Hosea, Prophet to Israel
Today’s Bible story in The Gospel Project® for Kids reveals what true, unconditional, godly love looks like. God told Hosea to show the people of Israel how much God loved them but in an unexpected way. God told Hosea to marry an unfaithful woman, and to raise her children who were conceived with other men.
Hosea obeyed God. He married a woman named Gomer, and she was unfaithful just as God said she would be. God’s people were no different than Gomer. They loved and worshiped idols, people and things that were not the one true God.
It would have been easier for God (and Hosea) to throw up His hands and say, “Enough! I’m done with you!” But God’s love never gives up. He gave Hosea a love for his wife that compelled him to buy her back from the slave market after all she had done.
Hosea’s relationship with Gomer reminds us of God’s relationship with the people of Israel and with us. Even though God’s people are unfaithful and love other things more than they love God, God still loves us. God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sin and bring us back to Him.
Hosea, Prophet to Israel
Hosea was a prophet. God gave Hosea a message to tell to the people of Israel. In addition to God’s message for Israel, God also gave Hosea instructions for his own life. God told Hosea, “Go and marry a woman who will not be faithful to you, and be a father to the children she has with other men.”
God was going to use Hosea’s life to show His people in Israel what they were like. Hosea’s wife would love other men instead of Hosea, just like the people of Israel loved and worshiped other gods instead of the one true God.
God was asking Hosea to do something very dif cult. It is hard to love someone who doesn’t love you back! But Hosea obeyed God. He married a woman named Gomer. Gomer became pregnant and gave birth to a son. God told Hosea, “Name your son Jezreel.”
The name Jezreel had a special meaning. It would be a warning to Israel that they would be defeated by their enemies.
Next, Gomer had a daughter. God told Hosea to name the baby Lo- ruhamah (LOH-roo HA muh), which means “No Mercy.” God wanted the people of Israel to know that He was not going to show them mercy anymore. They would get the punishment their sin deserved.
Then Gomer had another son. God told Hosea to give him the name Lo-ammi (lo-AM igh), which means “Not My People.” God’s message to the Israelites was that they were no longer His people. When God rescued the Israelites from Egypt, He made a covenant with them. He told them, “If you obey My commands, I will take you as My people, and I will be your God.” But God’s people had broken the covenant by not obeying Him.
Gomer was not faithful to Hosea. Even though she was his wife, she often ran away. In the same way, God’s people said they were committed to God, but they turned away from Him. They worshiped false gods. Hosea might have given up on Gomer, but God told Hosea to go after her. So Hosea found Gomer and paid to get her back. He brought Gomer back home.
“Stop being unfaithful,” Hosea said. Even though Gomer had not loved her husband and only her husband like a wife should, Hosea loved her anyway. God gave Hosea a love that would never give up. God wanted the people of Israel to hear about Hosea and his wife and understand that Israel was no different than Gomer. Israel did not love God and only God like God’s people should, but God loved Israel anyway. God loves with a love that never gives up.
Hosea gave Israel God’s message. He warned them that God was going to judge them for their sin. Hosea pleaded with Israel to turn back to God, to know and love Him. “Come, let us return to the Lord,” Hosea said. “Let us strive to know the Lord.”
God’s people were unfaithful to God, but God is never unfaithful to His people. God said, “The number of the Israelites will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or counted. And in the place where they were told: You are not My people, they will be called: Sons of the living God.”
God was going to punish the people for turning away from Him, but He would keep the promise He made to Abraham. Abraham’s family would be a big family, and one day Jesus would come from Abraham’s family. Yes, God still loved Israel. God hated their sin, but He loved His people so much that He was going to bring them back to Himself. Just like Hosea paid a high price to get back his wife who did not love him, God had a plan to get His people back no matter what the cost.
Christ Connection: Hosea’s relationship with Gomer reminds us of God’s relationship with the people of Israel and with us. Even though God’s people are unfaithful and love other things more than they love God, God still loves us. God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sin and bring us back to Him.