thirty-pieces-of-silverAs we enter the section of Minor Prophets – we are first introduced to Hosea. His name means “Salvation” and to understand his mission we must first understand when he is actually ministering. While Daniel was part of the southern section of the Israelite nation (Judah) sent into captivity in Babylon – Hosea is ministering in the northern section BEFORE they were conquered by Assyria. (Note: The Prophets are not in chronological order in the Bible). Hosea’s main mission is to warn the 10 northern tribes of impending judgment due to their sin and rebellion against God. Although a short 14 chapters make up this Prophets teaching, he actually was in operation for over 72 years (based on the length of king’s reigns mentioned in Hos 1:1). So for 70+ years this guy warned, pleaded, begged, cautioned the Israelites to turn back to God and repent. As we shall see – God had him perform some crazy stunts in an effort to get the people’s attention.

God tells Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer. (Did I say crazy?)
He told Hosea that she would reject him – break their marriage contract – and go back to her ways of adultery and vile.  This was to be an example of what Israel was doing to God. He bought her – paid her contract – yet she was going back to false gods and the world just like an adulterous lover.
In chapter 1, Hosea obeys God and buys out Gomers contract. They have 3 children with names that speak much more than just a label. The first, Jezreel, means “God will scatter” and was a warning that God was about to allow His people to be conquered and scattered across the world. The second, Lo-ruhamah, means “I will have mercy (compassion) no more” and the third, Lo-ammi, which means “Not my people”.
Three children – three names – three warnings (laid out in chapter 2).
In chapter 3 Gomer did just as God said she would. She left Hosea and the children to return to her old life.
(I don’t know about you… but I would say ‘Good riddance’!)
But God tells Hosea to go and find Gomer, pay off her new contract (again), and bring her back into his home. This is a beautiful example of grace and mercy from the Lord. Israel had sinned, rejected Him time and again… yet He would go and find her, pay her debts, and bring her back to Him.
It cost Hosea 15 pieces of silver and a load of barley (3:2).
It cost God His Son, Jesus.
Sold for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 27:3).

This strange display God had Hosea re-enact was more than a sign for Israel in that day. It is a sign for us as well. Every time someone rejects the Lord’s advances, returns to the world like an adulterous; God reaches out once again.
Like a scorned Lover.
Willing to face embarrassment.
Willing to pay the debt of the new contract.
How He loves us so.

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,
PK

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