Summary: God is faithful and desires our faithfulness. Whether this requires reconciliation or not, God passionately pursues us, and we need to do the same for Him, as well!
Texts from Hosea 1-3, Main Text:
1 The word of the LORD that came to Hosea the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
2 When the LORD began to speak by Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea: "Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry, For the land has committed great harlotry By departing from the LORD."
3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
4 Then the LORD said to him: "Call his name Jezreel, For in a little while I will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, And bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.
5 It shall come to pass in that day That I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel."
6 And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him: "Call her name Lo-Ruhamah, For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, But I will utterly take them away.
7 Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, Will save them by the LORD their God, And will not save them by bow, Nor by sword or battle, By horses or horsemen."
8 Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son.
9 Then God said: "Call his name Lo-Ammi, For you are not My people, And I will not be your God.
10 " Yet the number of the children of Israel Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass In the place where it was said to them, ’You are not My people,’ There it shall be said to them, ’You are sons of the living God.’
11 Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel Shall be gathered together, And appoint for themselves one head; And they shall come up out of the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel!
Brief Lessons from Hosea:
God is faithful. He does not change.
We need to be faithful, and God wants us to be faithful to Him.
God can redeem any relationship.
God is infinitely patient and still desires reconciliation with those who have run from Him.
Date of writing:
Hosea is the longest of the ‘Minor Prophets,’ and of the Minor Prophets, Hosea had a very lengthy period of ministry (perhaps 30-40 years). The book was likely written between 754 and 724 BC, based on the kings presented at the start of the first chapter as well as the inevitable and promised exile of Israel. Hosea speaks a great deal of God’s faithfulness to an unfaithful people. How often are we in that camp?
The people were worshipping Baal, a Canaanite fertility god. They were also guilty of the following things (see Hosea 4:1-2, 5:10):
1 Hear the word of the LORD, You children of Israel, For the LORD brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: "There is no truth or mercy Or knowledge of God in the land.
2 By swearing and lying, Killing and stealing and committing adultery, They break all restraint, With bloodshed upon bloodshed.
...and even Judah got into the action:
10 "The princes of Judah are like those who remove a landmark; I will pour out my wrath on them like water.