Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Pastor's Summary of Hosea 1:2-10

Hosea was active as a prophet to the northern kingdom, Israel, during the decades before it fell to the Assyrians in 721 BC. It was a time of warfare and virtual anarchy. Israel is described as a prostitute (whore) for deserting her contractual relationship with God; people worshipped pagan gods (:the land commits great whoredom"). She has been married to God since he made a pact with her, through Moses, at Sinai. So some scholars question whether Hosea's marriage to a whore should be taken literally (or symbolically). "Gomer" (v. 3) and "Diblaim" are both pagan names. "Jezreel" (v. 4) is the plain between Galilee, Samaria and the Jordan, where the kings of the north lived. There "Jehu" killed the wicked Queen Jezebel, but there he also installed himself as king, after much bloodshed. Through Hosea, God tells of the termination of Jehu's dynasty ("house") and of the norther kingdom.

The daughter's name, "Lo-ruhamah" (v. 6) means unloved (by parents) or un-pitied. God will no longer have compassion on the north, but he will save "Judah" (v. 7, the south)-but not by military means. The second son's name, "Lo-ammi" (v. 9) means "not my people": God will end the pact that made Israel the people of God. But, says v. 10, Israel's punishment will not be for ever. God told Abraham that his descendants would be "as numerous as...the sand...on the seashore" (Genesis 22:17); God will restore the covenant, his relationship with Israel. The two kingdoms will become one again (v. 11). The symbolism of the children's names continues in 2:1: the daughter will be renamed "Ruhamah" (meaning pitied or shown compassion) and the second son "Ammi" (my people).

For those of you who are joining us now, the preached word this summer is encompassing the Old Testament prophets as we become introduced to them and their visions from God. God is teaching us life lessons concerning his relationship with the chosen people. Through these worship services we are being shapedand revitalized by God. Have a great day!