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Meditation on a Prophet

Written by Brandon Jones : January 22, 2008

hosea.jpgWhen the LORD first spoke through Hosea, he said to him, “Go marry a prostitute who will bear illegitimate children conceived through prostitution, because the nation continually commits spiritual prostitution by turning away from the LORD.”So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim. Then she conceived and gave birth to a son for him.

Then the LORD said to him, “Name him ‘Jezreel,’ because in a little while I will punish the dynasty of Jehu on account of the bloodshed in the valley of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. At that time, I will destroy the military power of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.”

She conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the LORD said to him, “Name her ‘No Pity’ (Lo-ruhamah) because I will no longer have pity on the nation of Israel. For I will certainly not forgive their guilt.

But I will have pity on the nation of Judah. I will deliver them by the LORD their God; I will not deliver them by the warrior’s bow, by sword, by military victory, by chariot horses, or by chariots.

When she had weaned ‘No Pity’ (Lo-ruhamah) she conceived again and gave birth to another son.

Then the LORD said: “Name him ‘Not My People’ (Lo-ammi), because you are not my people and I am not your God.”

Hos 1:2-9

This week in my discipleship group we are reading through Hosea. As I sat here reading this afternoon I was struck most by this beginning passage and found my mind continually drifting back towards it. Being some of the first words in the book, they are quite significant in setting up the story of Hosea:

(1) Hosea is a prophet of the Lord
(2) God told him to marry a prostitute and have kids
(3) The kids are all named politically significant things
(4) And all of this is done as an example to the people of Israel

Point four is the one that sticks with me. Hosea wasn’t just giving empty words to the people — he was giving a life lived before them (a life of much brokenness, pain and infidelity not unlike the people of Israel’s lives before God).

I dwell on this as I’m confronted with a media shaped by fear, upcoming elections and wholly unwholesome news. I dwell on this while still confronted with a decision to join in on a broken system. I dwell on this amidst broken lives moving all around me and wonder if there isn’t something more to be gleaned from these opening strokes of Hosea’s life?

Call it a pipe-dream (or whatever else you will) but I wonder if we can’t be prophetic lives critiquing a corrupted system? We don’t have to marry prostitutes and give names to kids only God could come up with; we have the example of Jesus walking and living out the Kingdom of God before the Jews and Romans! His is a life, when mimicked, that confronts the powers of the world (whatever they may be) better than any prophet ever could. And this passage draws me to Him and His life (and hopefully it will you too!).

Author Bio:: Brandon is a twenty-something starting this journey called life who currently works as a systems analyst (that means I manage computer systems). Currently, he blogs at mbjones.net.

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Comments

2 Responses to “Meditation on a Prophet”

  1. Mark Van Steenwyk on January 23rd, 2008 1:49 pm

    –”We don’t have to marry prostitutes and give names to kids only God could come up with”

    Good. I was worried for a second there. ;)

    The challenge is understanding the shape of the sort of prophetic life Jesus would have us live. I believe that churches should offer teachings and develop practices that help followers of Jesus live into the prophetic nature of the Gospel. But few churches really do that. Most churches emphasize content distribution, not formation. And the ones that offer formation tend to ignore the practical implications of living in the Kingdom (unless you count the “find your best life now” sort of teachings as practical implications of living in the Kingdom).

  2. Maria Kirby on January 23rd, 2008 9:09 pm

    Why not marry prostitutes and give your kids prophetic names?

    It’s so much easier to have my own biological kids and criticize those who have chosen abortions than it is to provide a home for kids who aren’t wanted or have been mistreated.

    It’s so much easier for me to send money to some program that helps the disadvantaged than it is to move into a community of disadvantaged persons.

    It’s so much easier to visit the elderly in a rest home, than it is to have one living with you.

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