Hosea 1:2-3 (MEV): When the Lord first spoke by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea: “Go, take for yourself a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry, for the land has committed great harlotry, departing from the Lord.” So, he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim as a wife. She conceived, and bore him a son.
This is so contrary to the standards of marriage in that day. Most marriages started with virgin women, not promiscuous ones. Hosea means salvation, deliverance, savior or deliverer. Does this sound familiar? God/Israel, Hosea/Gomer the parallel is so obvious.
Hosea 1:4 (MEV): The Lord said to him: “Call his name Jezreel, for in a little while, I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and will bring to an end the kingdom of the house of Israel.
Jezreel was a place of victory and defeats. King Saul was defeated by the Philistines there and Gideon had great victory with just a few men against the Midianites.
Hosea 1:6-7 (MEV): Then Gomer conceived again, and bore a daughter. And the Lord said to Hosea: “Call her name Lo-Ruhamah, for I will no longer have mercy upon the house of Israel but will utterly sweep them away. 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, or by sword, or by battle, or by horses, or by horsemen.”
Does Israel know what they are giving up? I can only imagine, but if they did, I think they would change their ways. Or would they?
Hosea 1:8-9 (MEV): When Gomer had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived, and bore a son. Then the Lord said:” Call his name Lo-Ammi, for you are not my people and I am not your God.”
To have God turn his back on Israel, or on me, is unbearable to think about! How did it get to this place? They were his chosen people. But now it seems, they are not.
Hosea 2:7-8 (MEV): She will pursue her lovers, but she will not reach them; and she will seek them but will not find them. Then she will say, “I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now.” But she did not know that it was I who provided her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and multiplied her silver and gold that they used for Baal.
Do I know where my help comes from? Do I separate the spiritual and the secular? The Bible says “ALL” things were made and are from God. When I get paid each week, do I say “Thank you God”? And how do I spend my money? Do I give God his portion, or do I give it to worthless idols? It could be more than just money: It could be your relationships, your popularity, your education, or your successes. It is sad for me to admit, but, at some time or another, I am like Israel, giving to Baal what God has given to me.
Hosea 3:1 (MEV): Then the Lord said to me,” Go, again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just as the Lord loves the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love raisin cakes.”
Raisin cakes? What is so bad about loving raisin cakes? I just had to look into this some. What I found is there is more to the raisin cakes then on the surface. First, God cares about the biggest to the smallest things. But deeper still is that Israel needed to choose between the Living God of their fathers who led them out of Egypt and gave them the promise land, and raisin cakes.
If you remember, in the promise land, the grapes had to be carried on poles between two men. Israel used these grapes to make cakes as a worship offering to the false god Asherah. Unfortunately, Israel chose the raisin cakes. What raisin cakes draw me away from the Lord God?
Israel found themselves in a vicious cycle: Idol worship, punishment, restoration, forgiveness then back to idol worship. What drew them to Baal and Asherah? Satan was certainly working back then too! There are several things that could have played a part: Peer pressure- Israel wanted to be like other nations, God wanted Israel to be set apart, to be different. Another draw could be the allure of illicit sex; ritual prostitution, God wanted Israel to be holy, pure and blameless. God wanted Israel to be unlike any other, and He wants that for me too! And not to use this as an excuse, but it is hard to keep God’s standards. But, the reward for keeping God’s standards is God’s vast blessings. Israel repeatedly turned their backs on God’s commands, despite losing God’s blessings. What blessings have I lost?
Matthew 16:4 (MEV): A wicked and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah” So He left them and departed.
Matthew 16: 6 (MEV): Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
Sadly, not much has changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament. But like then, God still leaves me clues to His goodness and His grace. Hosea was the example of God’s unconditional love. No matter what I do, if I repent, and turn from my wicked ways, He will always take me back. End of story.
Jonah on the other hand illustrated Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection!
Matthew 16:21-23 (MEV): From that time on, Jesus began to show His disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised on the third day. Then Peter took Him and began rebuking Him, saying,” Far be it from You, Lord! This shall not happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things that are of God, but those that are of men.”
How am I helping Satan and not God?
Father God, how I long to please you, yet so many times I find myself doing the opposite of what I set out to do. Thank you for your patience with me. Please don’t give up on me, but continue to woo me back under the shelter of your wings of protection. There is no place I would rather be. Help me O God to follow hard after you and not be deceived or persuaded to do what is against your standards. Thank you for your unconditional love and thank you for the cross of Jesus. May I never turn from these blessings. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!