Summary: A deeper understanding of the greatest love story ever told. Even in the Old Testament we can see the love of God that would be truly revealed in the New Testament.
A Vision of the Cross
Setting: The prophet Hosea is the author of the book. He was one of the prophets of the northern 10 tribes of Israel. He prophesied over a period of 60 years, during the same period of time that Isaiah and Micah prophesied in Judah. Commerce and foreign conquest filled the country with wealth and luxury. The form of worship went on, but the hearts of the people had departed from the Lord. Because of Hosea’s experience with an unfaithful wife he was prepared as perhaps no other prophet was to understand God’s love for unfaithful Israel, and to plead for her return.
o He was subjected to perhaps the greatest humiliation of all the prophets except for maybe Jeremiah.
• Relation of Hosea’s Personal Life to Israel’s National & Spiritual Life
o God Commands Hosea
(1:2) “Go, take a wife of whoredoms……for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord.”
o God was about to take the marriage of Hosea and Gomer and show all of Israel the adultery that it had committed unto the Lord
• The Lord had commanded them with the very first commandment in Exodus 20:3 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
• Then in the very next verse God told them (v.4) “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”
o But instead of being obedient and loyal to the one true and living God that had brought them out of the land of Egypt they chose Idolatry and a spirit of rebellion. So once again God has to deal with them.
Hosea is obedient to the Lord
• Takes a wife named Gomer
Hosea’s experience with an immoral wife, whom he loved with all his heart, was a drama enacted before the eyes of all Israel picturing their unfaithfulness to God.
This experience also prepared Hosea to understand God’s attitude toward backslidden Israel, upon whom He had lavished His love, and to declare God’s message to the people.
Hosea’s children were even symbolic
o 1st was a son called Jezreel
JEZREEL [JEZ reel] (God scatters) — the name of two people, two cities, and a valley or plain in the Old Testament:
1. A man of the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 4:3).
2. A symbolic name given by the prophet Hosea to his oldest son (Hos. 1:4). The name Jezreel signified the great slaughter that God would bring on the house of Jehu because of the violent acts he had committed (2 Kings 9).
(1:4) “For I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu."
• Jehu slayed all the house of Ahab. 2Kings 10:10-11
• Although He had executed this judgment, and broken down many altars of Baal, Jehu fell into sin, and judgment came upon his house. 2 Kings 10:28-29
• Hosea (1:5) the Lord said “I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.”
o Jezreel was where the Assyrian army overcame the Israelites
o 2nd was a daughter called Loruhamah
Meaning “no mercy”
• 1:6b “I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.”