What would you say if a Christian buddy claimed God had instructed him to marry an immoral girl? To say the least, you’d have reservations, proper? You’d in all probability inform him what the Bible says about being “unequally yoked” and warn him of the risks of missionary courting.
However what ought to we make of the truth that God appears to have instructed Hosea to do precisely that? The prophecy of Hosea might be greatest identified for the scandal of Hosea’s marriage to Gomer. So the query is easy: Why did God command his prophet to marry an immoral girl?
The explanation lies in the truth that prophets like Hosea have been referred to as to declare God’s Phrase—not solely in phrases, however usually in deeds as properly (cf. Isa. 20:2–4; Ezek. 24:15–27). They not solely functioned as covenant prosecutors, calling their hearers again to covenant faithfulness, however additionally they embodied the message of Yahweh. Certainly, a part of their communicative energy lies in how they incarnate Yahweh’s ache, demonstrating how deeply Israel had wronged him and the way extreme his judgment can be.
Hosea’s marriage to Gomer is a vivid instance.
Dishonest on Yahweh
Hosea faucets into an necessary theme from the Torah, through which Yahweh is seen as Israel’s husband and covenant infidelity is likened to marital unfaithfulness. Marriage thus turns into a metaphor for Yahweh’s covenant relationship with Israel, and whoredom a metaphor for idolatry.
On the heels of the golden-calf episode, Exodus 34 warns towards desk fellowship with the folks of the land as a result of intermingling would result in intermarrying with the outcome that Israel would “whore after their gods” (Ex. 34:15–16)—one thing they finally do in Numbers 25. Moses later declares with certainty that that is what’s going to occur after they enter the land (Deut. 31:16). They’ll cheat on their covenant husband and whore after different gods, scary Yahweh to forsake them for his or her infidelity (Deut. 31:17).
Hosea’s marriage as a prophetic sign-act reveals the size to which God is keen to go to wake us up from our sinful stupor.
That is precisely what Hosea’s prophetic ministry embodies. It begins with Yahweh’s command for him to take an immoral girl as his spouse, a command grounded in the truth that “the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD” (Hos. 1:2). It continues with the naming of his kids. In naming his daughter No Mercy (Hos. 1:6) and his son Not My Individuals (Hos. 1:9), key features of Yahweh’s covenant with Israel are reversed. As a result of they’ve cheated on him and damaged the covenant, the exodus might be reversed and the survivors taken into exile.
And but the story doesn’t finish there.
God’s Unchanging Love
In Hosea 3:1, Yahweh instructions his prophet, “Go again, and love a woman who is loved by another and is an adulteress” (the identical girl, for my part). The middle of gravity right here is the unconditional love and mercy of Yahweh that Hosea is known as to mimic as a prophetic sign-act.
Regardless of how faithless Israel turns into, God can’t bear to offer her up. As he says later in Hosea 11:8–9,
How can I provide you with up, O Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?
. . . My coronary heart recoils inside me;
my compassion grows heat and tender.
I cannot execute my burning anger;
I cannot once more destroy Ephraim;
for I’m God and never a person,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I cannot are available wrath.
Christians generally learn Hosea 1–Three and say, “Yeah, but how can God command his prophet to marry a woman to whom he is not ‘equally yoked’? Perhaps missionary dating is okay after all!”
The scandal is the purpose, and we should let it have its full impact. God’s boundless love for sinners is stunning and terrible unexpectedly, particularly when you think about the sinless savior—God Incarnate—hanging bare on a Roman cross.
However that’s to essentially misinterpret Hosea. The prophet is known as by God to enter into a wedding that capabilities, most scandalously, as an enacted parable, graphically—even shockingly—illustrating Israel’s infidelity to her husband, Yahweh. The punch this passage packs is that Yahweh God, in redeeming misplaced sinners, turned a cuckold immediately, taking to himself an untrue spouse. Strikingly, provocatively, and scandalously, he calls his prophet to do the identical with a view to shock his hearers and arrest them of their rise up, that they could think about extra deeply the specter of the approaching judgment.
Hosea’s marriage as a prophetic sign-act reveals the size to which God is keen to go to wake us from our sinful stupor. Our questions on this textual content (and every other) have to be pushed by truly in search of to grasp the textual content and the way it communicates the nice love of the Father. We mustn’t search to sanitize this textual content. The scandal is the purpose, and we should let it have its full impact. God’s boundless love for sinners is stunning and terrible unexpectedly, particularly when you think about the sinless Savior—God incarnate—hanging bare on a Roman cross.
Each Hosea’s marriage and Calvary’s cross reveal the boundless love of God in Christ. They present the extent to which God will go to avoid wasting rebels like us. The purpose isn’t missionary courting. The purpose is that you just’re a whore, however God loves you regardless of your whoring.
The purpose isn’t missionary courting. The purpose is that you just’re a whore, however God loves you regardless of your whoring.
Does being referred to as a whore offend you? Properly, our sin is definitely that offensive to our holy God, who made us for himself. Nevertheless, reasonably than being offended by God’s rebuke of our rise up towards him, allow us to be overwhelmed by his infinite love towards us. Could we rejoice in his love that goes to the extent of dying for sinners, washing and cleaning us with the water of his Phrase, with a view to current us “to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that we might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:26–27; cf. Rev. 19:6–10).