Saturday, July 4, 2009
Hosea, Chapter 1
God has been taking me through the book of Hosea. Again, I am reminded of how the word of God is living and active, like a double edged sword, and also how it convicts and brings to light another aspect of God like a crystal that is turned to reflect various flashes of light from depths that were not at first realized. I have been pondering and trying to digest the first chapter for a couple of weeks now, and was able to go a bit deeper this morning. A beautiful, quiet July morning in a big, quiet house often helps:)
Verse 2 has made me readjust my thinking of who God is all together, and makes me ponder His plans for our individual lives. When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, "Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord." Scripture doesn't indicate whether God spoke audibly to Hosea or just to his heart. Either way, I can only imagine Hosea's response. In the period between two sentences God spoke to Hosea and then Hosea married Gomer, a prostitute, and she bore him a son, possibly not even of Hosea. Imagine the turmoil in his life. How did He react? How did his family react? How many times did his mother say to him "I told you not to marry that woman"? How would Hosea be able to come home every night wondering who his wife was sleeping with, all the while knowing that he was obeying God? How did the "church" respond? How many times does God allow things in our life that do not obviously look like His hand, but are used for our sanctification? How many times do we flip that coin and blatantly sin and say it was God's will to sanctify and even bless us?
God used this example of Gomers prostitution to reveal to Hosea the prostitution of Israel, God's own people. The land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing form the Lord. Do we not see this first hand in our nation? In our churches? In our lives? The vilest adultery is departing from the Lord. We become prostitutes with the world as we deny the Lord and His Word. I have had to ask myself what have I prostituted to the world? As that wonderful sister of mine and I were discussing just this week, it becomes so easy to falter on our beliefs and stands of the Word of God. How much do you love and tolerate so as to exemplify Christ's teachings of love (especially to other Christians with varying beliefs), and how much do you not back down from the revelation that God has made clear to you? What is considered judgement that we are not "supposed" to do, and what is allowing God's people to stray even further because we are not upholding His word? What becomes acceptance of sin through our silence?
Gomer conceives and bears children. Through these children God speaks again. As parents we put a lot of time and thought into the names of our children (well, except for Cole as he was supposed to be a girl named Grace and being that we had just gone to the theater to watch that movie with the little boy named Cole since I wasn't ever going to go into labor anyway, and being it was our doctors birthday the middle name of Johnathon was an easy choice). Alexis has the middle name of her Grandpa in heaven, even spelled D-o-n in honor of him. For Trent we chose his middle name after my maiden name, Lee. For Grace and Micah we honored their Indian heritages by using their Indian names given by their orphanages for their middle names; Karuna and Jagat. But in the naming of Gomer's children God chooses names like Jezreel, because God himself will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and He will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. Gomers second child, a daughter, was named Lo-Ruhamad, which means "not loved". For God would no longer show His love to the house of Israel. A third child, a son, was to be named Lo-Ammi, which means "not my people". God declared through this infant that Israel would not be His people, and He would not be their God.God promises restoration and salvation in spite of this. In spite of His people rejecting and denying Him, even departing from the Lord, He promises to come back after His anger.
In verse 7 "Yet I will show love to the house of Judah, and I will save them- not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but by the Lord their God." He promises even unification between Israel and Judah, as well as restoration of Israel back to Himself in Jezreels life time; but only after the sifting has been completed.