What a hard call that God put on Hosea’s life! He was to marry a prostitute as a way to show Israel’s utter unfaithfulness to God (1:2-3). This was a “Living Metaphor”. It’s actually pretty hard to read and think about, isn’t it? I can’t imagine how difficult it was for Hosea to live it out. He even had to go so far as to buy his wife back out of prostitution/slavery to bring her back home (3:1-3). Hosea’s heartbreak mirrored that of God’s heartbreak. Plus, Hosea’s kids’ names were a reminder to Israel as to how far they had moved away from God.
God had a list of complaints against the people that He spoke through Hosea. Remember, a prophetic complaint is telling the people what they had done wrong and where they had sinned, not just complaining about them.
Here’s a partial list of the things Israel had done:
While these things were true of Israel, they serve as stark examples for us to examine our own hearts against to see whether there is hidden sin in our lives.
Thankfully, we live in New Testament times, so as the Holy Spirit reveals these things to us, we can turn to Jesus, our sympathetic High Priest, and find compassion, forgiveness, and restoration.
In fact, Hosea closes his book with the picture of God as an evergreen cypress, that through Him Israel could bear fruit (14:8b), just as through Jesus we can bear fruit as Christians (John 15:4-5). As a reminder, apart from Him we can do nothing!
Grateful for Jesus,
Questions for Reflection:
What do you think it was like for Hosea to hear God’s call? Think about or share a time God called you to a difficult task, job, or season of life.
Hosea’s list of sins helps us examine our lives. Ask the Holy Spirit to search you and lead you in personal examination of this list or in general (Ps. 139:23-24). Respond as He prompts you.
What does it mean to abide in Jesus? How do we do that? Are there areas in your life where it’s not lining up as it should? Turn to Jesus now and ask for His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).