“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

Life as an Object Lesson

When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.” Hosea 1:2 

The prophets of the Bible used several different methods of sharing God's message with His people. Some wrote it down (Jeremiah, for instance). Others spoke to God directly (Habakkuk comes to mind). Quite a few shared God's message verbally, whether with kings, God's people, or even the Israelites' enemies.

But perhaps the most memorable ones were those who, instead of just talking, lived out the prophecy
God gave them to share. Ezekiel ate a scroll, lay on one side for 390 days, and shaved his head and weighed the hairs (Ezekiel 3, 4, 5). Jeremiah made a yoke and wore it every day (Jeremiah 27).

But perhaps the most memorable prophecy object lesson is that of the prophet Hosea. He not only spoke to Jeroboam II, King of Israel about their future capture by Assyria, his life was an example of God's treatment of His wayward people.

God told him to marry an unfaithful woman, to show God's relationship with the unfaithful children of Israel. The Lord commanded Hosea to name his and Gomer's children after the state of God's people (Hosea 1:6-9). Later, after Gomer left him for another man and was adulterous, God told Hosea to buy her back and love her again, to show the Israelites that the Lord would do the same for them in the last days. (Hosea 3:1-3)

Watching Hosea's life was as much a testimony of God's plans and message as listening to his words. I imagine there many who would ignore his verbal prophecies. But they couldn't ignore the object lesson that was his life.

People are watching us, just like they watched Hosea. And our lives, more than our words, are the testimony to those around us who want to know about the hope that is within us. Our lives should be an object lesson of God's nature to all around us - and especially to unbelievers.

But what if Hosea had refused to preach to the Israelites? Or to follow God's instruction regarding Gomer? What kind of a witness, or object lesson, would he have been?

What kind of testimony are WE when we don't follow his commands?
We're discussing this here, and at Living by Grace on Facebook. Won't you join us?

Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths
Graphics Courtesy of Christians Unite 


  1. Thanks for the powerful reminder to aily offer my whole self as a living sacrifice to God. Great post, Jo!

    1. Thanks, Jen! :) It's a reminder I need too.


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