Why did God tell Hosea to marry a prostitute? Many from other religions such as Hinduism and Islam ask me this question. If God of the Bible is sinless how can he tell Hosea to marry a prostitute?
Honestly, any fair-minded person could answer this for themselves. In the first three chapters of Hosea God uses an extended metaphor–something close to an allegory–to explain his relationship with his people Israel. In this actual factual story, the prophet Hosea represents God, and his wife Gomer represents God’s people Israel. It is absolutely remarkable that God would use the actual life of Hose his prophet to teach a lesson to his people. It is also remarkable that Hosea was willing to go along with this request. Hosea makes the parallel between God’s people Israel and Gomer in Hosea 1:10. “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore…. In the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” you will be called Sons of God. In this case, the name “not my people” is the name of Gomer’s son Lo-Ammi. Again, in Hosea 2:4-5 God says “I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery. Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace.” Here God uses the unfaithfulness of Gomer as a metaphor for his people Israel. However, as God asked Hosea to still love his wife and to buy her back from her pimp, God will do the same for his unfaithful, harlot-like people Israel. God told Hosea in 3:1, “Go show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another, and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turned to other gods.”
Here we see why God told Hosea to marry a woman who would later become a prostitute. He did this as a means to use Hosea himself to teach us about his relationship with his people Israel. Though Israel had been unfaithful and had prostituted themselves with other gods, yet, still God loved them and wanted to take them back. This is an incredibly beautiful story about God’s love for us, even when we have not been faithful to him.
It is a sign of the disingenuous nature of these Hindu and Muslim critics of the story of Hosea. Anyone reading the first three chapters of Hosea can see for themselves that this is a beautiful story about God’s love for us, yet these biased and uncaring critics attack this beautiful story in an unthinking way. How sad is that?
You ask, “If the God of the Bible is sinless, how can he tell Hosea to marry a prostitute?” First of all, she was not yet a prostitute when Hosea married her. In any case, it was certainly not sinful on the part of Hosea to marry her or to take her back into his life. What sin might these people charge God with or Hosea with. The only “sin” I see is loving someone who does not deserve to be loved. Are these people trying to blame God for what Gomer did? This was her choice, but God, in his wisdom, used the events to tell us how much he loves us. Whoever said that the story of Hosea proves that God sins has not read this story carefully at all.