The Book of Hosea states: “God’s Message to Hosea-Find a whore and marry her. Make this whore the mother of your children.”** Hosea did it. Later on, after much unfaithfulness on the part of his wife, God orders Hosea, “Start all over. Love your wife again, your wife who is in bed with her latest boyfriend, your cheating wife.” Hosea did it again. He bought her back from the slave market and made her his wife. Why did God tell Hosea to do this? So that He could use Hosea as an example of God’s love, a love that says to His children, “I’ll neither leave you nor let you go.”
Did Hosea ever say, “No thanks, Lord. I’d rather just marry a pure, loving and faithful wife. After all, that’s the kind of person You are pleased with. Can’t somebody else be Your lesson material, Your illustration? I’ll just pass this time.” No, Hosea did exactly what God told him to do. He walked through some of the most difficult experiences a man can go through, and he experienced it all so that Israel would have a picture of both God’s judgment and God’s unfailing love. Wow!
My sister-in-law had breast cancer surgery a few weeks ago. She is waiting for the doctor’s decision on what further treatment is necessary. Why does she have to go through this? Could it be that God is giving her the opportunity to be an example to others, to demonstrate to others how to walk through a dark valley while praising God and trusting in His sovereignty? She has not expressed doubts of God’s goodness in her life or anger over God’s unfaithfulness. She has chosen to be a Hosea, one who says, “OK, Lord, if this is what you want me to do, I will do it.”
Another friend faced the challenge of her husband’s job of 23 years coming to an end. One day he had t0 pack up his work and head for home for the last time from his place of employment, with no other job in sight. Why did they have to go through this? Is this an opportunity for them to be an example to others of God’s sovereign control and ability to abundantly provide? Why couldn’t someone else be the example? But they chose to honor God with an attitude of humility and gentleness as they waited on Him for the provision of their needs.
Has God ever asked me to go through tough times or choose to do something hard so that I could be an example to others? Did I recognize it as such, or did I complain at the difficulty I was faced with? Did I choose to willingly obey and walk that road of trial? Perhaps God is asking me to do that today. Will the first words in my heart be, “No thanks, God. That’s OK. Let someone else be the example today.” Or will I step up, as Hosea did, and take the tough times so that others will “know Me, God, for who I really am!”
**all Scriptural quotes taken from The Message