“What you do with the Bible ~ will determine what God will do with you”
Hosea revealed little about his background, though his book of prophecy offers a few glimpses into his life.
Hosea means “salvation,” likely a reference to Hosea’s position in Israel as a beacon of hope to those who would repent and turn to God because of his message.
Following the command of God, Hosea married Gomer, a bride God described as “a wife of harlotry” (Hosea 1:2) and a woman who bore Hosea three children, two sons and a daughter (1:4, 6, 9).
God used the names of Hosea’s children, along with his wife’s unfaithfulness, to send specific messages to the people of Israel.
Hosea ~ Amos ~ Jonah all were prophets around 760 BC ~ Isaiah was preaching in there about that time also
Hosea was a prophet with a broken heart
God commanded Hosea marry Gomer ~ an immoral woman
Notice God used Hosea’s pain as a sermon illustration to the nation
Hosea was a young preacher that was tenderhearted with a deep concern for the nation
The book of Hosea was written around 758 BC
The people of Israel were growing more corrupt by the day
God called their worship “spiritual whoredom”
Israel behaved toward Jehovah just like Gomer treated Hosea
Because of his own experience with deep hurt ~ Hosea came to understand how God felt about Israel’s conduct
The political rulers were terribly corrupt ~ and the kind profited greatly from their wickedness
No one called on God (7:3-7)
And to make it worse ~ the religious leaders ~ led the people astray ~ and did NOT teach God’s WORD
The priests profited from the people’s sacrifices
The priests did NOT discourage sin among the people
The nation had very low moral character
During the past 25 years ~ Israel had 6 kings ~ and 4 were murdered
Israel exchanged the worship of the true God for Baal worship
Israel was guilty of using prostitutes in their temples of worship (4:14)
Israel was guilty of practicing open idolatry (8:5 & 10:5 & 13:2)
Israel was guilty of following pagan nations instead of following God (5:13 & 7:8-11)
Israel was guilty of adopting pagan cultures and worship (12:1-7)
Key’s to the Book of Hosea
KEY WORD: “return” ~ used 15 times
KEY Verse: 4:1 NLT
Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel!
The Lord has brought charges against you, saying:
“There is no faithfulness, no kindness,
no knowledge of God in your land.
Overview of Hosea’s Message
3 words: Sin ~ Judgment ~ Love
God used Hosea to teach the people the nature and consequences of their sin
The importance of God’s judgment
Hosea’s sermon in 4 words: Return to the LORD
Hosea represented Jehovah ~ Gomer represented Israel
Gomer left Hosea for other lovers ~ Israel left Jehovah for false Gods
Names of Hosea’s children:
Jezreel ~ “God scatters”
Lo-Ruhamah ~ “without mercy”
Lo-Ammi ~ “not my people”
“Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned”
“mixed” teaches that Israel was no longer a separate and holy nation
“cake unturned” teaches that Israel was half hearted and not fully committed to Jehovah
“Aliens have devoured his strength, but he does not know it; yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, yet he does not know it.
And the pride of Israel testifies to his face, but they do no not return to the LORD their God, nor seek Him for all this”
Strangers were about to devour Israel’s strength because they were weakened by evil associations
“Israel is swallowed up; now they are among the Gentiles like a vessel in which is no pleasure.
For they have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey alone by itself; Ephraim has hired lovers”
Hosea is preaching that Israel has lost both is spiritual and national identity
“I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first fruits on the fig tree in its first season.
But they went to Baal Peor, and separated themselves to that shame; they became an abomination like the thing they loved”
Israel allowed sin into their hearts and minds and fell in love with sin
“By a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet he was preserved”
True prophets of God and the voice of God ~ and through his WORD ~ God preserves His people
“Who is wise?
Let him understand these things.
Who is prudent?
Let him know them.
For the ways of the LORD are right;
The righteous walk in them,
But transgressors stumble in them.”
This is the crown jewel of the book of Hosea ~ God and His WORD are always right ~ and those who choose to follow sin ~ will NEVER find strength or peace in Them
Where are we?
In Hosea 1:1, the prophet identified the kings that ruled during his prophetic ministry.
The first four—Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah—reigned over the southern kingdom of Judah from 790 BC to 686 BC, while Jeroboam II ruled the northern kingdom of Israel from 782 BC to 753 BC.
This indicates that Hosea lived in the middle to late eighth century BC (755–715 BC), making him a contemporary of the prophets Isaiah and Micah.
Because this prophecy against the descendants of Jeroboam involved the birth of Hosea’s children, we can conclude that he lived in the northern kingdom, where the names of his children would have had the greatest impact.
Why is Hosea so important?
More than any other prophet, Hosea linked his message closely with his personal life.
By marrying a woman he knew would eventually betray his trust and by giving his children names that sent messages of judgment on Israel, Hosea’s prophetic word flowed out of the life of his family.
This sequence plays itself out in the lives of real people, reminding us that the Scriptures are far from a mere collection of abstract statements with no relation to real life.
No, they work their way into our day-to-day existence, commenting on issues that impact all our actions and relationships.
What’s the big idea?
Structured around five cycles of judgment and restoration, the book of Hosea makes clear its repetitious theme: though God will bring judgment on sin, He will always bring His people back to Himself.
God’s love for Israel, a nation of people more interested in themselves than in God’s direction for their lives, shines through clearly against the darkness of their idolatry and injustice (Hosea 14:4).
Throughout the book, Hosea pictured the people turning away from the Lord and turning toward other gods (4:12–3; 8:5–6).
This propensity for idolatry meant that the Israelites lived as if they were not God’s people.
And though God told them as much through the birth of Hosea’s third child, Lo-ammi, He also reminded them that He would ultimately restore their relationship with Him, using the intimate and personal language of “sons” to describe His wayward people (1:9–10; 11:1).
How do I apply this?
Do you know the saving power of God, now offered to us through His Son, Jesus?
If so, as a redeemed child of God, have you offered “redemption” or forgiveness to those in your life who were once under your judgment?
Not only does the book of Hosea provide an example of God’s love to a people who have left God behind, but it also shows us what forgiveness and restoration look like in a close relationship.
The book of Hosea illustrates that no one is beyond the offer of our forgiveness because no one sits outside God’s offer of forgiveness.
Certainly, God brings judgment on those who turn from Him, but Hosea’s powerful act of restoration within his own marriage set the bar high for those of us seeking godliness in our lives.