Summary: This is the 1st study in the study "Faithful Or Unfaithful".
Hosea was a prophet who lived and prophesied just before the destruction of Israel in 722 BC. He preached to the Northern Kingdom. This book is a love story--the story of a broken marriage and of the heartache which unfaithfulness brings into a life. It is also the story of God fulfilling His promises when it was not deserved.
Hosea prophesied during the reign of seven kings. Of these seven kings, five of them are listed here in our passage. A couple of the ones that followed Jeroboam didn’t reign very long, so that may be why they are left out. Five of these seven kings are said to have continued in the sin of Jeroboam. What was this sin that Jeroboam committed? After the death of Solomon, the nation divided. Rehoboam was the king of Judah in the South and Jeroboam was the king Israel in the North. Jeroboam was afraid that if the people were allowed to go back to Jerusalem to worship God then he would lose his power. Jeroboam was afraid that God would unite both Kingdoms and he would be out of a job. Jeroboam came up with a plan to stop the restoration of Israel as one nation.
Jeroboam created a new god for the Israelites and that god was golden calves. The sin of Jeroboam was starting national idol worship in Israel and this sin is rooted in the fact that Jeroboam wanted to achieve his own personal agenda. He put what he wanted before God’s will and did whatever he had to make sure he got his way.
When we are living our lives according to God’s direction these sorts of things don’t happen, but when we allow Satan a foot-hold in our lives we begin to promote our own wills instead of God’s. Sin is completely based upon selfishness. If Jeroboam had really been worshipping God, he would have seen God’s glory and his own sinfulness and wanted to do God’s will, even if that meant reuniting the kingdom. By the way, Hosea 1:11 shows that was God’s will. So Jeroboam never really experienced God’s presence during his required temple worship times. He didn’t have a relationship with God, and to keep the rest of the nation from having a relationship with God he set up idol worship. Jeroboam wanted the power for himself and to make things worse, he took the whole nation down with him. This first verse of Hosea is not only there to show us the time frame in which we are looking, but more importantly to show us the spiritual climate in which Hosea was ministering.
Here in this text, we find God asking His prophet to do a very difficult thing. Hosea was commanded to take a wife who would become a prostitute as an example of God’s relationship with Israel. God is painting a picture of this problem for us and is doing it through Hosea’s life. Hosea was to show God’s patience and love while his wife was being unfaithful.
What does this have to do with us living in the New Testament era? As we study this book, we must see the fact that God must always come first in our lives and when He doesn’t, it will affect our relationship with God and also affect our relationships with those around us. So simply speaking, are we faithful or unfaithful to God?