Hosea 1 (March 12, 2018)
A Prophet and a Prostitute
Hosea is a prophet of God during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the reign of Jeroboam son of Joash, King of Israel, he is instructed by God to marry a prostitute – one who would be an adulterous wife – a marriage that would represent the Israelites unfaithful relationship with their God.
- Note Hosea’s obedience to such a call – and consider the heartache that must have been involved for him –
- *” Like the Lord, he would have a wayward wife and a broken heart.” (HCSB Commentary)
- The naming of the three children Gomer had after marrying Hosea had to be another heartbreak for him as they represented judgement, a broken relationship, and “forfeiture” of God’s love.
- *I find it worth noting that Hosea is only included in the birth of the first child. The second and third child are simply attributed to Gomer. I’m not sure what this means but I have to wonder if it is to imply that they were the products of her unfaithfulness.
Hosea 2 (March 13, 2018)
His Redeeming Love
I love the HCSB commentary on this chapter:
*”These verses elaborate on the “Not my People” oracle in 1:9-11. They open with the divorce formula in verse 2 that begins the rebuke in verse 1-13: “She is not My wife and I am not her husband.” The forgiveness section in verses 14-23 announces the restoration of Israel. The LORD again becomes “My husband” (v.16), and Israel becomes “My wife” (v.19); “No Compassion” also receives compassion, and “Not My people” (v.23).”
- Oh the depth of God’s love and compassion, so torn with grief and stirred with anger at His ‘wife’s” betrayal that He inflicts such punishment – only to lead her back to Him where He “speaks tenderly to her” and gives back to her what He had taken (v. 14-15) – REDEEMING her and once again claiming her as His own forever.
Hosea 3 (March 14, 2018)
A Beautiful Pursuit
The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD love the Israelites, …” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver … (v1-2)
Oh to have this servant’s heart – the very heart of the LORD … To love as HE loves His people. To pursue one steeped in sin and unfaithfulness – to purchase her from another lover and take her back to live with him … Obedience and Love certainly define Hosea
- Note the requirement he places on her – to live faithfully with him and as he would with her
- Also note the comparison to the Israelites plight and eventual return to the LORD (v 4-5) which again defines the purpose for God’s request/call on Hosea’s life
- *personal note … Oh the brokenness I feel right now to think that this is what I should have done when my husband left me? Yes, I let him come home the first time but should I have done more than beg him to stay when he left the second time telling me he knew he couldn’t remain faithful? Should I have knocked on the doors of his lovers and brought him back home? I don’t know the answer to these questions but I do know that eleven years later I am still living without him and my children have known 11 years without their father as part of their lives and family. My heart is broken at the thought that perhaps Hosea’s call was mine too and I failed – I can only call out for forgiveness where I failed and plead for strength to move forward and not get stuck here looking back at the regret of “what if” … Oh Father forgive me and help me – please help me to keep my eyes on you and not the past. …Thank you for reminding me that it might be best to remember all the times I’ve wandered away from you in unfaithfulness and how you pursued me and spoke to me tenderly in the wilderness drawing me back … Allowing me to return – forgiving me – loving me – and restoring our relationship to even more than I could have hoped for❤️ Yes, LORD! I praise you for Your beautiful – unfathomable pursuit of me!
Hosea 4 (March 15, 2018)
“Hear the word of the LORD, O Children of Israel, for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land.” (1)
Hosea is given a strong message to deliver to the people of God … One that describes their faults and guilts and charges both the people and even more the priests/leaders
- It is a call for them to “recognize the moral and spiritual corruption of the rest of their countrymen who have abandoned their God and forfeited their right to be called His people. These adulterous inhabitants have abandoned (1) TRUTH or integrity, the quality of being reliable and genuine; (2) FAITHFUL LOVE … and (3) the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. They had ceased to care about knowing Him or the truth about Him (Rm 1:18-32). As a result they were violating the Ten Commandments (HS. 4:2) and suffering the consequences (v 3). HCSB commentary
Note the reference to prostitution and adultery in this chapter and imagine the difficulty Hosea must have had with this message and the personal implications of his wife. We must not miss the underlying message here that no matter what they chased after or who they worship they were never fully satisfied
- “The people of Israel are on trial. They’ve broken the covenant, and God is holding them accountable for their actions. For generations, corrupt priests appointed by the wicked King Jeroboam II had failed to teach the people the law, and now they are ‘destroyed for lack of knowledge'(6). Their malnourished hearts stopped hungering for God’s faithfulness, mercy and wisdom. Instead of feeding on God’s Word, they turned to idolatry, gorged on fleshy fare and never felt full satisfied.” F5
- “Wickedness will run rampant in our lives unless we get a regular intake of God’s Word.” F5
- At the same time … “We can know God’s Word in our head and still fall away if we do not allow God to rule and reign in our hearts.” (Rom 1:21-24) F5
- “We shouldn’t shake our heads at the sins of Gomer and the Israelites without examining our own hearts.” F5
Father, help me to be satisfied in You alone. Alert me if and when I begin to chase after other gods or to desire things that would compromise my faithfulness to You. Help me Lord God to not just hear Your Word but to love it, to not just read Your Word but to know it, and not just to know it but to live it out everyday – that others may see, know, and follow after You. May it always be a part of my day – whether from the page or from Your Spirit bringing to mind and life what He has hidden in my heart❤️
March 16, 2018
God is very specific with His message through Hosea … Addressing not just the priests, but the Israelites as well as the “royal house” – no one was exempt from the discipline that God was bringing.
He made sure that they understood the depth of what He knew about them – from their acts to their what was in their hearts – there was nothing He did not know.
*Even though God knew all about them, they did not know Him (4:1) (v 7)
*”Israel’s many evil actions had so enslaved them to sin that they were unable to repent” (v 4) (Rom 6:16-20)
He wanted them to understand that what they were about to experience was coming from Him …
- He would discipline them (2)
- He would withdrawal Himself from them (6)
- He would pour His wrath out on them (10)
- He would destroy them (11-12)
- He will tear them to pieces and not be there to help (14)
- He will carry them off and send no one to rescue them (14)
- He will retreat … Until they admit their guilt and earnestly seek Him (15)
And He told them why …
- They had been a snare (1)
- They had become prostitutes in life and in their hearts (3,4)
- They had become corrupt (3)
- They were arrogant (5)
- They remain in their sin, intent on pursuing idols (5,11)
- They are unfaithful (7)
- They give birth to illegitimate children (7)
March 17, 2018
Reflections From the Week
Father, I confess this study is difficult for me – such a reminder of times past when I was not faithful to Your ways and a sad eye opener to the consequences I am facing even now … But thank You that with those hard reminders also comes the awareness of how You pursued me 💕 how You did not forsake me 🙌🏻 and how You have forgiven me ❤️ Thank You for letting me hear Your tender voice in the wilderness, for making my ‘valley of trouble into a gateway of hope’, and for leading me back under the shelter of Your Wings and the foot of the cross where Your Grace poured out … where I have known and learned from Your faithfulness …. love …mercy…grace…and compassion 🙌🏻. Help me to continue walking faithfully with You – never again forsaking You for other gods. Guard me Father from getting stuck in thoughts and regrets from the past for I know there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! Help me instead to fix my thoughts on You – and all that is true and honorable, and right and pure, and lovely and admirable – to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise 🙌🏻 For there I will find peace that guards my heart and mind as I live in Christ Jesus. Thank You that even now as the enemy targets me with all my wrong choices and their affects on myself and others – Your Spirit reminds me of the confidence that I have through Christ Jesus – that neither death nor life, neither Angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor ANYTHING in creation will be able to separate me from Your love ❤️.