The first time God spoke to Hosea he said: "Find a whore and marry her. Make this whore the mother of your children. And here's why: This whole country has become a whorehouse, unfaithful to me, God."
Hosea did it. He picked Gomer daughter of Diblaim. She got pregnant and gave him a son.
Then God told him: "Name him Jezreel. It won't be long now before I'll make the people of Israel pay for the massacre at Jezreel. I'm calling it quits on the kingdom of Israel.
Payday is coming! I'm going to chop Israel's bows and arrows into kindling in the valley of Jezreel."
Gomer got pregnant again. This time she had a daughter. God told Hosea: "Name this one No-Mercy. I'm fed up with Israel. I've run out of mercy. There's no more forgiveness.
Judah's another story. I'll continue having mercy on them. I'll save them. It will be their God who saves them, Not their armaments and armies, not their horsepower and manpower."
After Gomer had weaned No-Mercy, she got pregnant yet again and had a son.
God said: "Name him Nobody. You've become nobodies to me, and I, God, am a nobody to you.
"But down the road the population of Israel is going to explode past counting, like sand on the ocean beaches. In the very place where they were once named Nobody, they will be named God's Somebody.
Everybody in Judah and everybody in Israel will be assembled as one people. They'll choose a single leader. There'll be no stopping them - a great day in Jezreel!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)