A Study of Hosea 1:1-2

“The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.” (Hosea 1:1-2)

In this study going we are going to be looking at the truth of Hosea being a type of Jesus Christ.

There are very few messages taught from the Book of Hosea. Many have not even heard of or read from the Book of Hosea. This is really surprising because the word Hosea is very similar to the Old Testament word Joshua and the New Testament name Jesus. Hosea means deliverer and means salvation.

Hosea was given this name, because he like Joshua is a beautiful type of Jesus Christ our LORD. His writings, though difficult at times to understand, are filled with grace and love.

“And the LORD said to Hosea; go take unto thee a wife of whoredom and the children of whoredom.” In other words, God came to His prophet Hosea, to this preacher, and said to him to go down to a country, down to a tribe of people whose common practice is whoredom; that’s a way of life for these people; to go down there and pick out a woman and love her and enter into a covenant with her and marry her.

When God told Hosea to go down into the land of whoredom and marry a harlot, it must have shocked him. It was a mysterious and strange command. Our LORD has a divine purpose in everything that He does. His providence and His purpose will work together for His glory and for our good. God is the first cause of all things. Even though we know that God is the first cause of all things and that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28) and everything that God commands us to do or causes to happen in our life is for our good and His glory, still, human nature asks why, why? Why would God command a prophet to marry a harlot? Why would God command one of His servants to marry a harlot? why? Human nature wants to know why.

Moses wondered why he was kept on the backside of that desert for 40 years. He was all set to lead Israel out of Egypt when he was 40 years old. He became a judge between the people of Israel. He was all set. He was to be used of God to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt. But only according to God’s timing. Then, he killed an Egyptian and God took him out there to the backside of the desert and kept him until he was 80 years old.

Then, there is Joseph. Joseph must have wondered why that he should be sitting down in Egypt in a prison while his evil brothers were at home enjoying the love and blessings of their father.

Job wondered why all of his family and possessions were swept away. They were, just in a moment. He had nothing.

God gives us the reason in Hosea chapter 3:1. Here is the reason God commanded Hosea to marry a harlot. Here’s the reason why God sent Hosea down into the land of whoredom to pick out a wife and to love her and to enter into a covenant relationship with her:

“Then said the LORD unto me; Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods…” (Hosea 3:1)

Here’s a man who was told to marry and love and live with a woman, no matter what she’s done or what she is, who loved other people who gave herself to other people, who did not love him.
God was teaching us that Hosea was typifying Christ’s love towards His elect children. Hosea was a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ who loves sinners (who didn’t love Him). Hosea was a picture of Him who loved the people who didn’t love Him, but looked to and served other gods, who gave themselves to other gods, and had no need for Christ.

“But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1st John 4:10)

“We love him because he first loved us.” (1st John 4:19)

That’s the reason. The LORD God in the Old Testament illustrates the redemption of Christ; all the way through the Old and New Testament. The Bible is all about Jesus Christ! From the very first pages of the Old Testament you have Christ in promise. Later on you have Christ in prophecy. Later on you have Christ in picture. Then, in the New Testament you have Christ in person.

When God came to this faithful man Hosea (who was unmarried) and told him to go take a wife, He did not instruct him to pick out the finest, fairest, lady in the land. He went down to a tribe of evil people and picked out a harlot and married her and loved her. Then in this he will see, and we see, God’s love for sinners. In doing this, as a type of Christ, he showed, in type, in picture, God’s love for sinners. Brothers and sisters in Christ, that woman of whoredoms is a picture of each and every one of us redeemed by the blood of the Lord Jesus.

Hosea chose a bride from one of the most sinful people of his day!

He went down among a vile race, a most sinful tribe, and he took a young lady named Gomer (that was the girl’s name who was to be his bride).
He entered into a covenant relationship with her. Marriage is a covenant. When a man and a woman enter in to a life-long marriage bond, they promise that in the sight of God and assembled witnesses that they will be faithful to one another until death, it’s a covenant.

Hosea went down to the land of whoredom and picked out a young lady named Gomer and entered a covenant relationship with her. He chose her to be his bride. What is this showing? God chose His bride from among fallen sinners.
It says: “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.” (1st Corinthians 1:27-29)

Romans 5:8-10 says: “God commended his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

We were enemies of holiness, enemies of truth, and enemies of light.

“And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.” (Colossians 1:21)

Gomer didn’t deserve this love and we didn’t either. Gomer didn’t deserve the love of Hosea and we didn’t deserve God’s love and mercy. Gomer didn’t love Hosea; she didn’t love him but he loved her.

God’s love to us is not based on our loveliness, on what we deserve; God’s love for us is based on His mercy!

Hosea’s love for Gomer was not because she was lovely, not because she was pure, not because she was holy, but because he loved her, not for any good in us, not for any foreseen merit; the covenant of mercy is just that, a covenant of mercy.

When our Lord Jesus came into this world, the angel who announced His birth said: “and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

The Lord Jesus said: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

Paul said: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the
world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
(1st Timothy 1:15)

This is why He came into the world, to seek and to save the lost, to die for sinners.

Hosea chose his bride from among an evil people!

