Hosea is a Hebrew word that means salvation. The prophet was given a unique ministry because he was told to take an adulterous woman as his wife. (As an aside, at least one study seems to show that cheating is not as common as it used to be.) This is normally a bad idea, but God was going to use his family as an object lesson. If that sounds horrifying to you, I would agree on a few different levels.
First, I know that from time to time I have been known to have offer up my family as sermon fodder. That’s not always a good idea. If I have the whole internet, why pick on my family?
Second, what if God allows events into my life so that I might be able to minister to a family more effectively. I am a product of my past for better or worse. Might God that past for his purposes? I’m sure he could. I would rather NOT know when he is.
Finally, who would take a wife knowing that she will be unfaithful? If that sounds like a bad idea to you, how does it sound to God? Let that sink in a moment . . . If it hasn’t hit you like a truck yet, let me spell it out for you. Why would God pick me (or you – in your case) to be part of his family/kingdom/eternity? We rebel, we’re ungrateful and unfaithful. Despite our unfaithfulness, God is always faithful to us.
It was that message of grace that God offers up for his people in a time of spiritual apathy and political and economic prosperity. Hosea and the prophet Amos were contemporaries. They lived and worked around 750 BC. Sadly, God’s people didn’t listen to the words of these minor prophets. In 722 God allowed them to be utterly destroyed by the Assyrians.
Want to hear more? Watch this week’s lesson, the second in our series on the minor prophets: Minor Prophets Major Messages – Hosea.
Please click HERE for the Bible class slides.