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.”
• This was a symbol that God was going to lift mercy from Israel, no longer protecting her from her enemies.
o 3rd was a son called Loammi
Meaning “Not my people”
• 1:9b “For ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.”
• Promise of Preservation
o In the 10th verse God promises to preserve them in spite of the fact that they must be punished.
The Jews exist today in greater numbers than ever, in spite of the way they have been persecuted.
o “And it shall come to pass that in the place…it is said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are sons of the Living God.”
22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. 27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: 28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. 29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.