The Book of the Twelve (Minor Prophets) 05: Hosea (3) Redeemed Again
Winston Churchill was saved from death twice; by a gardener and his son, Sir Alexander Fleming. Churchill said, “Rarely has one man owed his life twice to the same person.”
Hosea is the story of a Redeemer rejected and a twice redeemed Prostitute. In this oft-referenced book (in the NT), we see both the kindness and severity of the Lord. We know of God's promised chastisement:
But beyond all the value of the book in terms of understanding the history of Israel or the later revelation of the NT, it is basically a Love Story. The story of a broken heart. As the story unfolds, we know God called Hosea to take a “wife of Adultery” (Gomer) and she bore children of adultery with symbolic names:
FULFILLED IN 2:23
The first child (a son) was named Jezreel (for a place of bloodshed), “to sow/plant.”
the second name Lo-Ruhamah (no mercy/no pity).
The third child, a son, was named Lo-Ammi, which means “not My people.”
Despite the warnings and chastisement, God is a covenant keeping Lord and the Israelites will be redeemed again.
God promises: 2:19 “And I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, 2:20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD. 2:21 “And it will come about in that day that I will respond,” declares the LORD. “I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth, 2:22 And the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine, and to the oil, And they will respond to Jezreel.
In chapter 3, we have the summary of Israel's life. It also fills in the story that Gomer had sunk to the very bottom and now after years of infidelity, she was reduced to being sold into slavery:
3:1 Then the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband [livin boyfriend], yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.”
Yet, the purchaser would be Hosea, himself. Though Gomer deserved her status as a slave and being sold, Hosea illustrates the rich grace of God. She was saved again, redeemed again.
The basic story is that God redeems Israel again and this is at the heart of the gospel proclamation: "1Peter 1:18-19 - knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 1:19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ."
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more