The book of Hosea is a love story – real, tragic, and true. Transcending the tale of a young man and his wife, it tells of God’s love for his people and the response of his “bride.” A covenant had been made and God had been faithful. His love was steadfast and his commitment unbroken. But Israel, like Gomer, was adulterous and unfaithful, spurning God’s love and turning instead to false gods. Then after warning of judgment, God reaffirmed his love and offered reconciliation. His love and mercy were overflowing, but justice would be served.
Hosea was commanded by God to marry a woman who was unfaithful in marriage and would cause him many heartaches. Just as Gomer lost interest in Hosea and ran after other men, we too can lose appreciation for our special relationship with God and pursue dreams and goals that do not include him. When we compromise our Christian life-styles and adopt the ways of the world, we are being unfaithful.
God wanted the people in the northern kingdom to turn from their sin and return to worshiping him alone, but they persisted in their wickedness. Throughout the book, Israel is described as ignorant of God, with no desire to please him. Israel did not understand Hosea. Like a loving husband or patient father, God wants people to know him and to turn to him daily.
The book of Hosea dramatically portrays our God’s constant and persistent love. As you read Hosea, watch the prophet submit himself willingly to his Lord’s direction; grieve with him over the unfaithfulness of his wife and his people; and hear the clear warning of judgment. Then reaffirm your commitment to being God’s person, faithful in your love and true to your vows.
Hosea son of Beeri (“Hosea” means “salvation”)
Approximately 715 B. C. recording events from about 753 – 715 B. C.
To Whom Written:
Israel (northern kingdom) and God’s people everywhere
To download a PDF outline of Hosea click here.
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