Hosea, Prophet to Israel
“The Lord… is patient with you, … wanting… all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
Hosea was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom of Israel for at least forty years. God sent Hosea to tell Israel of God’s hatred toward sin and of His coming judgment. (See Hos. 4:1,6.) God also sent Hosea to bring a message of love—a love that never gives up. (See Hos. 11:7-9.)
To get the message across to the Israelites, God used Hosea’s own life to show Israel what a never-gives-up kind of love looks like. Hosea obeyed God’s instructions to marry a prostitute. Hosea loved Gomer as his wife, even though he knew she would not be faithful to him. Gomer gave birth to children who were conceived with other men. Can you imagine Hosea’s grief each time he realized his wife’s unfaithfulness?
It would have been easier for Hosea to end his marriage covenant—to throw up his hands and say, “Enough! I’m done with you!” Yet God’s people were no different than Gomer. They were spiritual adulterers. Their hearts chased after other lovers by loving and worshiping idols.
It would have been easier for God to end the Mosaic covenant—to throw up His hands and say, “Enough! I’m done with you!” But God’s love never gives up. God gave Hosea a love for his wife that compelled him to buy her back from the slave market after all she had done. In the same way, God sought after His unfaithful people even after all they had done. God paid a high price—the life of His Son, Jesus—to bring them back to Himself.
Remember to talk about the story of Hosea with your kids in an age-appropriate way. God used Hosea’s unfaithful wife to show the people of Israel that they were unfaithful to Him. God gave Hosea a deep love; Hosea was willing to buy back Gomer even after all she had done. God’s love is deep, and it never gives up. He goes after His people and paid a great price to get us back.Even when God’s people worship false idols, He is ready to forgive those who turn back to Him.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
BIBLE STORY SUMMARY:
- God told Hosea to marry Gomer even though she would not love him with her whole heart.
- God used Hosea’s life to teach the Israelites what His love is like.
- God loves people who do not love Him back.
KEY PASSAGE: 2 Peter 3:9
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- Why should we obey God? We should obey God because He made us, He loves us, and His plans are good.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- Name ways we can show love to each other as a family.
- How did Hosea’s love for Gomer teach the people of Israel about God’s love for them? How does it teach us about God’s love for us?
- How has God shown His love for us? Who rescues us from sin?
- Show children photographs from a wedding—yours, a family member’s, or friend’s. Talk about how God’s love for us is the greatest love of all and lasts forever.