Today: [Hosea 01] Hosea Marries a Gal Named Gomer. In this chapter we have the introduction of the book of Hosea. In this narrative, the Father instructs Hosea to marry a woman named Gomer. She is involved in the sex trade and is in fact a prostitute. God commands this of Hosea because the union is a reflection of God’s perspective of His relationship to His own people in the northern and southern kingdom. To this union are born 3 children who speak prophetically of the reaping in the people of the idolatry they had sown, and the withdrawal of His mercy under the Old Covenant and rejecting the status of the people under the law of Moses. In the pronouncement of the end of the Old Covenant dispensation however is a promise of a people to come, both Jew and Gentile united in Christ.
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[Hos 1:1-11 KJV] 1 The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. 2 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, [departing] from the LORD. 3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son. 4 And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little [while], and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. 6 And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And [God] said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. 7 But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. 8 Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. 9 Then said [God], Call his name Loammi: for ye [are] not my people, and I will not be your [God]. 10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people, [there] it shall be said unto them, [Ye are] the sons of the living God. 11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great [shall be] the day of Jezreel.
In our study at this juncture we come to the introduction of the prophet Hosea. Hosea prophesied after the fall of the ten northern tribes and before southern kingdom joined them in captivity. His prophecy touches on the issues affecting the southern kingdom but is mostly focused on addressing why God allowed the ten northern tribes to be defeated by and led into captivity to Babylon. Hosea was contemporary with the prophet Amos and his ministry is thought to have covered a 38 year time frame although nothing is known of him other than what is disclosed in this book bearing his name. While his prophecies were directed at the northern kingdom, Hosea must have written from the southern capital of Jerusalem because he mentions 5 Judean kings who were alive and reigned during the time of his ministry. The book is written in the 3rd person without identifying the author who could have been Hosea or some unknown scribe (perhaps Isaiah?) nonetheless the narrative originates wholly from the actual events of this prophet’s life that were a compelling message to both of the houses of Israel in the south and in the north.
In verse 2 we see the Lord commanding Hosea to go and betroth to himself a prostitute and bear children by her, as a prophetic statement of God being betrothed to the land of Israel in the north and Judah in the south that from God’s point of view had committed “great whoredoms” against Him. The whoredoms of Israel and Judah were:
1. Continuing to worship the idols of the Canaanites in the groves and high places.
2. Removing the doors from the temple and placing altars to Baal, Chemosh, Molech, and Ashteroth in the Holy Place.
3. Soliciting the mercenaries of Egypt and Ethiopia to defend the Holy Land from Babylonian invasion rather than relying upon God Himself to bring about their deliverance.
If we are going to read this as anything other than ancient history it is important to make what we read relevant to our lives. Having said that – what is the basis of looking at an Old Testament story and applying it to ourselves? The apostle Paul makes the connection for us in 1 Corinthians:
[1Co 10:11 KJV] 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
What we can conclude from Paul’s statement is that the very fact that this account of Hosea is passed down to us in the sovereignty of God is because it holds for us a RELEVANT story that instructs us in our day regarding corrections and admonitions for our own walk with God. In consideration of this we ask the questions:
1. What are the modern-day equivalents of the high places?
2. What is there about the removal of the doors of the temple and erecting idols in the Holy Place that speaks to excesses and wrong doing in the church of the living God?
3. Is there some moral equivalent or transgression in our day that mirrors the dependence of ancient Israel and Judah on foreign powers rather than trusting in God alone?
When the people of God in Hosea’s day frequented hidden groves for idol worship – that is the same as the compartmentalization of our society and church culture as well – when we act one way in church or in front of fellow believers but harbor secret sins and vices from public view without ever pausing to consider the hypocrisy of our actions or the consequences we put ourselves in jeopardy of.
The removal of the doors of the temple and the idols in the Holy Place speak of the immersion of church culture into what is termed a “seeker sensitive” model of ministry that strives to set the sinner at ease and impress the world with our cosmopolitan spirit in accepting what in reality should not be accepting, thereby allowing lives that are unchanged and unsanctified to find a place of belonging and status in the culture of the church. This is an abomination and an offense against the nature of God and the holiness of God and the call to be a separated people.
The dependence of foreign powers to deliver the people from Babylonian invasion rather than trusting God is reflected in our culture where Christianity has put more passion and effort into political initiatives and the pursuit of court judgments in our favor than we do on our knees before God taking responsibility for our part in the declension of our society that we bemoan so loudly. Transformation and revival does not arise from political initiatives or the coming down the gavel in a court case. Our dependency is and should be upon God alone to move in our midst to bring about societal change when needed.
In verse 3 we see Hosea faithfully obeying God by marrying a prostitute named Gomer. You know you are in trouble when God tells you to marry a girl named Gomer! We also see that apparently 3 children brought into this marriage. The eldest was Jezreel (meaning “God will sow); the middle child was “Lo-Ruamah” which means “God will show no mercy”; and Lo-Ammi was the youngest meaning “no longer My people” implying that God would divorce His own people who had rebelled against Him for so many years.
These children and their names are very interesting because later in the book God changes Lo-Ruamah’s name and Lo-Ammi’s name but He keeps the name of Jezreel unchanged. This reflects that God at a later point promises to show mercy and to reclaim His people but He does not promise to change “Jezreel” who represents God’s law of reciprocity. This tells us that we can demonstrate God’s law and we can violate God’s law but we cannot break or disannul God’s law. The only way to circumvent the reaping of every seed we sow is by activating a higher law – in this case the law of life in Christ Jesus that delivers us from the compensation of the court of heaven for our sins and accepts the purchase price of Calvary as the satisfaction of every offense we have committed against the cross.
The ultimate deliverance of God in Christ is foreshadowed in v. 10 where God promises that in spite of withdrawing His mercy and breaking His association from the Old Covenant peoples, that He would still have children who would number as the sand of the sea – those who are spiritually His progeny, and declared by the shed blood of Christ to be the sons of the Living God. This was fulfilled when Jesus concluded the Adamic race, ending both Jew and Gentile and bringing all into one new man in Himself through the shed blood of Calvary.
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