Summary: About the time that Amos (the "country prophet") was prophesying to the northern kingdom of Israel, another prophet came on to the scene a. His name was Hosea b. Whose name means "salvation" (Joshua and Jesus are derived from the same w
"STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS"
Hosea - God’s Redeeming Love (1:1-3:5)
1. About the time that Amos (the "country prophet") was prophesying to
the northern kingdom of Israel, another prophet came on to the scene
a. His name was Hosea
b. Whose name means "salvation" (Joshua and Jesus are derived from
the same word)
2. While the audience was the same, there were some differences...
a. Amos was from Judah (Tekoa); Hosea appears to have been from
b. While Amos showed little patience with his northern relatives,
Hosea displayed a large degree of sympathetic understanding
toward his own people
c. Just as Amos is reminiscent of John the Baptist in his approach,
so Hosea is reminiscent of how Jesus approached people
[In this lesson, the first of several on Hosea, we will see why Hosea
was so sympathetic, even as he condemned his own people for their sins.
Let’s start with some...]
I. BACKGROUND MATERIAL
A. THE MAN...
1. His father was named Beeri (Hos 1:1), but nothing more is
known of his ancestors
2. Some think he may have been a priest, in view of his high
regard for the duties and responsibilities of the priesthood
3. We read of his wife (Gomer, Hos 1:3) and his children...
a. Jezreel, a son - Hos 1:4
b. Lo-Ruhamah, a daughter - Hos 1:6
c. Lo-Ammi, another son - Hos 1:8-9
-- Through his family, the basic message of Hosea will be
illustrated (see below)
B. THE DATE...
1. Hosea prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz,
and Hezekiah, kings of Judah; Jeroboam II also reigned during
this time in Israel - Hos 1:1
2. Most place the time of his work at 750-725 B.C.
3. Hosea was possibly a young man when Amos was almost through
with his ministry
4. His work in relation to other prophets during this period of
a. Amos and Hosea prophesied to Israel
b. Isaiah and Micah were prophesying in Judah
C. BACKGROUND OF THE TIMES...
1. For a good background of this period of Bible history, cf.
2Ki 14-17; 2Ch 26-29
2. The northern kingdom of Israel was on its last legs...
a. Sin was even more rampant than seen in the book of Amos
b. Religious, moral, and political corruption was rampant
3. One word sums the condition of the nation of Israel: harlotry
(whoredom, KJV), used thirteen times throughout the book
D. KEY TO UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK...
1. An analogy is made between Hosea’s experience with Gomer, and
the Lord’s experience with Israel
2. This analogy is described in chs. 1-3, and serves as the
backdrop to chs. 4-14
[With this brief introduction to the book of Hosea, let’s now survey
the first three chapters...]
II. HOSEA’S FAMILY, AND THE ANALOGY WITH ISRAEL (1:1-3:5)
A. ISRAEL’S REJECTION SYMBOLIZED... (1:2-9)
1. Hosea commanded to marry "a wife of harlotry" - Hos 1:2-3
a. Her name was Gomer
b. If the parallel between Gomer and Israel is exact, then she
was not a harlot at the time of the marriage; but her
background would prompt her to become one
c. She certainly would come to symbolize what Israel had
2. Gomer bears three children - Hos 1:4-9
a. The first son is named "Jezreel"
1) Which means "God scatters", or "God sows"
2) His name prefigured God’s judgment on the ruling house
of Israel - Hos 1:4-5
b. The daughter is named "Lo-Ruhamah"
1) Which means "no mercy"
2) Her name describes God’s attitude toward Israel, though
Judah still found grace in God’s sight - Hos 1:6-7
3) Some suggest that the daughter (and the son to follow)
were not Hosea’s
a) Note it does not say she bore "him" (Hosea) a
daughter, as before
b) I.e., Gomer had become a harlot - cf. Hos 2:4
c. The second son is named "Lo-Ammi"
1) His name means "not my people"
2) Thus God declares his rejection of Israel - Hos 1:8-9
B. ISRAEL’S RESTORATION FORETOLD... (1:10-2:1)
1. Though cast off, God promises a restoration
2. There might be a reference to the restoration from Assyrian
and Babylonian captivity
3. However, both Paul and Peter apply this promise to believing
Jews and Gentile in the church - Ro 9:25-26; 1Pe 2:10
C. ISRAEL’S UNFAITHFULNESS... (2:2-13)
1. Condemnation for her sinful conduct - Hos 2:2-5
a. Charges of harlotry and adultery
b. No mercy on her children, as the children of harlotry
-- God’s rage for Israel’s unfaithfulness described in terms
of an enraged husband who learns not only of his wife’s
adultery, but that the children are not his
2. Punishment for her sinful conduct - Hos 2:6-13
a. God will prevent Israel from finding her lovers
b. God will take away the blessings and the feasts that Israel