Hosea 1 1 The Lord gave this message to Hosea son of Beeri during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash[a] was king of Israel.
Hosea’s Wife and Children
2 When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute,[b] so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.”
Father, at first I think this is so odd, but really it is amazing. You are right. I have been a prostitute. I have worshipped many other gods, and still do. I worship business success. I worship romance. I worship the praise of others. And yes, it is prostitution to give the honor due only to You, to any of these things. I don’t know how to live only for You 100% of the time. Please help me learn. Change me.
And then You tell a servant who loves You to marry a prostitute! I think that is asking so much of Hosea, and yet that is what You have done with me. You are committed to me. When I sin, You are there. When I stray and fall, You still are committed to me. You do not abandon me to my weakness. Thank-you so much for Your love and commitment. Please keep me forever. Somehow change me into a truly committed child.
3 So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son. 4 And the Lord said, “Name the child Jezreel, for I am about to punish King Jehu’s dynasty to avenge the murders he committed at Jezreel. In fact, I will bring an end to Israel’s independence. 5 I will break its military power in the Jezreel Valley.”
6 Soon Gomer became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to Hosea, “Name your daughter Lo-ruhamah—‘Not loved’—for I will no longer show love to the people of Israel or forgive them. 7 But I will show love to the people of Judah. I will free them from their enemies—not with weapons and armies or horses and charioteers, but by my power as the Lord their God.”
8 After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she again became pregnant and gave birth to a second son. 9 And the Lord said, “Name him Lo-ammi—‘Not my people’—for Israel is not my people, and I am not their God.
Father, it seems so harsh to make a child grow up with a cruel name. What did that child ever do? But Lord, I do see that perhaps we are all born to serve a higher purpose than our own lives. These children were born to be a symbol for Israel. Serving Your higher purpose in their life may cause them suffering, but it is Your will, and You are just and will someday make it right with them.
Holy Spirit, open my eyes to see that I am not here on Earth to be happy or loved or to enjoy my life. I am here to serve whatever purpose You have chosen for me. Help me to serve that purpose and to look to You for my joy and peace, regardless of my worldly situation. Glory to You God. Somehow let me bring You glory. Amen.
10 [c]“Yet the time will come when Israel’s people will be like the sands of the seashore—too many to count! Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ it will be said, ‘You are children of the living God.’ 11 Then the people of Judah and Israel will unite together. They will choose one leader for themselves, and they will return from exile together. What a day that will be—the day of Jezreel[d]
Father, this gives me hope that someday I will live as You want me to. Someday I will be the child You want me to be. Someday I’ll make it to the promised land. Give me patience and strength for the journey back home to You Father. Change me so I can live in peace.
- Hosea 1:1 Hebrew Joash, a variant spelling of Jehoash.
- Hosea 1:2 Or a promiscuous woman.
- Hosea 1:10 Verses 1:10-11 are numbered 2:1-2 in Hebrew text.
- Hosea 1:11 Jezreel means “God plants.”