HOSEA AND THE HOOKER
(Context for this study is the entire book of Hosea)
In making an attempt to understand the book of Hosea and the man, I confess to being stumped at times. I don’t’ think like an ancient Hebrew, so the language and ideas still sound foreign and strange to me. There seems to be no reason for me to tell you I have a grip on all that’s going on here.
Someone with a flair for the flamboyant might entitle this book Hosea and the Hooker, or perhaps A Prophet and a Prostitute.
The main idea of the story, stated quite clearly and simply, is that a prophet named Hosea married a prostitute named Gomer. Then stayed with her through thick and thin, even had at least three children with her. A paternity test may have revealed that he wasn’t the biological father of at least two of them. He treated the children as his own. He kept his marriage vow, and she broke it and his heart in a thousand cruel, selfish, whoring ways.
While trying to cope with his sad situation, a light came on in his mind and he said: “Hey! This is exactly how the people of my country are treating Yahweh, the Great Lord God of the Universe.”
And through the centuries, his plight has served to illustrate man’s inability and determined unwillingness to keep any of his promises to his Creator. And it illustrates a God whose love will absorb the sins of His people, continue loving them, forgiving them, longing for them to come to their senses and come to Him. Even when they don’t know or care or return the love.
WHAT A GOD!
For my purposes at present, I’m trying just to look at the man in this story. I’m trying to understand how he really must have felt.
Most of the people you know would say that’s “a deal breaker.” I suspect his friends said: “Man, you’re crazy! Get rid of her. Throw her out.”
When you understand how marriage and divorce worked in those days in those places, you know he could have done that. Actually, adultery was a serious matter and a woman caught in such a situation could be stoned to death. On the spot. No trial necessary. A man who wanted out of the arrangement could just publicly make a pronouncement three times: “I divorce you.” And it was a done deal. The marriage was ended. The woman had no recourse.
But through it all, he kept on loving her!
WHAT A GUY!