Sin makes you sad

Dear Christian brothers and sisters, if you are still faithful in your Bible reading plans and you get to Hosea and have no idea, do not feel bad. It takes some meditation. After reading almost all of Hosea, I have been trying to come up with a good title for this post and came up with this one: Sin makes you sad.  (BTW, if you are few days or weeks beyond in the reading plan, don’t feel bad. I’m technically two weeks behind. :))

How did I end up in the book of Hosea?

You see, my family has a tradition where every Tuesday night we read the Bible aloud. We try to alternate Old Testament and New Testament so we started in the Proverbs, read all of Hebrews, and then back to Hosea in the Old Testament. It keeps things interesting. We don’t have a set number of verses to read – just however long a paragraph, a theme, or a thought goes. I’m surprised not many other people do this.

As of today, we have read up to Hosea 13:8. We still have another eight verses in Hosea and one more chapter. After that, we have not decided which book to read. Probably something in the New Testament. More on that in two weeks.

Who is Hosea?
Not much is known about the man personally. We have little information on his family background. Because he is considered a “minor” prophet, it probably meant he had a day job outside of the Temple or the Levites. (Minor does not always have anything to do with the length of the book.) We know he had some wealth.

We do know this: God told him specifically to marry a woman named Gomer who was known to be an adulterer and perhaps even a prostitute. Gomer bore him three children with tragedy names. In fact, it is possible but just conjecture that those might not even be his own biological children. After all, can you really trust a woman like that? More importantly, can you imagine Hosea’s heartbreak?

Why do this? God wants to illustrate His own relationship with Israel and Judah. Both nations have sacrificed to idols; sometimes they rejected God outright while other times they added idol worship on top of proscribed covenant worship. Throughout the book, you see God acted like the jilted, wounded spouse. He is angry, frustrated, and loving at the same time. If a human acts like this when he found out his wife was cheating, why wouldn’t God our creator? If the God of the Old Testament is accused of being angry all the time, why wouldn’t he be? The people He loves unconditionally have spurned His love repeatedly. Would you not be angry and frustrated too? Would you not be sad?

Sometimes God revealed himself as the loving parent in Hosea. He brought Israel out of Egypt, materially and spiritually naked, and gave them proper clothing and wealth… just like any other good Father. But, like all children, they chafed at the rules and wanted to do their own thing. And when they did their own thing, it was usually to their detriment.

Sin makes others sad.

Going back to Gomer: circumstances are not clear, but she must have run off and sold herself into some sort of slavery. In return, God commanded Hosea to go buy his wife back and pay off whatever debt she owed. I wonder what was going through her mind; was she ever repentant? Did she ever realize what pain she inflicted on her husband? Hosea never divorced her even though it was within his rights. Did Gomer ever tell Hosea the truth about anything? Did Hosea ever tell Gomer of the sacrifices he made for her?

The Bible never really says what happened to their marriage. Optimists might say there was a reconciliation. Pessimists / realists do not put much faith in Gomer’s continuing marital faithfulness (pun intended!) Don’t ask me what I think.

I can imagine this: if Gomer ever reached the lowest point in her life and had just a shadow of regret, if she was watching the husband she had spurned show up with assets to buy her, if she ever remembered her three children over her own wanton desires, maybe, just maybe this thought entered her mind: “How could I be so stupid to throw all that away?”

Sin makes you stupid.

As for the imagery between God the Faithful Husband and Israel the faithless wife, God’s judgment came. God’s judgment can come either through a divine act or lets the consequences of our sin run their course. We do know that Israel (the northern kingdom) failed to return to God and were destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 B.C.. We do know that Judah (the southern kingdom) lasted another century and a half before being destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.

Sin makes you captive.

However, the story does not end there. Like Hosea paying Gomer’s debts, God through Jesus Christ bought us back on the cross. Jesus paid a debt, which he did not owe, for us who had a debt we could not repay. The Apostle Paul says it best:

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s