Understanding with the Heart

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Hosea 1-5

Hosea is the first of the twelve minor prophets. They are called “minor,” not that they are unimportant, but because they wrote short books compared to the longer ones we have been studying.

God’s heart was broken by the unfaithfulness of Israel. How could he prepare a prophet to describe how he felt? God used a drastic method. He commanded Hosea to marry a wife who would prove unfaithful, leaving him to become a prostitute. As Hosea continued to love his wife but hate what she had done, he realized how God felt and he was able to represent God to the people with a heart understanding of how God felt. He knew the pain in God’s heart because of the pain in his own heart. He could proclaim God’s word with the deep feeling with which that word needs to be proclaimed.

If we are to represent God to people, and that is the calling of every Christian, then we must have an understanding that is far more than rational, but which is from the heart. We must try to understand how people feel and we must try to understand how God feels if we are to be effective in our calling to witness. Jesus, being truly God, understands how God feels. Being truly man, he understands how we feel. So he is the perfect communicator of God’s truth to us.


Father, help us to understand how people feel and how you feel, so we may be effective witnesses. Amen.