For many of us, the prophets seem like weird people that are impossible to relate to. But when we look close, these strange people begin to look a little more human.
Take Hosea for example. Imagine a prophet not only walking home to see his wife, but a prophet who also has three kids that pull on his clothes, constantly ask questions, throw tantrums, poop their pants, and won’t go to sleep for the hundredth time. Hosea is living a life that every weary-eyed parent is familiar with. There he is, lying in bed, wondering who’s going to give in and take care of the crying baby in the middle of the night.
Hosea was probably pretty young when he started prophesying since his ministry lasted over the reign of four different kings of Judah (Ho 1:1)—a span that lasted 113 years altogether (2 Chron 26-29). While he of course didn’t live or prophesy that entire time, it leaves the potential for a long range of ministry, and therefore, an early start.
How interesting it can be to imagine a young prophet walking around proclaiming the word of the Lord to a people who don’t want to listen. Not only will he suffer rejection for being a prophet, but now he’ll probably undergo some extra rejection for his age.
“This kid is too young to understand how the world works,” the people might say. Not to mention that people are probably curious about him in general since he claimed that God asked him to marry a prostitute as a prophetic sign to Israel of their unfaithfulness to God.
If it was indeed that Hosea started his ministry as a young man, then there is plenty here I can relate with having entered ministry at a young age myself. Of course, most young ministers can relate, which is why Paul had to tell Timothy in his own ministry to, “Let no one despise you for your youth” (1 Tim 4:12).