Hello eternal family, I mentioned a few weeks ago that this will be a year to KNOW and ultimately BE.
Hence, as we continue in that direction, I will like to share the book of Hosea with you today.
This is one of my favorite books in the Bible, and no matter how often I return to read it or hear someone talk about it, I leave with deeper knowledge and instructions.
Keep in mind that this post does not fully encapsulate the book of Hosea. My hope is that it will encourage you to pick up your bible, sit back and read the book of Hosea for yourself.
That being said, Let’s go on a ride.
Can you love a person who deserts you despite your unfailing love?
Can you love a person whom you do everything to provide, protect, comfort, rescue and love despite their unfaithfulness to you?
Can you love a person who is unfaithful and uncommitted to you?
Can you even go ahead to marry such person?
Can you open your arms widely and let that person back into your life despite their unfaithfulness & adultery?
Can you simply love a person who does not love you in return?
If that person had to be bought, would you buy them back with all of you, so they could be yours again?
Can you and will you?
Unconditional Love! Amazing love! Boundless love! Compassionate love!
Can you have such love?
Do you have such love?
Well, God loved such a person, a nation to be precise. And he still does.
In the book of Hosea and through the very life of Hosea, we get to see and understand the heart of God, our faithfully loving Father and Husband.
The book of Hosea was written during the reign of Jeroboam II and was specifically directed to the Northern kingdom of Israel (Also referred to as Ephraim, made up of 10 tribes of Israel).
The book begin when the word of the Lord came to Hosea (meaning ‘salvation’, or ‘He saves’, or ‘He helps’ ___ Same verbs as “Joshua” and “Jesus.”).
The Lord said to him, “Go take a WIFE of Whoredom, have CHILDREN of whoredom, for the LAND commits great whoredom by FORSAKING the LORD.” (Hosea 1: 2)
Hosea obeyed and married Gomer (Meaning “Complete”).
If there’s ever one thing I am always curious about when I meet people, it is the meaning of their name. Gomer’s name means Complete! How Ironic! A wife of whoredom with a name that means “Complete, whole, perfect!”
But why Gomer? I wonder. Why was she chosen? Was she already a known woman of whoredom, a harlot, a prostitute? Or did she have the heart of one, which would later be manifested in marriage to Hosea?
This is a question that I am not certain about the answer.
But, Gomer would represent Ephraim/Israel. Hence, I ask the question again this way, “In marrying Israel, making a covenant with her and calling her his own, did God know of Israel’s heart of prostitution or did that somehow later manifest itself?”
Well, God is all knowing. He knew he was marrying a flawed yet complete wife (Israel). He knew he was choosing a flawed yet complete nation as his own. But that does not and would not make the unfaithfulness hurt any less.
Evidently, Hosea knew that his wife was a woman of whoredom. That was the instruction he had from the Lord. Whether, she already was or began her ways of whoredom after marriage, it does not matter now.
Well, Gomer got pregnant and bore Hosea a son!
And God said again, “Call his name Jezreel, for in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. And on that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.”(Hosea 1: 4).
She conceives again and bore a daughter and God said to call her Lo-ruhama (No mercy), “for I will no more have mercy on the house of Israel, to forgive them at all. But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the Lord their God. I will not save them by bow or by sword or by war or by horses or by horsemen.”
When she had weaned No Mercy, she conceived and bore a son. And the Lord said, “Call his name Lo-amnmi, Not My People for you are not my people, and I am not your God.” (See Hosea 1: 6-9).
These two children (No mercy & Not my people) were likely children not fathered by Hosea but by Gomer’s lover(s). For Hosea shows no fatherly mercy or affection to his daughter and says to his second son, you are not my people.
“Upon her children also I will have no mercy,
because they are children of whoredom. For their mother has played the whore;
she who conceived them has acted shamefully.
For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
who give me my bread and my water,
my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.” (Hosea 2: 4-5).
So as Gomer ran to her lovers for gifts and all they could “offer” her (which was nothing, rather she was the one who offered herself). She allowed a stranger to devour her strength and she did not know. Gray hair are sprinkled upon her and she knows it not (See Hosea 7:9). She pays twice with her strength, beauty and wholeness for a piece of bracelet and prostitute wages.
Israel also did the same and ran to “pieces of wood”, idols and political alliances for what they thought could be offer to them. They did not know that it was God who gave and they took his precious gifts and threw it to pigs and worthless woods.
You may ask, “Why would a wife do such? Why would she commit adultery and be unfaithful to her husband?”
“She did not know, it was I” said the Lord.
Gomer lacked knowledge.
Israel lacked knowledge.
We lack knowledge.
“And she did not know
that it was I who gave her
the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and who lavished on her silver and gold,
which they used for Baal.
Therefore I will take back
my grain in its time,
and my wine in its season,
and I will take away my wool and my flax,
which were to cover her nakedness.” (Hosea 2:8-9).
“Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.
