God’s Desire for Mercy

Hosea is a very interesting character. He was a prophet and the book begins by God telling him to take a wife who is in the business of prostitution. Hosea married Gomer and God tells him to name his children. Their names were Jezreel (the Lord sows [catastrophe]), No Mercy, and Not My People. God was demonstrating the unfaithfulness of Israel, how he was going to judge Israel, then love her and redeem her.

The entire book is a reminder of God’s judgement that will come because of Israel’s unfaithfulness to other gods. But it’s also a plea for Israel to repent and come back to God. In another strange command, God tells Hosea to find a wife who is an adulteress and redeem her: “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins” (Hosea 3:1 ESV).

Hosea did so then loved his wife to show that “the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days” (vs. 5). God is clear too that “I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6). God is a God of mercy, second chances, and sacrifice. He is a jealous God who wants his people to return to him and love him always!