Sunday, July 14, 2019

Hosea 1.2-10: Picturing the Relationship

[Note: The extra post this week is an effort to work ahead on blog posts in order to be more helpful for folks who are worship planning several weeks in advance. There are two posts today, and I'll try to get one more posted this week so there is a three-week lead time on posts. Hosea 1 is the RCL text for July 28, 2019.]

The story of Hosea and Gomer. Is it a romance? A cautionary tale? A tragedy? Is Gomer abused by Hosea (and God...see Hosea 2)? Is she an excellent stand-in for Israel as sinners? We know she is voiceless in the text. But so is Hosea. God is the one who speaks and directs in this text (Hosea 1:2-10).

Artists have historically seemed to revel in the opportunity to paint Biblical texts that read as...salacious. Joseph and Potiphar's wife. Delilah's treachery and betrayal of Samson. David and Bathsheba. Is the point of these texts that they can be R-rated?
This week specifically, how should we picture the relationship between Hosea and Gomer? Here are four options. Each offers a very different approach. Which best captures your understanding of the relationship defined in this week's text? Or in what way does one (or all) fall short of how you see this relationship?

Top: Hosea and Gomer. Bible Historiale. Den Haag, MMW, 10 B 23 426r.
Second: Barry Moser. Hosea and Gomer 
Third: Marriage of Hosea and the Prostitute. Bible of St. Andre-aux-bois. 12th century. Bibliotheque de l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France Bottom: Cody F. Miller. Hosea and Gomer.

For thoughts on Luke 11:1-13, click here.

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