Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:
Hosea’s unhappy marriage was intended by God to serve as a heartrending illustration of the apostasy of the northern kingdom, whose citizens had turned from the worship of Yahweh to the worship of the various Baals of the degenerate religions of Canaan and Phoenicia. God, of course, foreknew that Israel would prove false to Him in later centuries, even when He first took her as His covenant wife in the solemn marriage that took place in the days of Moses at Mount Sinai. Yet in His marvelous grace He bore with her infidelities, welcomed her back in her times of repentance and revival, and kept faithful to her even though she repeatedly betrayed His love. Even so was it to be with Hosea. Gomer would be unblemished in the beginning of their marriage, but would stray from him later on.
In retrospect, Hosea interpreted God’s encouragement to him to enter into this unhappy match as directive at the very start:… “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry” (1:2, NASB), even though the Lord may not have used such shocking terms in His original response to Hosea’s prayer concerning this attractive girl with whom he had fallen in love. God knew very well what was in [Gomer’s] heart; yet He said nothing to warn or dissuade Hosea before he married her…. The tragedy of Hosea was to serve as a parable of the tragedy of God’s marriage to Israel. No more eloquent illustration of this could be found than that of the infidelity of Gomer to her godly husband.
Gleason L. Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Zondervan, 1982), pp. 294-295.