A strange family (Hosea 1-7)

Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days. Hosea 3:5

When I was a kid, one of my favorite TV programs was the “Munster’s.” The program was simply a funny show that depicted a family that was let’s say, “very strange.”  There was Hermon, the Father, “who was a modern-day Frankenstein.” His son, Eddie, “a modern-day werewolf.  His wife, Lille, “a strange woman indeed.”  Grandpa, “a modern-day Dracula.” And then one ordinary woman, a niece.  Together they made up one strange family.

Today’s readings reveal us to a strange family.  The writer, “Hosea,” is called to begin a strange family.  He is to marry a prostitute and together they were to birth 3 strange children.

The story of their family depicts Israel during her days of decline (750 B.C. to 722 B.C.).  Israel is in great rebellion against God.  She is attempting religious syncretism (which is the blending of true and false religion).  She wanted to maintain a religious connection to God (to receive his blessings) but she also wanted to maintain worship of Baal (the fertility God).

God uses Hosea to teach Israel a lesson in what her attempt at syncretism really looked like.  Israel was like the prosititue Hosea married.  She would run after other men (false Gods).  Her deeds would give way to the birth of children that had the following impact:

  • Jezreel-you are sowing judgment on yourselves.
  • No Mercy-God will not allow you go without wrath.
  • Not my people-God will reject this nation.

Judgment would come to this strange family.  But in the midst of judgment God would promise a time of redemption, 1:10-11.   Israel would not listen, 2:1-12, judgment was coming.  Israel,’s only hope would be in God’s Work of grace, 2:13-23 (Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 8:3-13).

But for the time, Israel would be like Gomer, she would go into every idolatrous place she could go.  3:1.  Hosea would predict judgment upon these people (4-7).  He would clearly state the why of judgment.  This was a strange family.

But right in the middle of this mess between Israel and her God we see hope.  Here is what the Bible records in 3:2-5

So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech[a] of barley.And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.” For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days.

This is a miracle.  While Gomer was at her worst, Hosea goes and redeems her for her sin.  The price he pays is half silver and half produce.  To our shock he pays the price for the purchase of a slave, 30 pieces of silver.  Think through this.  What a picture we have of Jesus who was sold, by Judas, for 30 pieces of silver.  Jesus Christ has purchased a strange people for his family.

 

I Peter 2:9-10

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

What great mercy in being called into God’s family.  You and I are so blessed!!!  The message of Hosea is so amazing!!!

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