Evaluation no. 4 of HANDBOOK on the PROPHETS by Robert B. Chisholm Jr.

Hosea

Radical Discipline Brings Radical Transformation; this headline alone has the power to move an individual with excitement of what was to follow on printed pages. However, any thought that preceded the reading of this section could not have come close to what was literately consumed. The contents ranging from the Lord instructing his future children to bring a formal charge against their mother on his behalf to His reversing the negative symbolism attached to the names of Gomer’s children. Captivating enough is the idea God had Hosea marry an adulterous wife and acquire children of unfaithfulness, but the motivation of this request would be an object lesson of Israel’s unfaithfulness. As the pages turn, bloodshed and judgment are bestowed upon the land of God’s chosen people; His wrath seems unavoidable. Just as the sun breaks forth from behind dark clouds on a rainy day, this section gives hope to God’s people and permeates grace. Disciplinary measures are spoken of regarding consequences of continued disobedience but to the reader’s surprise this is a plan for the Lord to win back his wayward wife.

Descriptions of adulterous ways, makeup and jewelry, worn to attract these lovers, could be symbolic of a mask many people find themselves behind. Regardless of the time period humanity has a habit of losing their way in life and making wrong decisions. Looking back to these enchanting words, despite judgment and instruction, the Lord was not ready to give up on his adulterous wife. This story announces depriving his adulterous wife of her lovers and her blessings was only the first stage in the Lord’s strategy to reclaim her. Having brought her to the point of desperation he would lead her out to an isolated place and make romantic advances toward her. The next page brings relief as grace is portrayed when it is written the valley of ‘trouble’ would be transformed into a ‘door of hope,’ for restored Israel would respond favorable to the Lord’s overtures of love. Without a doubt, this section appears to be the work of an artist serving Poetic justice to his people.

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