Bible Study

Hosea: A Lesson for the
20-21st Centuries

By: James Walke


Most people do not enjoy or endure tolerating unfaithfulness ... especially in their most special and intimate relationships. This was historically true in the nation of Israel also.

The Lord told the prophet Hosea to do something unique. This undoubtedly attracted much attention and ridicule. God said to take a wife which was a prostitute, a whore. Can you imagine God commanding the prophet to do such a thing?

Through the story we understand that this was to be a lesson for the nation of Israel. It was to be a living confrontation with their injustice and attitudes which needed to be corrected.

Today, there is an amazingly comparison with the gay and lesbian controversy. God is raising up gays and lesbians throughout our congregations, churches, denominations, seminaries, and circles of religious influence to bring a lesson and education to the church and the communities in which we minister.

Like the ethical controversy which Hosea's actions prompted, lesbians and gays are likewise objects of discussions, investigations, policies, debates, and forums. Why? There is still a lesson that God has to teach to the church and the religious bodies across our nation and to the world.

We preach mercy and justice, yet in our discrimination we are hypocritical. We profess a oneness and unity in Christ, yet we persecute and disassociate gays and lesbians from the fellowship of the believers. We minister to 'whosoever will', yet close our communions, our memberships, our committees, and our educational opportunities to gay and lesbians Christians who are gifted, called, qualified, spiritual, and Spirit-filled.

It is urgent for us to heed the message through the life of Hosea. Stop the injustice. Cease from professing godliness and practicing hatred. Violence and verbal assaults must stop and Christian love and faith must be evangelistically proclaimed.

Just as Hosea met opposition from the 'religious right' or the 'Moral Majority' or even the 'Christian Coalition' of his day (and you can bet that the Jewish religious community had their elitist and clergical self-righteous), today we must educate patiently through our lives of God's wondrous grace, acceptance, and diversity which extends to all people crossing sexual, cultural, racial, and political boundaries.

Our ministry of reconciliation, affirmation, and diversity will possibly take the entirety of some of our lives. Yet we must remember that this is the right thing to do and it is future generations and those who will follow in our footsteps who will benefit from our present deliberations and debates. Let us resolve to press on and continue in our efforts and educating. God will support us as is evident by the life of Hosea.

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