He chose an evil girl and he entered into a covenant relationship with her but even after he made this covenant and fulfilled this marriage, she followed the ways of her people.
She didn’t adopt his ways. She didn’t go his way; she went the way of her people. Listen to what Hosea says after they were married and after a few children came along: Hosea 2:5, “For their mother, (my wife), hath played the harlot.”
Gomer was from a people of whoredom. That was the way she was raised. That was the way she was taught, “A land of whoredom,” the Scripture says. She was an evil person from an evil tribe and an evil people.
Even though she was loved by Hosea and was chosen by Hosea and married to Hosea, when she became of age she walked the ways of her people. She walked the way that she was raised. She followed the behavioural pattern that was in her from a little girl, what she had lived with, what she had been taught, and what she was used to.
Let me apply that now: though God loved us from the foundation of the world, He said: “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3) Christ was “the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)

Paul said this about the LORD God: “When it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me.” (Galatians 1:15-16)

Although God chose Saul of Tarsus, for 40 years Saul of Tarsus followed his race, he followed his nature, his nature of evil, lust, sin, hatred, bigotry, prejudice, ceremonialism, and all of this corruption.

You see, even though Hosea had chosen Gomer and loved her and made her his own, she followed the way that she wanted to go; she followed the ways of her people.

That’s what we do, all of us do. “We come into the world speaking lies. The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.” (Psalm 58:3)

They are born of sinful parents; we are born of evil parents. We come forth and sin is natural to us, just like this was natural to Gomer. That’s a way of life with her.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

“From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores.” (Isaiah 1:6)

“Behold, I was shaken in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5)

It’s our nature. When she went home with Hosea she followed her nature. She walked the path of evil because she was of an evil people. We walk the path of evil because we are an evil people.

The Scripture says: “She went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.” (Hosea 2:13) Israel followed her sins and forgot the true and living God.

Paul said in Ephesians 2 we “walked according to the course of this world”; we are of the world by nature, by birth, and by practice; we are people of the world. We are born in this world. We are born of worldly parents and “among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and we were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

Do you have the picture?

Hosea is the deliverer, salvation, a type of Christ. He loved a woman that he found in whoredom and though he loved her and though he made her his own and though he entered a relationship, a covenant relationship with her, she walked the ways she was used to, she went the way she loved. She went the way of life that she was taught and that’s what we do. But, Hosea provided for her even in her sin (Hosea 2:8). She left him, she left him and she set up her own room somewhere where she entertained her lovers. He said in Hosea 2:8: “She didn’t know; I gave her corn, wine and oil. I multiplied her silver and gold.”

He would leave her corn and wine and something to eat and drink. He would leave oil. He would leave silver and gold. All this time Gomer was saying: “I will go after my lovers, that gave me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink” (Hosea 2:5). She was praising them for giving her the things that she wanted and the things that she needed. She didn’t know that all this time that Hosea was the one who was providing everything that she needed. They weren’t giving her anything but a miserable time.

Oh how the LORD takes care of His people, how He takes care of His own, even in the days of their sin, even in the days of their evil, even in the days of their rebellion, even in the days of their terrible sins, even in the days when they did not love Him, He provided for us and He protected us. He leads our steps and keeps us from harm.

Consider Saul of Tarsus, how he hated the name of Christ, how he hated the people that believed on Christ but he was one of God’s own, chosen by grace, loved by God, and redeemed by Christ.
But even on his road of rebellion, God took care of him and God wouldn’t let anything happen to him. God clothed him and God fed him and God gave him breath to breathe and eyes to see and ears to hear and legs to walk.

All the time we praise ourselves. We are self-made men. We take credit for our good fortune or we praise others for our good fortune but it is God who gives everything: “every good and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variable ness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

“A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” (John 3:27) God gives us everything fit to eat and fit to wear and fit to love; it’s all a gift of God.

God provides; God protects, and God’s providence watches over His own. All this time that Gomer was living away from home and was violating her covenant relationship and sinning against this man that loved her, he loved her, took care of her, watched over her, and provided for her.

That’s a picture of God’s grace and mercy; that is prevenient grace, restraining grace, supplying grace and sufficient grace, God’s love.
The story has not ended; thank God it’s not ended. One day Hosea’s wife Gomer came to herself. She was brought down in humiliation; she was brought down. This is what God will do to every one of His children.

They may be raised high and mighty. They may fly higher than a kite. They may be without trouble or sorrow. They may be self-made men but if God has His hand on them, He is going to bring them down.

A man never partakes of grace until he tastes guilt.

A man will never be found until he is lost.

A man will never be saved until he is a sinner.

So, God has got to bring us down. He has to bring us down to the end of ourselves, to the end of our rope. In Psalm 107 it says the child of God is brought to “their wits’ end. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses”

Listen to it in Hosea 2:10, God says: “And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of my hand.”

He is going to open her eyes. He is going to show her what she is. Her life is going to become a burden. Her sweetness will turn to bitterness. Her joy will turn to mourning. Her happiness will turn to sorrow. That which she once loved, she is going to hate.

