Have you ever been told by someone to do something that you knew would make the rest of your life very unpleasant – and then gone and done it? If you’re like me, you might contemplate it for half a second before saying, “I’ll pass!” Why would we ever willingly do something that is assured to make our life unhappy and full of suffering?
That is exactly what Hosea did. The Lord came to Him and said:
Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry, For the land has committed great harlotry By departing from the Lord.
Umm, no thanks. Why would I willingly marry a perpetually unfaithful spouse? Years of willingly suffering heartache, betrayal, and a broken marriage that would never be fixed. Hosea looked that up and down and said, “Ok, I’ll take that on!” The very next words after God lays out this attractive (?) opportunity to Hosea are, “so he went…”
Pardon me? Who is this man Hosea? Is his life really so bad that this seems like a great opportunity? Does he suffer from low self-esteem? Did he have a few bad experiences on eHarmony and think this was the best he could expect?
No. He was being obedient to a faithful God who needed a prophet to demonstrate how unfaithful His people were behaving. Hosea came into the presence of the Lord and his life was changed forever. Some might say it changed for the worse, but Hosea had faith that a loving God could not fail him., so he went.
These three little words struck me tonight as I studied Hosea. I’ve said this many times – simple obedience is all that God requires. We just need to be willing to trust Him. He has promised us so much and never gone back on His Word. Why wouldn’t we trust Him to lead us through suffering with the promise of eternal joy. Suffering for Christ here on earth, no matter how brutal, is only temporary. And according to both Peter and Paul, it builds character, which leads to hope.
When our life here on earth is over, there is no more noble tribute to our life than for people to say, “God called him – so he went!”