The Children of Hosea

More woe for the life of the prophet Hosea, who has been asked by the Lord to do some very unusual things.

‘So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.  Then the LORD said to Hosea, “Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel.  In that day I will break Israel’s bow in the Valley of Jezreel.”  Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the LORD said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah, for I will no longer show love to the house of Israel, that I should at all forgive them.  Yet I will show love to the house of Judah; and I will save them—not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but by the LORD their God.”  After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son.  Then the LORD said, “Call him Lo-Ammi, for you are not my people, and I am not your God.”‘  — Hosea 1:3-9

For my wife and me, the naming of our children was a very special thing.  All three of them have names that mean something special to us, and they were not chosen lightly (or in a short amount of time!)  But this joy was taken from Hosea, who was directed to name his three children 1) after a massacre, 2) “not loved”, and 3) “not my people”.  No doubt, this was put in front of Hosea every single time he called out the name of his children.  And it was there for others to observe.

That would break my heart.  But did it have an effect on the people of God?


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