Ho Ho Hosea and a Harlot named Gomer

Some of us are moving on to reading Hosea while others are spending some more time in Revelation. Hosea was one of the earliest of the canonical prophets, although we should note his life and prophetic ministry overlapped with Isaiah's (see kings mentioned in Isa. 1:1 and Hos. 1:1). The insensitive reader might at first glance think the problem in Israel was that of adultery and harlotry -that women in Israel were selling there sexual acts to men not thier husbands for a quick profit and perhaps that men in Israel were buying. But actually the references to a married woman giving herself to other "lovers" for quick payment are meant as a picture of Israel's more general and more pervasive sin. Israel, a people who were supposed to be God's faithful bride, were ascribing worth to other gods and therein finding satisfaction in less than what God would have for "her". In reading the first few chapters of Hosea we find the actual sins to be Idolatry and violence toward neighbor. As Israel worshiped false gods (Baals) and the man-made images of those gods, they reinforced the error of behaving according to man-made ideas of acceptable behavior, especially toward one another. But hey, you read the first 4 chapters or so, of Hosea and note whether or not specific passages as well as the whole message of Hosea warrant these observations.

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