For the past few days, I have been reading the book of Hosea. You know the prophet, one of the minor ones who led during a season of material wealth and spiritual poverty… A bit like today..
Hosea also married a “harlot” called Gomer.. Why you may wonder? I beleive it was to the people of Israel a visual demonstration of their unfaithfulness to God. You see, Gomer betrayed Hosea quite a few times in the same way the israleites had betrayed God.
Leadership is all about sacrifice. Many of us want the title of leadership and all the perks that go with it and none of the cost of leadership. Becoming a leader is not about gaining rights… Its about giving them up. One of the greatest mistakes that leaders make is when becoming a CEO, it allows them more liberties with the budget, more options with their time and more freedom with teir lifestyle. From God’s point of view, becoming a leader means quite the opposite. Leaders give up options and remain careful to do all things for the sake of the gospel…
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law,[a] that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God,[b] but under law toward Christ[c]), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as[d] weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you. …1 Corinthians 9:19-23
Leading people is a lifestyle. We cannot seperate our words from our conduct. Hollow leadership results when we do not embody the values we want other to embrace. Hypocrisy replaces Integrity & no one wants to follow this kind of leader. The way we talk, the way we lead and the way we live should all mesh up…
So back to Hosea, out of obedience to God he marries the prostitute Gomer who refuses to change her way for husband or for their children. Still, Hosea tries to bring his wife back from the sordid life to which she so stubbornly clinged to.
Why would Hosea or any of us subject himself to the kind of heartache he must have felt in trying to make a faithful wife out of a prostitute? Why would he punish himself in this way? why wouldn’t he just cut his losses and get rid of this “wicked woman”?
Simply, because Hosea’s life did not belong to him alone. He had given his heart and soul to God. Paul reminds us, “you are not your own, you were bough at a price” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Hosea relaised that God had called him to become a living metaphor of the love of God for His people…. and Hosea obeyed, regardless of the personal cost.
Hoseas demonstrates, the heartaches that may come from following the call of God. As leaders, we must continue to pray and minister to those who have strayed form God, even when it hurts…Knowing that God did the same for us