Our Saviors Lutheran Church
The Minor Prophets. You find them mostly in the back of the Old Testament. Perhaps you remember them from your youth, when you had to memorize the books of the Bible — those short books with the funny names from which we never seemed to read. Well, starting today, and continuing for the next 12 months, we will be talking about those books in this column.
The Minor Prophets — that makes them sound like they were unimportant, overlooked men who did not count as much as the Major Prophets (Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah). But that is NOT what the name “Minor Prophets” means. No, it simply refers to the length of these books in comparison with those longer books. The first of the Minor Prophets for our consideration is Hosea.
The prophet Hosea lived at about the same time as Amos and Micah (about 750 years before Jesus); he served as a prophet for nearly 40 years. Perhaps the most famous part of Hosea’s book is his marriage to Gomer. Hosea was commanded by God to marry her, despite her reputation as having loose morals. And, in fact, Gomer was unfaithful to Hosea throughout their marriage. But Hosea loved her and forgave her, over and over again. Of course, this marriage was to illustrate to Israel God’s relationship with her — that, despite their unfaithfulness to the Lord, He remained faithful to them, loving and forgiving them. But how hard it must have been for Hosea to obey God, to have his most personal life made into a divine object lesson! Yet, he did as the Lord commanded — he was faithful, just as was his God.
The Book of Hosea closes with some great words of grace from God for His unfaithful Bride: “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for My anger has turned away from them”. Of course, that anger at our sin has been turned away at the cross, where our Lord Jesus took that anger and judgment and hell upon Himself. What love for lovable sinners — Hosea for Gomer; but, infinitely more, God for us! This month, take some time and read Hosea to hear again of that divine love, all loves excelling.