Hosea, Prophet to Israel
“Return to the Lord your God. For He is gracious and compassionate.”
This week, we encountered the curious instructions God gave the prophet Hosea. God sent the prophet Hosea to speak to Israel a message of God’s hatred toward sin and of His coming judgment. God also sent Hosea to bring a message of love—a love that never gives up. God used Hosea’s own life to show Israel what a never-gives-up kind of love looks like.
God told Hosea to marry a prostitute. He told Hosea that his wife would not be faithful to him. She would give birth to children who were conceived with other men. Still, Hosea obeyed God. He chose Gomer as his wife. Just as God said, Gomer was not faithful to Hosea. She went after other lovers. Can you imagine Hosea’s grief each time he found his wife with another man?
It would have been easier for Hosea to throw up his hands and say, “Enough! I’m done with you!” God’s people were no different than Gomer. They were spiritual adulterers. Their hearts chased after other lovers. They loved and worshiped idols, people and things that were not the one true God.
It would have been easier for God to throw up His hands and say, “Enough! I’m done with you!” But God’s love never gives up. He 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.
Hosea’s relationship with Gomer reminds us of God’s relationship with the people of Israel and with us. Even though God’s people are unfaithful and love other things more than they love God, God still loves us. God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sin and bring us back to Him.
Help your kids understand what God’s amazing love is like and make sure they see that the price God paid to bring us back to Him was Jesus. 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 loves them back to Himself.
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.
KEY PASSAGE: Joel 2:13
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- What is God like? God is merciful and loving.
BIBLE STORY: HOSEA, PROPHET TO ISRAEL
- God told Hosea to marry Gomer to teach Israel a lesson.
- Gomer did not love Hosea with her whole heart, but Hosea loved Gomer no matter what.
- The people of Israel did not love God with their whole hearts, but God loves people who do not love Him back.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- Has someone ever said he or she did not want to be your friend? How did that make you feel?
- Can you think of some ways you show that you don’t love God with your whole heart?
- How does it feel to know that God loves you no matter what? Can you love others like that?
- Challenge each family member to show love to someone who is hard to love this week. Name a specific action. Ask God to help you see the person as He does.
NEXT WEEK “Jonah, Prophet to Nineveh” (Jonah 1–4)