Introduction to Hosea

The Story of Hosea is a story of heartbreak, of betrayal, of grace; it is the story of God and his people. In what is the most shocking of all commands given to a prophet of God, Hosea is asked to rearrange his entire life, to give himself completely to a wife who repeatedly seeks after sexual gratification through prostitution. In other words, she seeks her lovers, in exchange for provision and care. Hosea is told to take her as his wife, to have children, and to name them strange things like “Jezreel,” “Not-my-people,” and “No-mercy.” Hosea’s wife Gomer will not be faithful; she will give herself to her former life and forsake Hosea’s care. Hosea will mourn her and he will reject her. Yet, he will not utterly reject her, the flame of his love will be rekindled and he will go and purchase what was already his, he will redeem his wife from the depths to which she has fallen. They will renew promises and Hosea will heal her from her destitution. All of this God ordains and commands his prophet, and Hosea, though pain will be very real, though his eyes will not be dry, though he will experience profound loneliness and separation, the ache of love once found, but lost, Hosea will obey the word of the Lord.

All of this begs the question, why? What purpose could God have in asking his prophet to put himself through this pain? The answer is profoundly mysterious, and yet a startling grace. God was asking his prophet not only to deliver his message, but to live God’s own experience of the rejection and harlotry of his people. In other words, Hosea is supposed to experience what God does. He, as God’s prophet, is to show the people the appalling reality of their own harlotry, in 3D and full vivid colors. This goes deeper than an artistic depiction or film. Hosea’s empathy for God himself is supposed to give power to his message. Hosea’s life is set forward to deliver three short words. These three short words are invested with tremendous power; they are words that have tremendous power to condemn, but that also carry with them the promise of redemption. These words are, “You are Gomer.”

For Emmanuel Christian School Chapel

The video series of which this is the first will be shown:

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