When one reads the Book of Hosea, really reads it, not merely skims over the writing, that person cannot help but feel the pain, anguish,loneliness, fear, anger,opelessness, self pity, self doubt, and jealousy that the poor humble servant of God, Hosea, must have felt. At the same time, the reader of the Book of Hosea also shares the joy, happiness, and love that Hosea ultimately achieves.
This book, number 28 of the Old Testament, could be read as a fictional novel and thoroughly enjoyed by the reader. However, The Book of Hosea is not fiction. Infect, it is a instructional manual from God, somewhat like The Song of Solomon. The Song of Solomon gives us spiritual principles and rules under who’s guidelines we are supposed to architect our dating and marital lives. The Book of Hosea provides us with principles as well:
1. God is a loving forgiving God.
2. Our marriages and relationships are never over until God decides they are over.
However, while the Song of Solomon never mentions God, The Book of Hosea is filled with God throughout.
Hosea loved his wife, Gomer. I have read many accounts that describe Gomer as a very beautiful woman. Whether these descriptions are accurate or not, is not important. What really matters is that Hosea loved her, with all his heart. Gomer could have been quite unattractive in the world’s eyes. Hosea did not see through those eyes. He saw her through his heart’s eyes. I believe my wife, Tina is the most beautiful creature on Earth. To me, the only person that even rivals her beauty is my son, Joseph. Others might beg to differ with my rather one-sided opinion. To me it does not matter. I see Tina, my soul’s partner, and Joseph, my joyful son, through my eyes, not theirs. Hosea loved Gomer and probably thought of her as I do Tina. Whenever someone feels the utter betrayal that an adulterous affair painfully wrenches down upon their life,(and the lives of their children), I believe that that person’s body goes through severe changes. It is quite common for a person to lose a dangerously great deal of weight during this time. Their appetite shuts down from their mind’s hopelessness. It is as if their body decides that food is no longer necessary since the heart is no longer beating. I believe stress caused by this situation also affects the human body. Some researchers suggest that studies indicate the metabolism is sped up during this period of sorrow, causing even further weight loss and health problems. I would imagine Hosea suffered some similar problems. Hosea also probably endured other traits common to victims of adultery. He certainly felt loneliness and emptiness because his wife left him for another man. He most assuredly suffered from a severe lack of self confidence. After all, he was in his eyes, a failure. He was not good enough to satisfy Gomer’s marital needs. I am most certain Hosea doubted his masculinity, not in a homosexual way, but in worthless feeling, inferiority complex type of way. After all, Gomer’s lover must be superior in everything to Hosea. He assuredly must have been a better lover, a better provider, probably even in Hosea’s eyes he would have been a better, whatever. If the lover had played golf Hosea would probably feel that Gomer felt he was a better golf player. And much like whether Gomer was pretty or not, in Hosea’s mind Gomer was probably feeling that way. Hosea to his salvation was a man of God. He would not have survived without our Precious Lord’s help. It is evident in chapter 2, verse 2, that Hosea has run the gamut of emotions . He has finally given up and is now quite angry as he tells his daughter Ammi:
Hosea 2:2 Plead with your mother, plead: for she [is] not my wife, neither [am] I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts;
But God was not ready for their relationship to be over. God instructed Hosea in ways to “get back” Gomer. Hosea could have been like many men and totally turned away from Gomer, but God lead him in the correct direction. Here God leads us too. God forgives us despite all the terrible things we do to Him and against Him. He expects us to forgive in that same way. God values marriage. He did not wake up one day and say, “ Hmmmm. how can I punish man ? I know I’ll give him a wife.” God values marriage. His covenant with us is much like our covenant with our spouse. It cannot be broken and does not change because of circumstances.
A little side note, if I may. Do you know the difference between a covenant and a contract? You see friends, when we go to the bank to borrow money, when we buy a car on credit, when we sign a mortgage note, that is a contract. Contracts have replaced the handshake agreement. Back in the olden days a man’s word was his bond. Now the type of bond you sign isinsurance, legal insurance for the lender, that you will keep your word.