by Cliff Ravenscraft on November 3, 2005

in Blog

I've decided to study the book of Hosea with a few close friends. We've decided to read it and discuss it as we go. I thought I would take a moment and post my initial reactions to this book of the Bible. Here's what I recently wrote…

Hosea 1:2 When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.”

Okay, so last night I read the introduction to the book of Hosea and I read all of Chapter One and all the notes on chapter one. Very interesting. Boy, if I didn't read the introduction or the notes on this book, I would be completely beside myself when I read Hosea 1:2.
What did God tell Hosea to do? Go marry a promiscuous woman? A prostitute? That puts a weird twist on the whole question of “what is God's will for my life?” Coming to my mind are all the conversations I've heard over the years people arguing that Christians should not marry someone who is not a Christian. All the talk of being “unequally yoked.” But here, God is not only telling his prophet to marry someone who does not share his values and principles, but it's someone who actively pursues a lifestyle that violates every one of those values and principles. That's just whacked!!!!
And what for? To show an example of God's love? HUH? What about God's love for Hosea? Can you imagine God telling you to marry a woman who He knows will cheat on you and will not only sleep with other men, but you will be left to raise the children that she gives birth to… children where you are not their father?
What about the pain that Hosea has to go through when he learns of his wife's infidelity? What about the ridicule that he will live with as people around the town are talking about him behind his back? Can you imagine some of the things people will say… What about Hosea's reputation? Here we have a prophet who speaks God's words…. But what about his credibility among the people when his own wife lives an adulterous life?
But in the introduction… It says that's exactly the point God is trying to make…. God is telling a story through the life of Hosea of what “His People” have done to Him. They have lived adulterous lives, forsaking their relationship with God and giving into their lusts and temptations and turning to other gods and all forms of idolatry. God is saying, what about my pain? Do you not understand how you hurt me when you forsake me and turn to other gods? Do you not understand what you do to my credibility when you claim to belong to me and yet you sleep with your other gods?
Wow… The example God makes through Hosea's life has a great deal of power and impact. However, one might ask…. Couldn't God have made his point without literally having Hosea go through such pain? Perhaps there was no other way to really comprehend the depth of the sins. Sure God could have just told him to tell this story.. Intellectually, Hosea would take it in… But without experiencing the pain, would he REALLY understand the impact?
The introduction says that some scholars believe that God didn't specifically tell Hosea to go marry a prostitute or promiscuous woman. Instead, God knew what Gomer would do after they were married and Hosea was not aware that this would be what would happen. However, other scholars suggest that yes, Hosea knew exactly the type of woman he was marrying…
Very interesting Indeed. I'm looking forward to further study into this story and undoubtedly my discussion with those whom I'm studying this with.
In Christ,

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