Gomer’s first illegitimate son was named “Jezreel,” as directed by God. He was so named because God was going to bring judgment on the house of Jehu at the Valley of Jezreel. Jehu had the 70 sons of Ahab beheaded in the valley of Jezreel and stacked their skulls up outside the city gates. The name  The next child of “whoredom” was named “Lo-Rahumah.” God directed the naming of this child also. The name means “No Mercy.” God will withdraw His mercy on the house of Israel, and they will be conquered by their enemies. But God was not through with naming the children of Gomer conceived in adultery. Verses 8 and 9 of the first Chapter of Hosea tells us, “When she had weaned No Mercy, she conceived and bore a son. And the Lord said, ‘Call his name Not My People, for you are not my people, and I am not your God.’” In Hebrew and in many English Bibles, we see that the name is literally “Lo-Ammi.” As expected, it means “not my people.”

I read a recent headline that told of a father who discovered his wife had an affair. He insisted that DNA samples be taken of their children to be sure they were his. Hosea, God’s prophet, did not need a DNA sample. He knew very well that Gomer’s children were not his. I can’t imagine what devastation would bring to a child to have their father say, “You are not my child, and I am not your father.” In the case of Israel, it meant more than physical identity. It looked back at the entire history of the Jewish race. The nation of people descended from Abraham was always considered God’s people. They considered YHWH their God. They considered themselves God’s people. God tells them through Hosea that He is not their God and they are not His people.

This was more than a statement of fact. Hosea knew that this child was not his, but he was directed to use this experience to inform the nation that they no longer represented the family values of the children of Israel. There is no family resemblance between the northern Kingdom of Israel and the nation that God had directed from Egypt to the promised land. The nation that became one under King David and then became the greatest nation on earth under King Solomon was no longer recognizable as the children of God. Kidner says, “From one angle, this oracle was simply factual: just as accurate as would have been Hosea’s disclaimer of paternity for his children. Israel might be nominally the Lord’s, but in fact, she was the child of her times and of her pagan world. Likewise, Yahweh might be nominally her national God, but since He is not for sharing, the presence of other gods flatly denied the relationship.”[1]

The Apostle Paul tells the Roman Gentiles, as well as us, that although they were not of the chosen people of God, God adopted them into his family. He quotes from Hosea in Romans 9:25-26, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’ And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children’ of the living God.’” Children of God are not so because of a bloodline. We are children of God because of faith in the only begotten son of God. God looks at anyone of any race who has come to faith in Jesus and says, “you are my child.”

[1] Kidner, Derek. 1976. The Message of Hosea: Love to the Loveless. Edited by J. Alec Motyer and Derek Tidball. The Bible Speaks Today. England: Inter-Varsity Press.