[Israel] shall eat, but not be satisfied;
they shall play the whore, but not multiply,
because they have forsaken the Lord
to cherish whoredom, wine, and new wine,
which take away the understanding (Hosea 4:10-11).
The prophet Hosea lived when the kingdom was divided into Israel in the north and Judah to the south. Specifically, Hosea lived in the tumultuous decades preceding the Assyrian invasion and fall of the northern kingdom – when Israel was diluting her faith with the pagan worship of the fertility god, Baal.
God called Hosea to do something very unusual – to emulate His own broken relationship with Israel…specifically, to seek a whore for a wife (1:2-3), to name his illegitimate children “No Mercy” and “Not My People” (1:6-9), and then to rescue his runaway prostitute wife from the hands of slavery (3:1-3).
God called Hosea to love the unworthy in order to show Israel that their covenant God loved them. God promised the unfaithful Israel that he would one day forgive and restore…
“And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ […] I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.
And I will have mercy on No Mercy,
and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’;
and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’ (Hosea 2:16-20; 23)
This is the grace of our Covenant-Keeping-God…who died for us while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8) and who has purposed to bring all things in heaven and on earth under the authority of Christ (Eph 1:10)!
We read of His power, majesty and absolute sovereignty in the opening chapter of Revelation (1:13-16). Revelation records the vision given to John to encourage the suffering church. It is a book which has great value for us today as we learn of God’s plan not only to judge the ungodly and redeem the righteous but most importantly, to exalt the risen Savior as King over all heaven and earth!
I pray our journey through the last pages of God’s redemptive story will encourage us to wait all the more faithfully for Jesus’ return. May our eyes be fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!