Loving pursuit of the unfaithfulHosea delivers this message of warning to the northern kingdom of Israel just a few short years before they are sent into exile. Israel has made unwise alliances with Assyria and Egypt (Hos 7:11) and adopted their idolatrous practices, the events of Hosea’s personal life parallel the sins of the people and gods unconditional love for them as well as reminding the people of gods promised judgment for disobedience.
Hosea’s story is a painful take of love and unfaithfulness. At god’s command, Hosea takes Gomer as his wife. She is unfaithful to him, paralleling Israel's unfaithfulness to God. The children born of their union are given names dictated by God. Our hearts break when Hosea names one of his children “Lo-Ruhamah,” meaning not loved, and another “Lo-Ammi,” meaning not my people. Yet as we follow the book to its conclusion, we also find reason for hope. When Hosea lovingly brings Gomer home following her decent into prostitution. God reveals his loving restoration of his people (Hos 3). And God announces to Hosea that he will not always call his people “not loved” and “not my people.” When they turn to him, he will show them his love and restore them (Hos 2:23).
Hosea ends his book with a series of sermons that declare God’s holiness, justice and love. Though God will discipline his people for disobedience, his compassion for them will never cease. As Hosea seeks out his unfaithful wife and brings her back home, we are assured that, like Gomer and the Israelites, we are never too far gone for God’s grace. Repentance always brings restoration and blessing (Hos 14).