By Gene McCarty

    Hosea came to the northern kingdom beginning his work in about 750 B.C. during the reign of Jeroboam II. Some of what he has to say involves Judah but his ministry was to Israel. The total length of his period of work is uncertain. His work probably continued for 25 years and may have been much longer. Everything that we know about the prophet is found in the book. 
    The approach taken by this prophet is objectionable to some students of the scriptures. Our God chose to take an approach that to many men may be considered as vulgar or objectionable. Our God chooses his prophet very carefully, and also very carefully directed the prophet regarding his family life. This is a lesson delivered to a sinful people, and the illustrations used in this book are certainly unusual and special in contrast to what we expect to hear from God. 
    Perhaps one of the most important lessons that we learn from this book is to understand that our God will provide his word to men in his own way. It is important that we do not judge God as we read his word. I truly suspect that many people are tempted to become critical of God as they read this book. It is my conviction that this book is of great value if for no other reason than to challenge us regarding the way we read of the work of our wonderful God. 
    The primary theme of the book involves the tremendous love of God for his people as he has put up with them as they have pursued idols. Hosea's relationship with his wife is the chief example of this teaching. 

  1. In the 1st chapter Hosea is directed by God to chose an adulterous wife and the account of her children is recorded. The primary point of the chapter is that Israel is to be compared to this adulterous woman, because the people have committed adultery with idols. Chapter 2 continues the picture of great adultery, and speaks of punishment to come upon this nation of sinners if there is not repentance. The latter part of the chapter shows the love of God as the promise of blessing is given to the one who returns to faithfulness.

  2. Chapter 3 shows us a picture of the loving husband who buys his wife back from the house of prostitution, and directs her that she is now to be faithful to him. The next chapter (4) turns the lesson directly to Israel and declares that there is no faithfulness, no love, and no acknowledgment of God in the land. The text continues to discuss the lack of study of the scriptures and the tremendous love for sin in the land.

  3. Chapter 5 pronounces a judgment against Israel from God that promises great misery for this sinful people. Chapters 6 thru 13 continue the discussion of the sin of the people and the price to be paid by them for their choice. The 14th chapter is an invitation to this people to return to God and receive his blessing.



   Copyright 2000 - 2017, Charles Valentine