Hosea chapter one
In case you aren't familiar with the story of Hosea here it is below with some comments from me:
Hosea 1:1 The word of the LORD which came to Hosea the son of Beeri, during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
As a nation, Israel reached its apex under the rule of King David and King Solomon. However, after them, the nation became divided. The northern part came to be known as Israel and the southern part came to be known as Judah. One of my Bible reference books estimates this time period was around 686-792 BC.(2) When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD."
Some may argue that this story is an allegory which illustrates the relationship between a faithful God and an unfaithful nation of Israel. On the other hand, the high level of specificity of the story by establishing it in a real historic time period suggest it may have actually happened?(3) So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. (4) And the LORD said to him, "Name him Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. (5) "On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel." (6) Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the LORD said to him, "Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them. (7) "But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the LORD their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen." (8) When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and gave birth to a son. (9) And the LORD said, "Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God."
As a matter of history, Israel (Northern Kingdom) was defeated in 722 BC by the Assyrians. Judah (Southern Kingdom) lasted a while longer but eventual it too fell in 586 BC to the Babylonians. It would appear that Hosea lived long enough to see the North fall.
But as an existential matter, Hosea is now married to a woman of bad reputation and having children with her and giving them names that are dismal!
The positive devotional concept I draw from this episode is that God doesn't keep Hosea in the dark. He tells him what the future holds: things will be bad for the Northern Kingdom. I could also draw encouragement from the fact that if we (humanity) is symbolized by Gomer than the idea that we can still be loved as symbolized by Hosea marrying her, then there is still hope for us.
Is that so much rose-colored glasses or the intent of the tale?