Summary: Hope rests upon the heart of God. Hope tells us the desire of God. Hope has the potential to transform our most significant relationships into reflections of the covenant we have with Him!
A Covenant of Old ~ A Hope Renewed
Scripture Text: Hosea 1.2 – 2.1
If you are not familiar with Hosea ~ …his life and the message that God told him to announce ~ …if you don’t know that-much about Hosea, …then the story may be a little surprising. Actually, if you just looked at Hosea’s life, …you’d think you were reading the script for a modern-day soap-opera! But there’s more-goin’-on-here, than the broken-relationships and goofy-names…
So, let’s begin by quickly going through the list-of-characters. First, there’s Hosea. He’s probably a young man; …a man-of-God. We’re introduced to him by telling us that God began to ‘speak’ to him. He’s a prophet ~ …which means that he is a spokesman-for-God. He tells-it, like-it-is. Sometimes prophets are bombastic-and-confrontational; …other-times, they’d just-as-soon fade-into-the-shadows as-soon-as they get-done delivering God’s-Word. But, God gives Hosea an interesting directive: …He’s to-get himself-married! And-so, as-the-story-unfolds, …we see Hosea becoming a husband and a father, in-addition to-being a prophet. In-fact, a good-portion of the message that God wants Hosea to-proclaim is-made through his marriage-and-his-children! In-other-words, his family-life is a sort-of living-parable!
The second person we find in the story is Gomer. She is a lady of-questionable-character. Now, biblical scholars are divided when it comes to Gomer. Some think that she was already a prostitute when God directed Hosea to marry her. Others-say that she was not; but became a harlot sometime after they were wed. Still-others believe that while she wasn’t a prostitute before they were married, …she was a flirtatious, maybe-even promiscuous woman. And God told Hosea to marry her. But-whatever her attitude-and-reputation was-before they were married, …we know that after Hosea married Gomer that things unraveled in some-pretty-ugly-ways! Gomer is Hosea’s wife. She bears three children ~ some-of-whom may not be Hosea’s. And she is an adulteress. Not-the-kind of wife, …not the kind of marriage that you’d be-lookin’-for!
Three children are born into this mess-of-a-marriage. The first is Jezreel. His name means, “God plants”; …and it’s the name of a town that was nestled in a beautiful valley. However, through-the-course of Israel’s- istory, several-different massacre’s happened-there. And-so, this wonderful-little-town had ‘murder’ and ‘massacre’ woven-into its history-and-reputation. One Bible commentator says that naming a child “Jezreel” in ancient-Israel, …would be like naming a child “Auschwitz” or “Hiroshima” today! Can you imagine giving your child one-of-those names!?!... Talk-about a stigma! But, it doesn’t stop with the first-child.