Scripture reading – Psalm 48; Hosea 1

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Today’s Scripture reading is Psalm 48 and Hosea 1. Our Bible study will be taken from Hosea 1.

The Book of the Prophet Hosea

Hosea was the first of the minor prophets (minor in that their books were shorter than those of the major prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel). He was God’s prophet to Israel (the northern ten tribes) and a contemporary of the prophet Isaiah (whose ministry focused primarily on Judah).

Scholars believe Hosea’s ministry spanned sixty or more years, for he was a prophet during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (kings of Judah), and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel” (Hosea 1:1). Hosea’s ministry concluded about the time Assyria conquered Israel and led the people of that nation into captivity.

The Book of Hosea chronicled the ministry of a man who courageously and faithfully warned God’s people that their wickedness and rebellion had provoked the wrath of God and that His judgment was imminent.

Romancing an Unfaithful Wife

Hosea 1 – Romancing an Unfaithful Wife

The Command (Hosea 1:1-2)


The book of Hosea opens with a startling command: “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” (Hosea 1:2).

Hosea was probably a young man when the LORD commanded him to take a wife. As a prophet, he required a testimony that was honoring to the LORD and worthy of His calling. Yet, the LORD commanded Hosea to take a wife who would bring shame and dishonor to his life and ministry. Some may debate if “Gomer” (Hosea 1:3) was a harlot when he took her as his wife. Nevertheless, she soon evidenced the bent of the “children of whoredoms” (Hosea 1:2).

The children of Israel had broken their covenant with the LORD and played the spiritual harlot. Thus, Hosea’s marriage came to symbolize Israel’s spiritual whoredom. The prophet’s wife would break the marriage covenant and bring heartache and disgrace to his ministry (Hosea 1:2).

The Children (Hosea 1:3-9)

Obeying the LORD’s command, Hosea “took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim” (Hosea 1:3), and she conceived and gave birth to three children. Her firstborn was a son whom the LORD commanded Hosea to name “Jezreel” (1:4), meaning “God sows” or “God scatters.” His name foretold the scattering of Israel as a people among the nations of the earth.

Gomer then gave birth to a daughter, whom God commanded be named “Lo-ruhamah” (Hosea 1:6), implying “Love withdrawn” or “Not Loved.” Her name symbolizes the LORD, who was determined He would no longer “have mercy upon the house of Israel” and would “take them away” (Hosea 1:6-7). Lo-ruhamah’s name was a reminder that the LORD’s love for Israel was unconditional; however, they had broken their covenant with Him and disobeyed His law and commandments. The LORD would, therefore, withdraw His loving protection of Israel as a nation.

Hosea’s third born was a son whom he named “Loammi,” meaning “not my people” (Hosea 1:9). As a nation, Israel was guilty of spiritual adultery, and the LORD

“Ye are the sons of the living God” (Hosea 1:10).

The Comfort (Hosea 1:10-11)

Hosea 1 ends with the LORD promising that though Israel had forsaken Him, He would not altogether reject them. Affirming His love and covenant with Israel, the LORD declared, “The children of Israel would grow as a people, and their number would “be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered” (Hosea1:10). Though in the immediate, they would be displaced from their homes and land as a nation, Hosea prophesied a day would come when the LORD declared, “Ye are the sons of the living God” (Hosea 1:10).

Closing thoughts –

Hosea, whose name means “Deliverer or Savior,” served as a type of the LORD…for he chose and loved an immoral woman. His wife, Gomer, was a dramatic reminder that Israel had broken her covenant with the LORD and served and worshiped idols. Israel’s spiritual infidelity deserved God’s judgment, yet His love would not forget or cast Israel aside forever (Zechariah 10:9).

Hosea 1:11 has not yet been fulfilled, and modern Israel is a secular nation (much like Gomer— a spiritual adulterer with the world). Yet, there is a day coming when “the children of Judah and the children of Israel [will]be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head” (Hosea 1:11).

After the captivity, Judah and a remnant of Israel were gathered together and returned to rebuild the Temple and, later, Jerusalem. However, the ultimate fulfillment of Hosea 1:11 will not be seen until there is “one head” and one ruler in Israel. Who will that head be? Who will rule Israel?

Ezekiel prophesied Israel would one day be ruled by One whom the LORD identified as “my servant David,” and that He would feed and shepherd Israel (Ezekiel 34:23-24).

Who is the Shepherd of Israel? He is the LORD, “the good shepherd [that] giveth His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

What a wonderful, loving, and long-suffering God we serve!

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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