What Do You Do When God Calls You to Do Something Really Hard?
Hosea, Day 1
When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.” So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. – Hosea 1:1-3, ESV
Have you ever been called by the Lord to do something really hard? Forgiving someone who doesn’t deserve it is one of the hard tasks the Lord calls us to do. Have you ever been convicted by the Word and the Spirit that you really needed to forgive someone, but you just didn’t want to do it? Maybe the person had sinned against you too many times or in a seriously damaging way. Whatever the reason, you knew you needed to forgive them, but you just weren’t sure how.
Hosea was called by the Lord to do something most of us would consider nearly impossible. Hosea was a prophet of the Lord who lived and prophesied at the same time as Isaiah and Micah, around 750 years before Jesus was born. While the calling of any prophet is never easy, since they are called to speak God’s word to a people in rebellion against Him, Hosea had a particularly difficult call: God told Hosea to take “a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom.”
Don’t miss the clear truth here: Hosea was not just to marry a woman who had a shady past but who would nonetheless be faithful to him. No, he was called to marry a woman who had been sexually promiscuous and who would be unfaithful to him. He knew before he said his marriage vows to Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, that she was going to be an adulteress. Even more difficult, she would have children through her sexual immorality, children born to Hosea that were not Hosea’s.
Can you imagine being called to such an impossible calling? I don’t think I would be able to do it. Yet Hosea obeyed the Lord.
Why would the Lord ask Hosea to do such an unthinkable thing? Because he wanted a prophet to speak to the people who truly understood God’s perspective on His people. God had taken His people to be His bride. He had entered into a sacred covenant with them and had showered them with goodness, but His people had repaid His kindness and faithfulness with idolatry, which God calls spiritual adultery.
God never calls anyone to do anything which He Himself is not willing to do. God was not calling Hosea to do anything harder than what God Himself was enduring with His people generation after generation, century after century. As we explore Hosea in the coming weeks, we will see the heart of God for His people and we will also see ourselves on open and ugly display in the actions of Gomer, the wife of whoredom. May the Lord convict us and change us through our time together in His word.