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Plowshares and Pruning Hooks – Hosea

Sunday, June 5: Plowshares & Pruning Hooks

Hosea

Where in the Bible does God give someone an easy job? Have you noticed that God never comes to an Abraham or a Moses or an Esther and says, “I’d like you to do me a favor, but it won’t be real difficult or take much time. I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you.” God does not recruit like someone from the PTA. His assignments are always intrusive, demanding and at times, extraordinarily hard.

The OT prophet Hosea was no exception. God gave him a job that might just qualify as the toughest assignment he ever gave to anyone. God comes to Hosea and says:

“Hosea, I want your life to be a living illustration of my relationship with my people. I have loved them and cared for them but they have been unfaithful to me in the extreme. So here is what I want you to do.

I want you to marry a woman who will become a prostitute. She will walk the streets and give herself to other men without guilt, regret or remorse. She will bear children and you won’t be sure who the father is. But this is the hard part. Although she is unfaithful and adulterous towards you, practicing all the sensual arts of the flesh with other men, – you will be faithful to her and continue to love her at any cost. This will be a picture to my people of how I feel about them.”

Does that sound like an easy assignment to you? It doesn’t to me either. I still remember my shock in seminary when I discovered what God had called Hosea to do. Nevertheless, that’s the kind of job God often called his prophets to tackle – if not worse.

This week we begin a new study series for the summer called, “Plowshares and Pruning Hooks.” It’s based on a portion of Scripture that’s like the dark side of the moon for many people called, “The Minor Prophets.” We will be kicking it off with a look at a love story that points us to the greatest love story ever. See you on Sunday!

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