4 Then the Lord said to Hosea, ‘Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. 5 In that day I will break Israel’s bow in the Valley of Jezreel.’
6 Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the Lord said to Hosea, ‘Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them. 7 Yet I will show love to Judah; and I will save them – not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the Lord their God, will save them.’
8 After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son. 9 Then the Lord said, ‘Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not my people, and I am not your God.[a]
I remember been bemused hearing that rock star Frank Zappa had called one of his children “Moon Unit” and more recently that Ellon Musk had called his son “X Æ A-12 Musk.”
I suspect that Hosea’s contemporaries wouldn’t have been bemused at the names he gave his children they would have been angry. They were names that were meant to provoke a reaction by expressing a truth.
Jezreel was the city where Jehu had slaughtered the family of King Ahab. It symbolized destruction and was a prophecy that the kind of destruction that had come to Ahab because of his sin, would come to all of Israel.
Lo-Ruhamahmeant not loved, or better, not an object of compassion. It was a reminder that God’s compassion would be withheld to discipline Israel by allowing the nation to experience the consequences of her sin.
Lo Ammi meant not my people, it was a reminder that the people of Israel despite all He had done for them, had rejected Yahweh as their God. They had stopped living as His people.
Each name was a reminder to Israel that sin has consequences.
It still does.
If we continue to reject God and His ways eventually God will allow us to experience the consequences of our sin. In the book of Hosea this is exactly what happens to Gomer and Israel. They both end up in captivity and slavery due to their sinful choices and rejection of God.