"Hey Hosea - see that prostitute? I'm thinking.... wife." (Hosea 1:2-3)

"When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, 'Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.'" - Hosea 1:2-3

I always figured becoming a prophet had to have been a pretty cool deal. One day the Lord starts to speak to you (or perhaps in this case through you) and whether there is anything to it or not, you probably feel like you must be pretty special the Lord chose you.

Now imagine being Hosea and you hear the Lords voice so naturally you think, "Sweet! God is speaking to ME of all people." And then you hear this and you think, "Stink! Why is God telling this to ME of all people?"

One time I heard a comedian (I think it was Seinfeld but I cant find the reference) talking about how a baby comes out and the first thing the doctor does is slap them to get them breathing (this wasn't my experience with my child, but I hear it happens). Anyhow, he comments that this must be a pretty weird first experience, its like, "Welcome to the world!" SLAP SLAP! And I agree, that would be a pretty weird first experience.

And I'm thinking the same thing here. Having the Lord tell you to go take a prostitute as a wife would be a pretty weird first experience with hearing the word of the Lord. You'd think He'd start with something nice and then bring the bad news. Like, "Hey Hosea, I think you're a pretty cool guy. I've been enjoying your jokes lately, and you're pretty good at football... hey by the way, would you mind taking a prostitute as a wife so I could make a point to Israel?"

Anyhow, I don't pretend to understand how God works. I do take the side which argues this probably did actually go down this way rather than just being a story to make a point. It is awful. Unbearably awful to even hear, and I think that's the reason it actually happened - the Lord wanted to really make a point.

I'm about to work through Hosea with a friend of mine who has never read it. I look forward to talking about just how horrible of a job the Israelites did staying in love with the Lord. I like talking about it because it is my life story. From the outside I look like a complete idiot as I keep turning to other things to satisfy when this amazing God has been so unbelievably, undeservedly faithful.

My prayer today is for faithfulness to my faithful God.