When I was younger, I didn’t really care who wrote each book of the Bible or where it was written. It didn’t dawn on me to question the time period or the person who actually wrote it. I really just read it for the stories.
One day, as I grew older, I started to see the stories in a different light and my curiosity would take me to a place where I wanted to be standing right next to them in battle, or in front of a king. Seriously, I wanted to see their facial expressions and smell everything they were smelling (that could have been sweet or disgusting, depending on the story I was reading). The Bible started to come to life.
It’s east to read the Bible and just think of it as a book filled with adventure and poetry, but these were all written from real life. This all really happened to someone and it shaped history as we know it. Had even one of these events not really happened, our world would be completely different today. Isn’t that just amazing to think about?! One event alters the history of tomorrow. (That is quotable – lol)
When I got into college, I had to take classes on how to study the Bible. At the time, it was just another mandatory class to take, but, today, I appreciate that class almost more than any other class. I am able to understand who the writer was and explore words that I would have otherwise just passed over. I love to know meaning of words and the Bible is full of words that we need to know in our English understanding, but also in Greek and Hebrew. Studying words in other languages is fascinating. Truly it is!
I just want to explore Hosea with you today! It is an amazing book in the Bible. Have you studied it? There is so much to learn and your imagination will definitely take you away to really living in the middle of it, if you will let it.
Here is the analytics of Hosea:
It was probably written by Hosea himself because a lot of it is written in the first person, but sometimes you will read parts of it in third person. Dynamics of writing is so fun! This book is in the setting of somewhere between 750 and 722 BC (before Christ). So, approximately when Hosea started ministry and when Assyria overran Israel. Israel was in a very bad place spiritually and morally.
Hosea was a prophet and he married a prostitute. Yep! Crazy! God had a purpose though…Hosea’s marriage was a representation of God’s relationship with Israel. See! It was a really bad time for Israel.
So, God gives Hosea a command, “When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, ‘Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.’” (1:2, NIV) Oh my! How many of you would go through with that command? Well, Hosea did and he had three children with her.
The story doesn’t end there… Hosea marries an adulteress named Gomer (I know, weird name, but there is meaning behind it – try and look that up on your own). Together, they start a family. Three kids later, each with a prophetic name (and they were horrible names), she returns to her previous life. Why? I can’t fathom why, but God knew and He had a lesson in it. I seriously would have been done and really upset (that is a nice word for how I would have reacted), but Hosea consults with God and God says to go and buy her back from her self-induced slavery.
Throughout this whole book, God speaks of the warnings of what will happen when His people disobey. Israel didn’t listen and they had to suffer the consequences of turning their backs on God. But, God also used Hosea and his life story to share the promises of blessing for those who repented of their sin. “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.” (8:7, NIV)
This book has a redemptive story though. Even though Israel was so horrible and disobey and rejected God, He still loved them. He forgave them and He bestowed blessings over them. In 14:4 it says, “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.” (NIV)
This gives me hope because if God can still love the Israelites after all they did, then I know that God can still love me. I am a sinner too and I break God’s heart with things I choose to do, but He loves me just the same. He never has turned His back on me…and…He NEVER will. Redemption is for anyone who wants it.
Lord, thank You for this redemption story through Hosea. The things that You teach us through Your Word are life altering. We often don’t think of how deep your love is for each of us, but please keep reminding us. In Jesus’ name, amen.