I led them with cords of kindness,
with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.” (Hosea 11:3-4)
“But I am the Lord your God
from the land of Egypt;
you know no God but me,
and besides me there is no savior.
It was I who knew you in the wilderness,
in the land of drought;
6 but when they had grazed, they became full,
they were filled, and their heart was lifted up;
therefore they forgot me.” (Hosea 13: 4-6).
“There is no faithfulness or steadfast love,
and no knowledge of God in the land” (Hosea 4: 1b)
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
because you have rejected knowledge,
I reject you from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.” (Hosea 4: 6)
Unfortunately, a people without understanding shall come to ruin (Hosea 4: 14b).
Sometimes, people are unrepentant not because they do not want to repent but because they do not know the wrong they have committed hence, they would change their mind and turn away from it.
So, the Lord went an extra mile to use Hosea’s life as a parable to describe and show Israel of their spiritual adultery (idolatry) ways and unfaithfulness, yet they refused to change their minds.
Hosea was not just a messenger, he was a mediator, a type of Christ. Remember, Hosea name means “He saves, Salvation.”
Israel’s love is likened to a morning cloud, a dew that goes away early. A wishy washy love (See Hosea 6:4). They are adulterers and unturned cake, half-baked and not fit for eating (see Hosea 7:8).
But God desires a faithful love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. But like Adam, they transgressed and disobeyed the covenant and they have dealt faithlessly with God (See Hosea 6:6).
We see the emotions of our God, a loving father and a jealous husband going back and forth yet firm. He speaks of the sins of Israel and his judgement and punishment but his ultimate aim is restoration grounded in love. He desires his bride.
Israel is punished for her sin to bring her to godly repentance.
The Lord says to Hosea, “Go AGAIN, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” (Hosea 3:1).
So Hosea went and redeemed his wife and bought her back for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley.
We make master over us that which we give our heart and ways to. Sin becomes our master and we become its slaves. We need a redeemer. A savior.
Hosea was a redeemer for Gomer and Jesus is the redeemer for Israel and ours.
“And in that day I will answer, declares the Lord,
I will answer the heavens,
and they shall answer the earth,
and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and they shall answer Jezreel,
and I will sow her for myself in the land.
And I will have mercy on No Mercy,
and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’;
and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’” (Hosea 2: 21-23).
Even the sons of whoredom will be redeemed and drafted into the family.
Gomer whose name means “Complete, whole, perfect” was an adulteress and unfaithful wife to her loving husband. What an irony!
She is a complete and priceless jewel but she gave herself away for nothing, for she did not know.
Hosea whose name means “He saves” was told to marry Gomer whose name means “Complete”
I thought to myself, “Why would a complete person need a savior?”
Probably because the complete person do not know his/her true identity. Hence, they need a savior to save them from the delusion and bondage of being incomplete in sin. So they can come to know and be who they have always and already being in Christ Jesus.
Gomer and Israel did not know her God and she did not know who she was in him.
She has always been complete. But she did not know.
We did not know too but thank God for Jesus who came to save us and bring us to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
It might be easy for us to point fingers at Gomer or Israel and say, “Wow, what a stupid woman and nation.”
But we mustn’t be too quick to take out or point out the speck in someone’s eyes when we walk around with a plank in ours. (See Matthew 7:5).
That being said, are you a prostitute too? Are you an adulterous man or woman? Do you commit spiritual adultery /idolatry towards God? Do you have a heart of harlotry?
Don’t be quick to say no!
Sit and check.
Have you lost your first love? God!
Yes! you are complete like Gomer has always been. But are you living like a complete being or an incomplete one?
Do you indeed know your God and do you know who you are in him and how he sees you?
Who are you?
A prostitute? An Adulterer?
Or a complete child of God, a bride of Christ?
Who is your God?
Your pastor, occupation, friends, material things, NEW AGE acts, your dreams and visions?
Or The one true God, Yahweh, I AM, Creator of heaven and earth, your savior and redeemer.
Do you know God?
It’s not just about reading your Bible. It starts from there. But do you experience God in that knowledge? The experiential knowledge of God that translates into BEING our true self.
“Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt”. (Hosea 2:14-16)
God is always pursuing and alluring you. Are you listening and willing to repent and return to him?
God’s love is unconditional. His love is faithful. His love does not let go.
You are his possession and he does not part easy with what is His.
The LORD is like an evergreen cypress, from him comes our fruitfulness (Hosea 14:8).
He is the source of our wholeness, our perfection, our completeness, we must remain in him.
“And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent (John 17:3).”
The book of Hosea is another lens into the gospel message of Christ Jesus.
Jesus Christ came to save sinners, reveal & restore them back to the father ultimately restoring their true identity.
Salvation saves us from sin to reveal us to us. So we can KNOW and BE.
God is indeed Love.
Who is wise? Let them realize these things.
Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them (Hosea 14:9).
You are Eternally Loved.