The Life of the Prophet Hosea
The third and final novel of the Three Prophets Series (second, chronologically, because, why do things in order?) , Faithless Heart—a dramatization of the infamous marriage of the prophet, Hosea, and perhaps history’s most enduring prostitute, Gomer—is now one step closer to completion. The first draft of the story has been distributed for scrutiny to a courageous group of volunteer readers who, I’m sure, will soon challenge me to do better.
Before the test-readers weigh in (and, so, before the following conclusion may change) we can now say that we’re pleased with the initial draft, especially since Faithless Heart presented several new challenges. Unlike the many recorded miracles, pursuits and experiences of the prophets Elijah (in The Ivory House) and Daniel (in For the Sake of His Name), there are very few documented details and events depicting the interaction of Hosea and Gomer in the biblical Book of Hosea, some of which are…
- God directs Hosea to marry a prostitute
- Hosea’s father’s name was Beeri
- Gomer’s father’s name was Diblaim
- A great earthquake struck Israel early in Hosea’s ministry or late in Amos’s
- Hosea and Gomer had three children (Chapter 1)
- Later in the Book of Hosea, Hosea is told by God to “Go again” and buy a prostitute, almost certainly Gomer, for a set price (Chapter 3)
Combine the minimal details above with the lack of expert consensus regarding the succession of the last kings of Israel (four of five of whom murdered his predecessor), especially as concerns the reigns of Menachem and Pekah, who may or may not have ruled Israel concurrently, as rivals, and it is clear that the historical record, archeology and scripture impose few hard limits on the fictional narrative.
So Faithless Heart has easily been the most challenging (and, necessarily, the most imagination driven) of the three novels in the series. The storyline is bound only by the details listed above and the more-important symbolic relationship between Hosea and his adulterous wife, which begins terribly and ends miraculously, as it is now happening in reality between God and his people, the surviving remnant in, and on their way to modern Israel.
While all three novels in the series span almost 400 years of decline and, eventually, the end of sovereign ancient Israel, the theme remains a joyous one, the ongoing modern restoration of the remnant to The Land, which began where my three stories end, in the last days of the prophet, Daniel, as the Persian emperor, Koresh (Cyrus the Great), sends the Babylonian captives of failed Judah home to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.
Thanks to those of you who have given support and shown interest in this work; look for Faithless Heart to be published sometime this summer, God willing.