In the Bible, many of the prophets are instructed by God to do some strange and bizarre things. Isaiah is a case in point. Perhaps the most extreme, however, is Hosea. In short, God tells him to marry a prostitute so that his life can become an object lesson of God’s unconditional love.
Imagine young Hosea coming home one day and telling his parents: “Guess what? God called me to be his prophet!” His parents beam with pride, until a bombshell is dropped on them, “…and he told me to hook up with a prostitute.”
That seems so inappropriate, ill-advised, and ungodly, yet that is what God says to do—and Hosea obeys.
The strangeness doesn’t stop there, however. When his ex-hooker-wife gets pregnant, God tells Hosea to give the kids some unbecoming names. His daughter is given a name that means “not loved” and his second son, a name that means “not my people.” This suggests that Hosea has reason to question who actually fathered his wife’s children.
Next, his wayward spouse splits, returning to her former way of life. So, God tells Hosea to go find her and take her back.
Although this chain of events was a horrific ordeal for Hosea, it is a profound object lesson for us: regardless of what we do, how badly we act, or how far we stray, God loves us unconditionally and pursues us relentlessly.
[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Hosea 1-4, and today’s post is on Hosea 1:2-3.]
Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s book, Return to Me: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope from the Minor Prophets
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.
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