The word of the LORD that came to Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
 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.” (ESV)
What information is given in this introduction?
The WORD of the LORD came to who?
During this time, who were the kings that ruled Judah?
During this time, who was the king that ruled Israel?
What did the LORD command Hosea to do?
The LORD tells Hosea to, "Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom..." Merriam Webster dictionary describes the word whoredom as faithless, unworthy, and/or idolatrous practices or pursuits.
It has been widely thought that GOD commanded Hosea to marry a prostitute. Looking strictly at the text, GOD commanded Hosea to marry a wife of whoredom; a woman pursuing a faithless, unworthy, and/or idolatrous desire. Maybe GOD was not directing Hosea to marry a prostitute but just a woman looking for love in all the wrong places.
All of GOD’s people had committed whoredom. Some of the kings of Judah led the people in honoring the LORD, but most, along with all the kings of Israel, led their people to not honor the LORD. Some kings did not sacrifice to the pagan shrines or participate in their practices. Sadly though, most kings turned a blind eye to those who did worship false gods on the high places, which the kings were responsible for leading. One king even went so far as to make false gods out of gold, in the shape of calves, telling the people that these were the gods that brought them out of Egypt! Wow! In addition to creating these false gods for GOD’s people to worship, this king did something even more disgraceful to the LORD that we will learn about in the coming weeks. Can you believe that audacity? Some kings took the gold and silver from the House of the LORD, stealing it from GOD, and giving it to foreign lands so that they would not invade. They chose to do this instead of depending on the LORD, the only one who could truly save them. Other kings killed in order to gain their power while some kings not only did not condemn the practice of worshiping false gods, but worshipped these false gods including Baal and the Asherath Poles.
Now that we have glanced over the kings and their indiscretions , we need to ask ourselves, have I committed whoredom in my relationship with the LORD? The LORD stands ready to forgive. Don't let this be a discouragement, but an opportunity of willingness to change with a humble heart that loves and fears the LORD your GOD the most.
Going back to Hosea, you may be thinking, why would the LORD ask this man of GOD to marry a woman of whoredom? You may be thinking that it is unfair for Hosea. You may have compassion for and identify with Hosea. If that is you, just like me, we need to see ourselves in light of this story.
We are not Hosea, we are Gomer.
We run after gods of our own making. We make up a god, or in other words an idol, that is not offended by our sin. We make up a god that satisfies our ideas of what we think that GOD should be or at the very least what we want Him to be. We are promiscuous. We commit whoredom; faithless, unworthy, and idolatrous pursuits and/or practices.
GOD is GOD!
He is unchanging.
He is just.
He is dependable.
He is jealous for us and demands our complete devotion.
GOD is GOD!
 So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
 And the LORD said to him, “Call his name Jezreel, for in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.  And on that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.” (ESV)
In verse 3, who did Gomer bear a son to?
What name did the LORD say to give this son?
At this point, you may be asking why Jezreel? Who is Jezreel? What happened at Jezreel? Why is there blood in Jezreel? Why did the LORD name this first son, of Hosea and Gomer, Jezreel? To answer these questions, lets turn back in our Bibles about 626 pages to 1 Kings 21:1-24.
1 Kings 21:1–24
 Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.
Stop! You may be confused by Samaria. Samaria is the capital city of Ephraim, sometimes called Israel and not to be confused with Israel as a whole. Ephraim is the northern tribes when the whole of Israel was divided in two, Judah and Ephraim (remember sometimes called Israel), after the reign of King Solomon. Later on in this study, we will explore this more in depth.
 And after this Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.”  But Naboth said to Ahab, “The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”  And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and would eat no food.
 But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, “Why is your spirit so vexed that you eat no food?”  And he said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money, or else, if it please you, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ And he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’”  And Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now govern Israel? Arise and eat bread and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and she sent the letters to the elders and the leaders who lived with Naboth in his city.  And she wrote in the letters, “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth at the head of the people.  And set two worthless men opposite him, and let them bring a charge against him, saying, ‘You have cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.”  And the men of his city, the elders and the leaders who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them. As it was written in the letters that she had sent to them,  they proclaimed a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people.  And the two worthless men came in and sat opposite him. And the worthless men brought a charge against Naboth in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones.  Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned; he is dead.”
 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money, for Naboth is not alive, but dead.”  And as soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,  “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession.  And you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Have you killed and also taken possession?”’ And you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD: “In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood.”’”
 Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” He answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the LORD.  Behold, I will bring disaster upon you. I will utterly burn you up, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel.  And I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin.  And of Jezebel the LORD also said, ‘The dogs shall eat Jezebel within the walls of Jezreel.’  Anyone belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat.” (ESV)
Wow! Just like the end of a movie series, we are going to stop on this cliffhanger today and increase your desire for digging in the WORD of the LORD tomorrow. See you then!
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.
“Dictionary by Merriam-Webster: America's Most-Trusted Online Dictionary.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/.
Green, Jay P. “Hosea.” The Interlinear Hebrew-Aramaic Old Testament: With Strong's Concordance Numbers above Each Word, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, MA, 1985, pp. 2075–2092.
Publishing, Rose. Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines. Rose Publishing, 2015.
Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible: Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order, Together with Dictionaries of the Hebrew and Greek Words of Th. Hendrickson Publishers, 1990.