Intimate Betrayal (Hosea 1-3)

The Prophet Hosea speaks doom for Israel & Judah in two major sections.  First is a truly peculiar story about Hosea marrying a prostitute and naming the children bizarre names.  My daughter joked that it would be like naming a kid today, “hashtag notmypresident,” and in fact, the third child is named “not my people.”  Ultimately, Hosea stays with his wife saying that she must no longer sleep with other men, nor will he sleep with her.  “Then I told her, ‘You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.’”  Hosea 3:3.

We who have squandered the blessings we have are like Israel betraying God.  This betrayal is deeply wicked.  It is the sort of soul destroying wickedness that the prophet uses prostitution to establish the metaphor.  It’s not enough to betray a contract or covenant.  It is like prostituting yourself.

The other message from this, is that some betrayals have consequences.  Hosea doesn’t end up living happily ever after with the prostitute.  Her debasing herself meant that even after Hosea returned to her, they could not reestablish an untarnished relationship.

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