Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Mon, 07/12/2009 – 14:36
Bible Book: Hosea
Verse: 1 – 12
Text: Hosea 1:1-12The first twelve verses of this book reflect in a nutshell the message of the book as a whole. “The basic message of Hosea is that God loves Israel. HOWEVER, they have sinned so grievously that he is forced to punish them. NEVERTHELESS, he has not given them up for good and will restore them to himself again.” (Quoted from Mike Butterworth with my emphasis.)
Having said this, it is also necessary to comment that this story of Hosea and Gomer is more than a parable of God’s relationship with Israel. It is a real-life story involving real-life people. As a real-life story it pulls us into the reality of a broken world with many broken people. In this world Hosea has to prophesy about God’s love, and he is called to demonstrate this love.
God calls his prophet and instructs him to marry Gomer. Although the details of this story are not clear (Bible commentators and even translations hold different views on details) we can be confident that there are glimpses of hope in this story (compare 2:14,16 and 3:1-3). For Gomer and especially Hosea this is not an easy road to travel. The sins of Gomer’s unfaithfulness bring sorrow and hardship in Hosea’s house.
Love can triumph over many adversaries. And when this love is anchored in the love of God it will conquer (compare 11:8).
God loves Israel and he loves Gomer. His love for Israel is proclaimed through his prophet Hosea and his love for Gomer is demonstrated through this man who becomes her faithful husband.
People who are involved in the world of HIV and AIDS are daily reminded that we are living in a broken world. In this world we have the wonderful message of God’s love. We are called to demonstrate this love in our relationships with our own marriage partners, our friends and the people we meet who may be stigmatised by others.
To think about (or discuss): Why is it easier to talk about the love of God than to put it into practice in our relationships?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)