The Creator God chose to reveal His loving heart through His prophet Hosea. Through the troubles in Hosea’s home, he reached the consciousness of his calling. Hosea married Gomer in good faith, but her unfaithfulness and ultimate enslavement broke the heart of her husband. Gomer’s adultery pictured Israel’s apostasy.
In the first three chapters, the story of Hosea’s home life sets the stage for understanding God’s relationship with His people. The prophet, through the heartbreak of his own marriage, comes to see in a more meaningful way Israel’s sin against God. Hosea represents God, our loving heavenly Father. Gomer represents the nation of Israel and the people of that nation. The Lord’s message for each one of us is the message of His love and our responsibility.
Let us begin where the Lord begins this message. In this book, the Lord immediately introduces us to Hosea and his family. As we become acquainted with this family, we are going to discover God’s message to each of us. Of course, there is a national emphasis to Israel, but the application is to the individual.
Verse one begins, “The word of the Lord that came unto Hosea.” This is a defining statement. God’s Word came to Hosea, and when God spoke to him, he was obedient. Hosea points us to our loving God.
The Bible says in verse two, “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.” Three times in one verse the Bible uses this word “whoredom” meaning repeated sexual sin. Fourteen times we find this expression throughout the book of Hosea. God said to this godly man, “Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms.” His wife will prove to be unfaithful.
If you are thinking, “It is hard for me to imagine that God would command a man to do that,” remember, Hosea is a picture of our God. When we look at the life of Hosea, we are to see our Lord. The Bible says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God’s redeeming love seeks sinners. It should not be difficult for us to recognize that when God came seeking you and me, He did not come after some great prize. He came after sinful people who could not make their own way to God. The only hope we had was for our God to love us and seek after us.
With every move of this book of the Bible, as this man seeks after his wife, we get a glimpse of our God who loves us “so” much that He “gave His only begotten Son.”
Hosea’s name means “salvation”; Gomer’s name means “completeness.” It seems she does everything but complete. She is a woman who engages in the most abominable behavior. She gives her life to the most disgusting things. The Bible says that she is engaged in whoredoms. She forsakes her husband and her children to go after other men, yet Hosea loves her. Nothing is as powerful as the seeking love that God has for us.
Jeremiah 31:3 says, “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Take special notice of the expression that God has loved us “with an everlasting love.” God’s love for us was never initiated; it had no beginning. He loves us with an everlasting love. There is nothing we can do to make God stop loving us; there was nothing we could do to make God start loving us. God’s love is pictured in the love Hosea had for his wife Gomer. Every time you think about her vile behavior, think of what God says concerning you and me and His great love for us.
When we read the book of Hosea and discover the behavior of Gomer, we find that there was every reason to tell this man, “Why don’t you find someone else? Why don’t you cast her out and be done with her!” But that is not his love, and that is not the behavior of the love of God. As we look at Gomer, we see ourselves. Our rebellious hearts are laid bare.
We have been conquered by Calvary. The love of Christ constrains us. There was a time in all of our lives when someone could have said, “I do not see what anyone sees in him.” But still God loves us.
We have met the man and his wife; now let us meet the children. There are three children in this family. Each of them brings a message from God to us. It is primarily, in interpretation, God’s message to Israel, but do not allow this to hinder God’s Word from your heart. The people are about to go into Assyrian captivity and be scattered throughout the earth. Even to this day, they are scattered from Nazareth to New York.
Meet the oldest child of Hosea and Gomer, whose name is Jezreel. Hebrew names are extremely significant. Jezreel means “scattered.” God says, “I am going to scatter my people; I am going to judge my people. I am going to judge this nation.”
Let us apply this to your life and mine. It is our God’s passionate desire to bless us and our families and to bring us together to do a mighty work in the lives of His people. But when we allow sin to enter in, when we go our own way and not God’s way, we cannot be blessed and used of God. We are scattered and defeated and weakened. That is the message this first child brings to us.
Next, we meet a little girl. We ask her what her name is, and she says, “Loruhamah.” Now, when we saw the boy, the boy looked a lot like his father. We really do not know about this daughter. She may or may not resemble her father; we are not sure whether or not Hosea is her father. But when we hear her Hebrew name, we know God’s message to us.
What she says to us is that God will no longer have pity or mercy. He will no longer have this intimate fellowship and relationship that He desires to have with us. Something has happened!
Our God desires for us to be near Him. He wants to bless us, have mercy upon us, pity us, and meet our needs. He wants us to have a relationship with Him that we have with no other. But when sin comes in, that sin prohibits God from having that kind of relationship and fellowship with His people.
There is a third child born as a result of whoredom. The Bible says in Hosea 1:8-9, “Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.” If you come to the house when this son is born and look at him, you notice something right away. He does not look at all like his
father. You look at Hosea and wonder, “Is this really his son? There is no family resemblance here!” The reason for this is that it is not his son. This is the offspring of an adulterous relationship. The son bears no resemblance to the man that was supposed to be his father. God says, “Give him a name. When he says his name, his name says that he does not belong to Me.”
God declares to His people, “My heart’s desire is to be your God and for you to be my people; but because of your sin, you are not my people.” Of course this troubles people when they are thinking about the Jews. Did God disinherit His people? No, the promise God made to Abraham He will keep. But they are set aside. They do not know God as their Father in their present blindness. They do not know God the way He desires them to know Him.
Many people in some way identify with the name of Jesus, and yet bear no evidence of being a Christian. There are many people who will say when pressed, “Oh, I have made a profession of faith. Sure! There was a time when I trusted Christ.” But they look nothing like a believer in the way they live. This is what we find when we come to Hosea’s home. What a shame! The mother could have behaved in such a way that the children could have rejoiced in the heritage handed to them, but she did not. Remember, the mother represents you and me.
The Lord does not leave us here. In Hosea 1:10, the Bible says, “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.“
Notice that little word “yet” in the beginning of this verse. This is one of the great “yets” of the Bible. You see, God does keep His promises. He knows the promises that He has made. The Bible says in Genesis 12:1-3, “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.“
God is going to bring this to pass someday. Hosea 1:11 says, “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.”
The Spirit of God gave Peter this message when he wrote in I Peter 2:9-10, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.“
What a precious promise! You may say, “My life has fallen apart. I am so far removed from God and the things of God.” I want you to know that at this moment you may not be a people, but God can make you His people! He can show you His mercy! This is the story of God’s redeeming love.
God is speaking to you and me by His great love. The most powerful message for mankind is the love of God. His grace is greater than all our sin. Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
**More from the book of Hosea in Pastor Sexton’s book, “The Door of Hope”. Available here: https://faithforthefamily.com/product/door-of-hope/