Hosea says “No Cheating on God”
The Minor Prophets: Imagining a Better Story
By: Marissa Jadrich Ortiz – July 14, 2019
Prophecy is about telling the truth from God in a way that makes people listen and care.
Telling the truth—how it is, not how it’s going to be. The “this is what will happen” is a consequence rather than an inevitability.
Truth From God—who God is and what that means for who we are and how we live. There are some core characteristics of who God is that the prophets stake their claims on. Like last week, Justice.
In a way that makes people listen—it’s tempting to read the prophets as someone else’s story. But we have to listen like they’re talking to us. These texts have lasted the test of time not because of their predictions of the future. It’s because they have something powerful to say.
and care—Prophets are speaking to your gut, your heart, and sometimes your head. They want us to understand, and they want the message to hit us in a way we can’t ignore. That’s why these books aren’t statistics about social stability or risk assessments of geopolitical alliances. They’re poetry, metaphors, performance art. They’re trying to get a reaction out of us. So that we pay attention and so we do something about it.
God sends Hosea, as a prophet, to choose as his marriage partner a woman from whom he had every reason to expect infidelity. And to live faithfully to her. Someone known for her unwillingness or inability to keep the most serious kind of commitment. What I hope you get out of Hosea is that the STRONGEST feelings possible, the ones reserved for the relationships of deepest commitment and highest hopes and most powerful attachments, those are the feelings God has for you in care, in commitment, in grief, even in anger. God’s anger isn’t the rage of “you broke the rules,” it’s the pain of “you broke my heart,” you broke a relationship.
Is God your “break glass in case of emergency”? Or is God an everyday commitment, a life partner? God wants both.
God is great at handling your crisis but God is not okay with just being your backup plan. God wants to be your all the time plan.
God is saying 2 big things loudly here in Hosea: God says, “I am the source of ALL good things, ALL your successes, not just the ones you broke the glass in crisis.” And God says, “I WANT to be the one you come to for ALL those things you want and need in your life.”
Discipling the affections: We turn toward God not by rejecting the other loves and longings but by acknowledging them, naming them, then looking to God and saying, “I want to know the part of you that satisfies this desire.”
As we look to God for these things, God will live up to God’s #1 character quality, commitment to that relationship. God will take us through it.
Some questions for reflection and response:
What do you need so much that you’re not sure it’s safe to trust God for it? What parts of your life do you not need God for?
Can you listen to God’s loving response to the longings you are afraid to trust God with?
What is a little “seed” of trust you can give God and ask God to grow?
Sow righteousness for yourselves,
reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
for it is time to seek the Lord,
until he comes
and showers his righteousness on you.