Day 17 – Hosea 1:1-2:1

Today, we look at another strange Bible story with a big message. Let’s remember God’s great commandments about how He is to be treated first, so that we understand His grief and anger when His people flagrantly disobeyed Him. The first two commandments of the big ten all deal with the way God expects to be treated.  “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods … “ —Exodus 20:2-5a.

So that’s clear. God is the one true God. He is jealous for His people’s affection in a holy, righteous way. He wants them to be His very own, and He knows all other ways are foolish and dangerous. One thing that made the Israelites stand out in the crowd of nations was this one God belief. Most of the nations around them had many gods. Our God, who is God, will have none of that.

And now we come to a very unique way of God reprimanding His children for forsaking Him for lesser gods who really were just statues. Hosea lived through the reigns of four kings. Jotham and Ahaz, the two middle kings mentioned, each reigned for 16 years. So, if Hosea overlapped with the king before and the king after them, he lived out a parable for 3-4 decades at least. He surely was noticed for his odd choice of a wife during this time period.

God told Hosea to go and marry an unfaithful woman, who was an active prostitute. Each of his three children were named specifically to teach a lesson to the Israelites. People must have shaken their heads at him and his decision. I wonder if the mothers in the crowd thought the names for his kids were kind of harsh. I know I did when I first read this!

Hosea was asked to lay aside whatever his own plans might have been. He was asked to choose a woman who would not be faithful to him and live out a parable for God’s people. Hosea laid aside his own dreams for God’s plan. Just like Mary and Joseph did, when they gave up the quiet little life they had imagined and said “yes” to parenting the Messiah. Just like David did, when he received the anointing to be king and then spent years and years hiding in caves as the present king tried to kill him. Being one of God’s chosen is not always easy, is it? Yet God has done great things through humble people who said “yes.” And the stories always end well, either this side of Heaven or the other, when the obedient ones hear “ Well done, good and faithful servant.” Let’s say “yes.”

My verse: Hosea 1:10 “Yet the time will come when Israel’s people will be like the sands of the seashore – too many to count! Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ it will be said, ‘You are the children of the living God.”

My response: I love Hosea’s optimism! It’s going badly for Israel. They’re a mess. God’s going to let them reap what they’ve sown. But he’s barely begun his prophecy of warning when he looks to the distant future where God’s still there, and He’s claiming them once again as His own. Oh Lord God! Your patience is amazing and Your love for us wayward ones is inexhaustible. It’s stunning, humbling, undeserved, yet so gratefully received. Thank You.

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Candie Remick
    May 17, 2022 10:09 pm

    My verse is also 1:10 in the NLT.
    It amazes me that no matter how many times the Israelites stopped
    listening to God and did things their own way, God always brings them
    back to Himself.
    So thankful that when I wander away and start doing things “my way,”
    You bring me back too! Thank You for Your love, mercy, grace
    and forgiveness and for never letting go of me. In Jesus’ name. Amen


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