On 16 June we celebrate the feast of Hosea, another prophet of the Old Testament.
The prophet Hosea lived in the 8th century BC, during the reign of King Jeroboam II. The book of Hosea is found in the Old Testament. It speaks to the Northern Kingdom who had abandoned covenant faithfulness with the Lord. Their spiritual lives were marked by idolatry, injustice and oppression of the poor.
God’s first commands Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer, who would symbolise Israel’s own unfaithfulness. Of course Hosea becomes a type of Christ who is wed to his Church, a community of people who are broken and in sin.
In Hosea 3 we hear:
‘The Lord said to me again, “Go, love a woman who has a lover and is an adulteress, just as the Lord loves the people of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer of barley and a measure of wine. And I said to her, “You must remain as mine for many days; you shall not play the whore, you shall not have intercourse with a man, nor I with you.”For the Israelites shall remain many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or teraphim. Afterward the Israelites shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; they shall come in awe to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days.’
We are reminded by the book of Hosea that we belonged to a fallen humanity and there was a price on our heads of eternal condemnation.
But God loved us and sent us himself clothed in our own nature. Christ paid our debt for us. We need to come out of our sin and seek repentance.
Our repentance leads us to blossom like the vine and our fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon. (Hosea 14:7).
Lebanon is referred to many times in the bible including multiple times in the book of Hosea. It is always referred to with great affection and goodness. Read more about it in this article.
We pray that we might remember the promises of God foretold by the Prophet Hosea and may repent from our sinful ways, so that we may enjoy the reward of the debt paid by Christ for us. Amen.
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