God stripped her and He broke her and He humbled her and He made her life a heavy bitterness, a heavy toil, a heavy bondage and He brought her down to where she was sorry and broken and wanted to go home. She wanted to be free from this awful, awful, evil and sinful life. She wanted to be rid of it. God brought her down. This is Holy Spirit conviction of sin. God who chooses us and permits us to walk our way, “all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way.” (Isaiah 53:6)

There will come a time when you will hate your way. When you hate your way, which you once loved, when you won’t want your way, you will want God’s way. You will come to see that your way is the way of destruction.
You will hate your thoughts, you will hate your ways, you will hate your words, and you will say as Job once did: “I heard of thee by the bearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:5-6)

This is what Isaiah said: “Woe is me! for I am undone; I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). What a mercy that the God that chose us, provided for us and loved us while we were in our own way, and then one day by Holy Spirit conviction, we can relate to the Prodigal Son who came to himself and said, “What am I doing here? What am I doing sitting on a pig pen railing? What am I doing eating corn husks? What am I doing getting the juice out of a corn cob when in my father’s house, even the servants eat better than this. What am I doing here?” He hadn’t thought of that before but he came to himself.

God brought Hosea’s wife down. You can’t taste of grace until you taste and are weary of sin. You can’t flee to Christ until you are convinced of your guilt. I know that human nature compared to human nature doesn’t look too bad. Human nature seen in the light of God’s holiness is rottenness, hell itself and exceeding sinful. So, Gomer was brought down, low, broken, sorrowful, and mourning.

One might say, “Why didn’t she go home?” She couldn’t; she belonged to somebody else. She belonged to a slave master. She had sold her soul and she had sold her body. She was in bondage to a fallen system. She had sold herself. Now she was a slave; she wasn’t free to go. Somebody else owned her.

God says there in to Hosea in Hosea 3: verse 1: “Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD, toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods.” So, Hosea said “I bought her.” (Hosea 3:2)

Here she is; her loveliness has turned to shame and humiliation. Her joy and laughter have turned to bitterness and tears. There she is standing on the slave block. She is for sale now, probably stripped to the laughter and gaze of the multitude out there. The people are bidding for her. They are offering different prices. They are going to buy her. People are going to offer for her and here comes a man right up in the middle of them.
Everybody turns around and sees him coming. Somebody says: “That’s her husband; that’s Hosea. He wouldn’t want her back. Surely he wouldn’t bid on her. Hasn’t she brought you enough grief? Hasn’t she brought enough shame upon you? Hasn’t she caused you enough trouble? What do you want with her?”

He said: “I love her; she is my wife and I love her and I’m going to buy her. I will pay whatever I have to pay. I will pay whatever is required.”

He looked up at her and loved her and the Scripture said; “I bought her to me of fifteen pieces of silver” (Hosea 3:2). He paid the price of a slave; he paid heavily but he bought her back, he bought her back. What a mercy!

When she came down off that block, when he had paid to the man what he had promised to pay, he put his arms around her and he said in Hosea 3:3: “Thou shall abide for me many days,” and he took her home.

Do you know what I see there? I see that I have sinned, though God chose His people, and though He loved them, and though He entered into a covenant, He said: “I entered into a covenant with you, an everlasting covenant, a covenant of mercy and grace and you became mine, you were mine.”

He said to Jeremiah: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee” (Jeremiah 1:5). You are mine, I set you apart. What a mercy!

We walked our own way and we became obligated, we became enslaved, we became a captive of the law, the holy law and justice of God almighty. Justice and the law had us in chains and had us in slavery and we were on the block and Christ Jesus said: “I love them. I will buy them, whatever the law requires; whatever justice demands, whatever the wrath of God has against my people, I will pay every jot and every tittle. I will pay every cent and every dollar.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ paid it too; He paid it. He went to the cross of Calvary and there He shed His blood. There He bore our sins and sicknesses and sorrows and our diseases, our sins and our transgressions, and our iniquities “and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

“Having loved His own which were in the world he loved them unto the end.” (John 13:1); He loved us even to the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8).

We are bought with a price and what a price it is. Hosea didn’t pay anything for Gomer compared to what my Lord Jesus paid for me, but He bought me. I came down off that slave block, and you talk about loving somebody, the Scripture says to whom much is forgiven, they will love much (Luke 7:47).

Imagine how Hosea loved Gomer; can’t you imagine how from that moment on she loved him? Can’t you imagine?

Her shame was great but his shame was greater to take her back, to love her still.

Our shame was and is great, but our LORD’s shame was greater because sin to Him is so much more shameful than to you and me. He bore all our shame brothers and sisters, and He put His arm around us and He said, “You are not going away, you are mine and I bought you; I redeemed you and you are mine. I chose you, I loved you and I bought you. You are twice mine. I made you and I redeemed you and you are going to be with me forever.”

He said to his disciples: “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2-3)

People may talk about in grace and out of grace and falling from grace and losing grace all they want, but when my LORD sets His affection on an object of His love He is going to have him.

Whatever it costs, He is going to have him. If you are one of His He will have you; He will buy you and you will love Him forever!

Henry Mahan

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