The prophets were not usually given ‘normal’ or easy tasks by God.
The task that God gives to Hosea is much more personal than any of the other prophets. God tells Hosea to go and tell His people about their unfaithfulness and HIS faithfulness. It gets intimate when God tells Hosea to marry a prostitute. Hosea’s marriage to this prostitute show the unfaithfulness of people and the great faithfulness of God.
Hosea goes and takes a ‘wife of whoredom’. He has children with her. These kids receive interesting names. When we name our kids sometimes they serve a purpose. It may be to honor an ancestor or loved one. These children received names that describe the children of Israel.
Jezreel is the first born. This child’s name represents punishment for actions Israel took. Hosea and his wife Gomer had a second child, No Mercy. The couple have a third child they are instructed by God to name, Not My People.
After all of these children come Hosea’s wife returns to ‘whoredom’. She returns to he old ways of living, surviving and dependency. I pray you have never found yourself in prostitution BUT we have all found ourselves doing what Gomer has done. She is loved by her husband yet she wants to go out on her own. She wants to ‘earn’ love. She goes back to what is familiar even if it is not good. Don’t we do the same thing. We are loved by a faithful God. He gives us all we need, yet we want to go back to our sin, back to what is familiar. Jesus does for us what He told Hosea to do for His unfaithful wife.
And the Lord said to me, “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.” 2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech[a] of barley. 3 And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.”Hosea 3:1-3
Jesus does for us what Hosea did for his wife Gomer. He has bought us. He has bought us, not to live as his slave, but in an intimate relationship with Him.
These verses tell us what God has done for God’s people then and now:
Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
‘Draw us near to Him’
15 And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor[a a door of hope.
‘Turn Judgment into hope’
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
16 “And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ 17 For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more.18 And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish[b] the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. 19 And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.
21 “And in that day I will answer, declares the Lord,
I will answer the heavens,
and they shall answer the earth,
22 and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and they shall answer Jezreel,[a]
23 and I will sow her for myself in the land.
‘Give life instead of death.’
And I will have mercy on No Mercy,[b
and I will say to Not My People,[c] ‘You are my people’;
and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”
‘Declare over us ‘You are my people.’
All of us unfaithful Gomer’s can be filled with hope and comfort by these words. Jesus is drawing us near to himself. He is turning our death into life. He is turning Judgment into hope. He is sowing life in and for us. He is having mercy on us. He is declaring over us ‘You are my people’.