Summary: The heart of God can be seen through the book of Hosea, communicated to Hosea through prophecy and circumstances.
The Heart of God
CHAPTERS ONE THRU THREE
I. Who was Hosea?
A. Hosea lived during the time of the divided kingdom (Israel to the North, Judah to the South)
1. Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah (Judah) reigned between 765 BC to 685 BC (2 Chron. 26-29)
2. Hosea was a prophet to Israel, the Northern Kingdom
3. The primary king of Israel during Hosea was Jeroboam II (II Kings 14:23-29) who "did evil in the eyes of the LORD . . . " This was the darkest part of Israel’s history.
4. II Kings 17:7-23 records the downfall and captivity of Israel into Assyria
5. Judah remained for a time, but was eventually taken into captivity by Babylon (2 Chron. 36:15-23)
B. Hosea’s domestic life in the shadow of his prophecy
1. Hosea married an adulterous woman, as God had commanded him (1:2-3)
a. Many debate the morality of God’s command.
b. Some say Hosea is referring to her as an adulterous as he looks back, that he did not see her that way at the time that he married her.
c. One may wonder if God knew what would happen, why he would command Hosea to marry a prostitute.
d. Gomer than leaves Hosea and he pursues after her, buying her back from adultery (3:1-2).
1. V. 3:2 Hosea pays 15 shekels, a homer and a lethek of barley.
2. The price of a slave was 30 shekels, a homer and lethek of barley were a day’s rations for a slave.
e. This part of Hosea’s life is tragic, but it is not uncommon.
f. But the story of a man pursuing a woman after she has lost all value and has purposefully run away from him is very uncommon.
2. Hosea’s Children
a. Jezreel - "Coming judgement" (1:4-5)
1. II Kings 10:1-17 the massacre of Ahab’s household including his 70 sons by Jehu
2. Jehu admitted to the people that he killed Ahab, but not his 70 sons.
3. Jehu carried out judgement on the house of Ahab, but also on the innocent officials, elders and guardians of Ahab’s children. (II Kings 10:1)
b. Lo-ruhamah - "People not loved" (1:6-7)
c. Lo-Ammi - "People rejected" (1:8-9)
2. Because of Hosea’s domestic life, and the experiences God brought him, nobody better understood the heart of God who suffered for His people Israel.
a. God reveals His heart to us through the experiences He brings our way.
b. Hosea’s broken heart reflected the broken heart of God.
c. It is at times in the midst of the tragedy that we discover the heart of God, ex. Joseph, M & M, Centurion
3. Consequently, nobody understood Hosea’s heart better than God did.
a. Hosea strongly illustrates the real nature of sin and the strength of Divine love.
b. Through Hosea’s anguish at his wife’s sin, we see the emotion of God at our sin.
c. When Hosea was told to go after and love Gomer again, he found the heart of God.
II. Restoration - "A door of Hope"
A. How Gomer was restored to Hosea
1. It was and is still today not uncommon to have unfaithfulness in marriage.
2. But it will always be very uncommon for a person to pursue another who has lost all value and become degraded.
3. Hosea was commanded in 3:1 to "Go, show your love to your wife again . . ."
a. Hosea was not told to restore her, but to love her.
b. God brings, conviction and repentance, we do not (II Tim. 2:23-26)
c. As believers, we are to "gently instruct" the lost, God brings the repentance.
4. V. 1:10-11 show that Israel will be restored, they will again be called His people
5. We too have been restored to God and called his children (I Pet. 2:9-10).
B. "I . . . will make the Valley of Achor a door of Hope."
1. God clearly spells out the punishment that will come upon Israel because of their sin.
a. Israel has been as an adulterous to God, chasing after other gods (2:2)
b. The people of Israel are as children born out of adultery (2:2-3)
c. The good things given to her by God, she says are from her lovers, not from God (2:5)
d. God will hedge her in so that she cannot find the way to her lovers (2:6-7)
e. Realizing her true condition, she will be driven back to God, the source of her life (2:7-8, picture of prodigal son (Luke 15:16-20)
f. God will punish her for her unfaithfulness (2:9-13)
2. God chases after Israel, restoring her to His side
a. He will bring her into a desert, and will allure her (2:14)
b. He will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope