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.” – Hosea 1:2, ESV
What strikes me as in last post is how Biblically educated men can miss this very special call upon Hosea’s life. It starts the whole book. No other prophet is called to choose a spouse based on her penchant to commit sexual sin. However, the special nature of this call is seemingly ignored on the way to manipulate or shame faithful spouses from divorcing or for being divorced.
Talk about an elephant in the room!
Furthermore, I bet these same men would shy away from ever using the Biblical word “whore” used here when confronting an adulteress (or a similar sort of word for a male philanderer).
To be clear: I am not advocating this as way to pastorally counsel!
My point is to show how selective these counselors are in reading this book. And that is not even digging deeper into the passages where Hosea is rather graphic over how the adulteress would be punished for her sexual sin. Those parts seemed to be conveniently ignored as not godly in the rush to only see “marital reconciliation.”
Personally, I take comfort in the angry parts of the book.
It means God cares and has feelings, too, like a spurned faithful spouse. God gets it. While I discourage acting in anger and sinning, I appreciate how this book reveals that God understands such “rage-filled” pain that comes with adultery discovery.
Returning to the special call on Hosea’s life, do we treat other special calls in the Old Testament as moral “ought”s in our pastoral applications?
Do we teach that each parent must tie up their first-born sons to offer them on an altar literally like Abraham nearly did with Isaac?
Do we teach each pastor needs to walk naked for three years as Isaiah did (Isaiah 20:3)?
Or how about Ezekiel in the many strange things he was called to do–e.g. rest one’s left side for 390 days (Ezekiel 4:5)–do we consider these things proper pastor or even prophetic training or a special call?
I consider them special calls on these men’s lives.
Just as Hosea was called uniquely and specially by God to marry an unfaithful woman and take her back as his wife after further acts of infidelity.
Now, if these guys really want to hold to the “hermeneutic” (way of reading Scripture) that allows them to treat Hosea as morally normative behavior for faithful spouses, I might have to wonder aloud:
When was your three years going naked like the prophet Isaiah?
Seems just as legitimate a question and expectation for a man of God as the expectation for a faithful Christian spouse to take back their unfaithful spouse.