Lessons from Hosea’s Women
31 Days of Women from Scripture
Day Twenty-Seven: Lessons from Hosea’s Women
Since God gave Eve to Adam, I cannot think of anyone for whom God picked a mate. He gave instructions about who not to choose – but He didn’t say, “Here is the wife I want you to marry”.
Hosea is a special case. God didn’t choose the woman for Hosea, but He was very specific about what kind of woman Hosea was to marry.
God had a lesson He wanted Israel to learn and He needed Hosea to be intimately familiar with the same type of circumstances to teach it to them.
Hosea is first told to go marry “a wife of harlotry” (Hos. 1:2). He is to marry a woman who is a prostitute and he is to have children with her. God’s reason for this – “for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord.”
Hosea is obedient. He goes and marries Gomer and they have three children. The children are symbolic of the result of Israel’s harlotry – an end will come to the kingdom (Jezreel), God’s compassion has run out (Lo-ruhamah), and they will no longer be His people (Lo-ammi) (Hos. 1:4, 6, 9).
Gomer, like Israel, is unfaithful to Hosea and does not give up the life of being a harlot. God tells Hosea to put her away for harlotry (Hos. 2:2).
Then God tells Hosea to marry a different woman. This time he is to marry a woman who is an adulteress (Hos. 3:1). Hosea finds such a woman and redeems her for 15 shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley (Hos. 3:2). This woman must agree to a change in behavior to purify herself from her previous sin (Hos. 3:3-5).
Obviously, these women are not here as examples of women for us to follow. They are to us the same as they were to Israel – a warning.
With both, Israel and Judah, God was ever patiently working to bring His people back around to loving and worshiping Him. Israel ended up leaving Him and never returning. Judah was sent into exile for a time, but a remnant was saved in keeping with God’s promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-7) and David (1 Kin. 2:45; Jer. 33:17; Luke 1:32).
Every person today is touched by the saving of the remnant. The Lord’s church is God’s people today (1 Pet. 2:9-10; Acts 20:28). God being the same (Ps. 103:17; Heb. 13:8; James 1:17) still expects His people to be faithful to Him. When we turn away from God and worship other gods, whatever form they may be, it is spiritual adultery (2 Pet. 2:14-15).
Colossians 3:5 says, “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.”
Idolatry is not limited to standing before a graven image and offering acts of worship to it. Idolatry is putting anything in first place before God.
Idolatry is putting your husband before God.
It is idolatry to put your children before God.
It is idolatry to put your job and your social life before God.
If a choice must be made and you choose to push God aside – you are not being faithful to Him. Idolatry = adultery.
God uses this term to describe how His people act towards Him when they disobey because it is supposed to be disgusting to us. I am afraid that our society has so blurred the concepts of sex, marriage, and morality that something like adultery just doesn’t seem that bad anymore.
It is telling that the only thing, other than death, God permits to end a marriage is adultery (Mt. 19:3-9). Adultery is that bad. While sin is sin, some sins bear deeper consequences.
The “good news” is that even this deep cutting hurt can be forgiven! If we have turned out hearts toward the world and pushed God aside, He is waiting for us to take that step back towards Him (2 Cor. 7:9-11; 2 Pet. 3:9).
Read the book of Hosea. See how God describes His view of what Israel did to Him. God reminds them of what He did for them in Egypt. How He made them a great nation and delivered them from bondage. God spent all those years, all that effort, proving to Israel (and the rest of the world) what they should have already known. God is God Most High (Ps. 57:2) and He is worthy of our thanks (Ps. 50:14; Phil. 4:6), our worship (Ps. 29:2; Jn. 4:24), and our love (Eph. 5:2; 1 Jn. 4:19; 1 Jn. 5:2).
So, look at Hosea’s women. Learn the lesson God, and Hosea, worked so hard to teach Israel. These things were written to give each of us HOPE (Rom. 15:4). God’s grace is ready and waiting for us to access through obedient faith (Rom. 5:2; Eph. 2:8-10; Titus 2:11-14). Israel didn’t heed Hosea’s warnings, but you can.
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