Hosea Chapter One
Written By: Timothy Fish Published: 10/13/2008
The book of Hosea begins with the words, “the word of the Lord that came unto Hosea.” It is very easy to pass over the first verse and say, “Yeah, yeah, the Lord spoke to Hosea. Let’s get to the good stuff.” But, if we pause for a moment, we see something important. The Lord spoke to Hosea during the time that Jeroboam was king of Israel and Uzziah, Jothan, Ahaz and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. This tells us two things. One, the Lord spoke to Hosea over a period of many years. This wasn’t a one time thing. It took a while for God to reveal the whole message. Two, Hosea’s message for all of God’s people and not just one of the two kingdoms. You can read about this period in 2 Chronicles 26-29 and 1 Kings 12-14.
King Uzziah was only sixteen when he became king of Judah. He reigned for fifty-two years. Jothan reigned sixteen years. Ahaz reigned sixteen years. Hezekiah reigned twenty-nine years. Jeroboam had a parallel reign of forty-one years. While the beginning of Hosea’s message may have begun late in Uzziah’s reign, we could still be looking at seventy years in which Hosea heard the word of the Lord.
Hosea was a contemporary of Isaiah. You will recall that great passage from Isaiah six which begins, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.” Hosea had already begun to hear the word of the Lord in the year that King Uzziah died.
Hosea 1:2 is the beginning of what we normally think of when we think of Hosea. The Lord sent Hosea out to take a wife of whoredoms because the had departed from the Lord. It isn’t clear that the Lord told Hosea that he should marry Gomer specifically. It almost appears that the Lord was telling him that any whore would do. There doesn’t appear to be anything special about Gomer, other than she agreed to marry him. When we get off into sin, the things that make us special fade away. We are just one more sinner in a world full of them.
Hosea married Gomer and she had three children. Just the time required to carry a child means that this took several years, so Gomer stayed with Hosea for some time. Hosea named the first child Jezreel, because God promised to avenge the blood of Jezreel on Jeho and to cause the kingdom of the house of Israel to cease. The daughter, Hosea named Loruhamah because the Israel had not obtained mercy from the Lord. It wasn’t that the Lord didn’t want to give them mercy, but they had turned away from him. But the Lord did extend mercy to the house of Judah, as we see in verse seven.
We are uncertain of the father of Gomer’s third child. The name Hosea gave him was Loammi, meaning Not My People. The name spoke to the fact that God told Israel they were not his people, but if Hosea’s life directly parallels that of God and Israel then Loammi may have been the child of another man.
But that isn’t the end of the story. At the end of chapter one, God renews his promise to the children of Israel. God promised that they would become as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered. He went on to say that in the very same place where it had been said “Ye are not My people” it would be said, “Ye are the sons of the living God.” Let’s suppose that Loammi wasn’t Hosea’s son. Even so, I think Hosea probably loved the child and treated him like one of his own children. The Lord promised that Israel and Judah would come together under one king and they would be his people and they would obtain mercy.
For the Love of a Devil. This novel is a modern retelling of Hosea in which a beleaguered English teacher, Geoff Mywell, longs for the love he thought his wife once had for him, but when she leaves him for another man on their fifth anniversary, he is forced into the life of a single parent. He isn't sure whether to give in to the relief of having her out of the house or be sorry that the marriage seems broken beyond repair. He goes after her as she moves from one man to the next. He wants her to come home, but he knows that the best he can do is try to provide for he in some small way. He keeps asking her to come home and just when he thinks she is nearly persuaded her grandmother forces her into a dark world beyond Geoff's reach. Geoff must enter the darkness and pull her back or lose the woman he loves forever.
It is available at Amazon.com for $15.99.