity.

There is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends (John 15:13), but Hosea is a hard book. When you start to imagine the circumstances that would have moved God to ask His prophet to offer up his own heart for the sake of a nation of betrayers, it gets dark quickly. Think of the nights Hosea spent alone, knowing what his wife was up to. Hosea loved Gomer. He really did. But he knew she would break his heart over and over again. Unless Gomer herself felt the pain of her infidelity, she would never repent. But for this to happen, she would have to own the truth about who she was.

The same is true for us. Hosea’s marriage told Israel they were living like prostitutes while in a marriage covenant with God Himself. Hosea’s marriage, along with his genuine love for and sorrow over Gomer, was meant to arrest Israel (and us) in their (and our) acts of infidelity and read to them their (and our) rights.

Because of Jesus, we have the right to know God and to live at peace with Him. But as long as we deny our crimes—our perpetual running after other lovers—we will never accept the means by which we find the peace our hearts long for. Unless we are apprehended and exposed for what we are, we will never understand the steadfast love and mercy of our Groom—Jesus Christ, who took us as His own and binds our wandering hearts to Him.

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But how else will we be set free?

Written By Russ Ramsey 

Post Comments (14)

14 thoughts on "God’s Command to Hosea"

  1. Cody says:

    Until we see and feel the consequences of the sinful nature of our lives we’ll never repent. This is why the Holy Spirit is such an instrumental part of our conversion and growth in Christ. Without the Holy Spirit opening our eyes to see our sin (either through the Word, or a sermon, etc.) we would perpetuate or sins and miss the free gift of redemption.

  2. Chris Kaz says:

    I have never really thought of this in this way before. Hosea loved Gomer deeply. God loves us deeply. In the same way that Hosea has to watch the woman he loves go after other men, God has to watch his people go after things other than Him. I cannot imagine the pain and turmoil that the Lord feels in these moments.

    My prayer is that I can at the very least be conscious when I am not putting the Lord first. Jesus help me to love you more deeply.

  3. Matt Rouse says:

    We are loved completely by a holy and awesome God. Yet we wander away and cling to other loves. Remarkably, God still loves us and pursues us. He doesn’t just sit and hope that we come back. He pursues us in order to bring us back! No infidelity on our part can stop our father from loving us!

  4. Mark Dill says:

    God simply had to break Israel. He had to show them for what they were. Whores. Prostitutes. Giving themselves to something other than God himself.

  5. Andrew Bullard says:

    What things am I chasing or running towards while trying to pursue God that I need to be exposed of and let go?

  6. Nick S says:

    God I confess my wandering. I am a whore. I am unfaithful.
    God,
    Do not let me stray from you. Do not let me forsake you. Arrest my soul when I turn away from your beautiful face.

  7. Kenny Anderson says:

    Gods love is amazing. What some people might see as a set back, was only a set up for a true relationship with Jesus Christ.

  8. David says:

    How have I become like Israel/Gomer?

    It doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a slow process. A little compromise here, there a little more there and eventually I have compromised much.

    It typically always starts with scripture reading and study dropping off. Then it slowly turns into to complete disregard for daily time in the word/prayer. That leads to a thought life that is constantly challenged with lust and worldly desires. I have no truth to battle those thoughts with because I’ve not filled my heart and my mind with truth.

    Lord,
    Help me be more disciplined in daily time in the word, reflection and prayer. Keep my mind from wandering. Hold me my heart and mind fast to your word.

  9. Nolan Lee says:

    I had little previous understanding of Hosea and was taken back by the start of it. Without the context of the authors breakdown I’m pretty sure the scripture would’ve gone over my head, I was very thankful for the explanation and metaphor of the cop car. It’s cool to see how God is represented in Hosea’s graceful love despite Gomer’s occupation but it’s also to expose the sin. Truth and Grace juxtaposed.

  10. Brandon Fralick says:

    The Lord is using the unfaithful marriage of Hosea and Gomer, as a metaphor to Israels unfaithfulness. Gomer bore Hosea his first child, Jezreel, but then we begin to see the unfaithfulness with the birth of two other children (not belonging to Hosea) “No Mercy” and “Not My People”. These children, produced through adultery, are symbols of the behavior Israel has towards the Lord. The House of Judah will not be saved by their good works, but through salvation by grace through faith.
    ” But I will have no mercy on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the Lord their God.” – Hosea 1:7

  11. Bradley Miller says:

    Wow Hosea did obeyed by taking a prostitute in as his own wife! It is the same way with us being like the prostitute going back and forth not wanting to be saved but wants to sin in peace somehow…

  12. Zach Lyons says:

    The whole idea of Hosea’s marriage as some kind of performance art, displaying our unfaithfulness to God, and his undying love for us in a tangible way is both heartbreaking and humbling. God doesn’t have to keep welcoming us back in the midst of our infidelity, but he does. 100% of the time.

    The challenge to me is to take his faithfulness seriously, as well as my own. Growing up in a Christian family, I’ve experienced grace my whole life, and I know that there are a lot of times I take it for granted. Stories like that of Hosea’s are important reminders of the depth and measure of God’s love. It should spur me on towards faithfulness and fidelity in my walk with Christ, and (by the transitive property) in my marriage.

  13. Kevin says:

    Day 1: It truly is a frightening thing to have to be broken in order to be made clean. We’ve got the broken part down. Each and everyday we do something that probably isn’t right in the eyes of the lord. But he heals us and gives us grace, every single time. It would be wild if everyone knew what we work hard to hide, but the lord sees it and that’s all it should take for us to want to make things right and follow him.

  14. Jc Szumigala says:

    What/who/whim are my “other lovers”?
    I️ have a desire to meet with God, however it is not a life on fire for him. More or less my desire for the Lord is a selfish desire meaning: I️ know I️ need him so I want to pursue him to “get fixed” instead of just delighting in his goodness and love for me.

    V. 2 is crazy that God call Hosea to take a wife of whoredom. I️ could not imagine what that conversation was like. Hosea obeyed and in v. 3 “so he went and took…”
    I️ pray my faith and obedience is like that of Hosea’s.

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