October 7, 2021
"When the Lord first called Hosea, He said this to him: 'Go marry a promiscuous wife and have children of promiscuity..."
"When the Lord first called Hosea, He said this to him: 'Go marry a promiscuous wife and have children of promiscuity, for the whole land has been promiscuous by abandoning the Lord.'" Hosea 1:2
The story of the prophet Hosea is disturbing for many followers of Jesus. The modern Messianic community has very little understanding of "Calling." There is almost no room in our operational theology for the idea that God would call righteous men and women to actions that would result in our suffering and humility. That is because it is hard for us to imagine there are times when our suffering may have nothing to do with our sin, that it may be a product of God's Grace.
Hosea was a prophet, so there is no indication that he was willfully sinning against the Lord. Could it be that God would call Hosea to suffer, not to punish his sinfulness, but to reward his righteousness? Had Hosea earned the trust of the Lord in that He would lead Hosea into a situation that a less-faithful person could not endure? What does that mean to us? Are we so preoccupied with protecting our reputation and trying to market God's image in a positive light that we cannot follow God's call into uncomfortable or unsavory situations?
God had a message for Israel, and it was going to take a special messenger to deliver it. God's chosen venue to relay His message was through an unholy and promiscuous marriage. God's messenger needed to trust Him through any situation. If this story has been written (at least in part) to encourage us to trust God even when it goes against social and cultural norms, then how was Hosea able to answer God's call?
Hopefully, we are all aware of how Jesus trusted the Father, enduring even death by the cross. So, we are also familiar with how Jesus was raised from the grave and is alive today! The apostle Paul is another example of someone given a "calling" that most of us would never choose. Let's consider some of Paul's statements.
"For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus the Messiah on behalf of you Gentiles – you have heard, haven't you, about the administration of God's grace that He gave to me for you?" 1 Corinthians 3: 1-2
"So then I ask you not to be discouraged over my afflictions on your behalf, for they are for your glory." 1 Corinthians 3: 13
"For it has been given to you, on Messiah's behalf, not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for Him, having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear about me." Philippians 1: 29
As we explore the book of Hosea, let's pray the Lord will open our hearts to His calling, wherever and however He leads.