Hosea


The key to the book of Hosea is to be found in the prophet’s own marriage. He couldn’t help loving a slut of a woman and he couldn’t make her faithful to him. The book falls into unequal parts.
The first part, Chapters 1, 2 and 3 is all about his own personal heartbreak. He fell in love with a Baal temple girl called Gomer thinking that once they were married she’d change and be faithful to him. She didn’t and she wasn’t. The marriage was a disaster.
She had at least one child of whom Hosea was not the father. He tried everything, from restricting her freedom and being stern, to going on a second honey¬moon, only to discover that whatever you do you can’t make somebody faithful if they don’t want to be.
That is exactly how God feels about His people – heartbroken by their unfaithfulness. In the end she left him and was found for sale in a slave market and Hosea, unbelievably, paid in full to have her back. To buy back your own is what the words “to redeem” mean.
The second half of the book – Chapter,4 to the end -is how God feels about His people who have been un¬faithful to Him just as Hosea’s wife was unfaithful to her man.
The book of Hosea begins in a crisis and in it you begin to see the suffering love of Christ in Hosea, for in the rejection of that suffering love there is a window into the eternal feeling of rejection in the heart of God. Just as Hosea loved his un¬faithful wife and couldn’t stop loving her, he saw that’s exactly how God feels about His people.
That’s what the suffering of the Cross means – not merely physical pain – but total rejection. It is the worst pain of all.
So the key to the book of Hosea is the experience of the broken-hearted lover.

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