The book of Hosea is one of the great love stories in the Bible – a drama of persistent love in the face of rejection. The focus of Hosea is a people that love the world through their misplaced affections.
Hosea was commanded to do the unthinkable – marry a harlot. His home would be a picture of spiritual harlotry, to declare Israel’s spiritual condition. Astonishingly, this situation is meant to describe the magnificence of the love of God. It is a story of betrayal and despising the marriage covenant contrasted with salvation and God’s faithfulness, patience, and mercy. In short, Hosea shows us just how faithful God is to the unfaithful. God chose us when we were dead in our sins and loved us to the end.
In Hosea, God is glorifying Himself through harlotry, so that He might demonstrate His superior goodness in the salvation sinners, the damnation of the wicked, and for the preservation of His people for His eternal glory, and their eternal joy.
The author identifies himself as Hosea the son of Beeri, which is also confirmed by the Apostle Paul.
Hosea prophesied from the reign of Uzziah (792–740 B.C.) to that of Hezekiah (716–687 B.C.). He probably finished his book during Hezekiah’s reign.
“When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea:
‘Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry
And children of harlotry,
For the land has committed great harlotry
By departing from the Lord.’ ”
“I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the Lord.”
“I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely,
For My anger has turned away from him.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
He shall grow like the lily,
And lengthen his roots like Lebanon.
His branches shall spread;
His beauty shall be like an olive tree,
And his fragrance like Lebanon.
Those who dwell under his shadow shall return;
They shall be revived like grain,
And grow like a vine.
Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.”
Hosea is a type of Christ. Like Hosea, Christ came to redeem a bride who had not been faithful to Him.
When was Hosea written?
What prophet was Hosea’s contemporary?
What kings reigned during Hosea’s ministry?
Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah; and Jeroboam, the son of Joash, king of Israel (Hos. 1:1).
Whom did Hosea marry?
A harlot named Gomer (Hos. 1:2–3).
How many children did Hosea have, and what were their names?
He had three children, whose names were Jezreel, Lo-Ruhamah, and Lo-Ammi (Hos. 1:3–9).
Who is Hosea referring to when he speaks of “Israel”?
Either the northern kingdom, the descendants of Jacob, or the true people of God.
What three themes are found in the book of Hosea?
Spiritual adultery, love, and judgment.
How much did Hosea pay to buy Gomer back?
Fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley (Hos. 3:2).
How did Hosea treat Gomer after he bought her back?
He showed her much love and kindness (Hos. 3:3).