Hosea 6:6…For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
The message through Hosea span through the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, were kings of Judah (Southern kingdom) and Jeroboam was king of Israel (Northern kingdom). The Lord spoke through him for many years so as to make his people return to Him. The Bible says, “when the LORD first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Dblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son. The LORD said, Name the child Jezreel meaning “God plants.” Soon Gomer became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. And the LORD said to Hosea, Name your daughter Lo-ruhamah which means “Not loved.” After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah , she became pregnant again, and gave birth to a second son,. And the LORD said, Name him Lo-ammi meaning “Not my people.” Afterwards, Gomer left Hosea to continue her prostitution. The LORD told Hosea “Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover.” (Hosea 3). He went ahead and bought her back with fifteen pieces of silver and five bushels of barley and a measure of wine. Hosea now told Gomer that she must live in his house and stop prostituting and she should not have any sexual relations with anyone or even with him.
This is a real life experience of the love of God for humanity. In the laid down principle of God, prophets are not supposed to marry prostitutes or divorced women but to show the exceptional love of God, God asked Hosea the prophet to marry a prostitute. God is a Holy God that loves sinners but hates our sin. Can we imagine the heart of the prophet putting up with the immorality of a prostitute who had sold herself to many lovers, now becoming his wife? What kind of marriage would that be? I believe God wanted the prophet to feel the pain that God was feeling having to deal with an adulterous people. The LORD loved Israel, settled them in a land that was filled with milk and honey and yet they forgot the LORD and started to worship other gods. During this episode of Hosea’s marriage with Gomer, the LORD spoke to the people through Hosea to rebuke them of having committed adultery against Him despite all the love He showered on them. Therefore the name of Hosea’s daughter means “not loved” because they have deserted Him, He will no longer show love to the people of Israel, Lo-ammin means they are not his people, and he is not their God.
The love of God knows no bounds. The first son’s name that means God plants, is an assurance that God would turn their situation around one day. He will unite the people of Judah and Israel together, they will choose one leader for themselves, and God would again plant his people in his land. In that day, they will call their brothers “Ammi “-My people, and their sisters, Ruhamah-“The ones I love”. What a wonderful God we serve, the One that overlooks our wretchedness and makes us new again. Glory to God.(Hosea 1 – 2:1).
Hosea now tells us that what God desired from his people is to show love, and not offer sacrifice, and also to know Him more than burnt offering. The children of Israel went through offering of sacrifices to God in order to ask for God’s forgiveness when they sinned, or to express their appreciation to Him. So they have different kinds of offering like “sin offering, burnt offering, peace offering and so on”, but God is now telling them that He is more interested in their love for him than offering all those sacrifices.. If they love him, they will obey His commandments. Imagine the pain that one goes through when a marriage is broken because of adultery on the part of the wife or the husband. Unfaithfulness is very painful and that is what God has been accommodating since He created man, because he did not want us to perish. Love is reciprocal. God loves us so much and we must also show love and respect for Him. To show our love for him, we must depend on Him totally. Our hearts must be right with him, seeking His approval in whatever we do. We must desire to please Him in every area of our lives. We must develop that intimate relationship with him so that we can hear him when he speaks. Studying His word should be our priority and setting ourselves apart for Him will be part of our desiring to know him more. The more we seek Him, the more we will find Him and the more GRACE He will release upon us to be the doer of the word and be a vessel of honor to Him.
Prayer…Lord you have shown your love to me by dying for me and taking all my sins away, Lord help me to live for you and be faithful to you by obeying all your commandments. Make me a true disciple of yours in Jesus Name, Amen.