"STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS"
Hosea - God’s Redeeming Love (4:1-7:16)
1. In our previous lesson we began our survey of the book of Hosea...
a. Noting that Hosea was a prophet to the northern kingdom of Israel
b. Whose work began as Amos’ was ending, and prophesied from 750-725
2. The key to understanding the book is the analogy illustrated in the
first three chapters...
a. In which Hosea and his wife Gomer illustrates God’s experience
b. Which served as an object lesson to express "God’s Redeeming
Love" for His people
3. We therefore saw in the first three chapters...
a. Israel’s rejection symbolized, in the names of Hosea and Gomer’s
children - Hos 1:2-9
b. Israel’s restoration foretold - Hos 1:10-2:1
c. Israel’s unfaithfulness described, depicted as a wife guilty of
harlotry - Hos 2:2-13
d. Israel’s restoration described, cured of her idolatry - Hos 2:
e. Israel’s restoration symbolized, depicted as a harlot taken back
to be a wife - Hos 3:1-5
4. The rest of the book contains the messages of Hosea, proclaimed with
this analogy in the background; there is...
a. God’s indictment of Israel and her sins - Hos 4:1-7:16
b. God’s warning of punishment that is to befall her - Hos 8:1-10:15
c. God’s promise of a future restoration - Hos 11:1-14:9
[In this lesson, we shall continue our survey of Hosea by noticing
God’s indictment of Israel for her sins, chapters 4-7...]
I. GOD’S INDICTMENT OF ISRAEL (4:1-7:16)
A. THE CHARGE AGAINST ISRAEL (4:1-5:15)
1. Against the nation as a whole - Hos 4:1-3
a. For no truth, mercy, or knowledge of God is in the land
b. All forms of wickedness are rampant
2. Against the priests in particular - Hos 4:4-14
a. It does no good to contend with the people, for people do
not respect their priests
b. The priests themselves have rejected knowledge, which is to
c. The priests feed off the sins of the people, increasing
their own spiritual adultery
3. A word of warning to Judah in the south - Hos 4:15-19
a. Judah, don’t be like Israel!
b. Judah, leave Ephraim (Israel) to her idols!
4. Against the priests, rulers, and people - Hos 5:1-7
a. They have been a snare, not a help
b. Their idolatry has led Israel to stumble, even Judah as
d. God has withdrawn Himself from them
5. The impending sentence - Hos 5:8-15
a. Ephraim (Israel) shall be laid waste, and Judah shall not
b. Like a lion, God will come upon them and tear them away
c. This God will do until they confess their sin and
diligently seek Him
B. THEIR APPEAL REJECTED (6:1-7:16)
1. The call to repentance - Hos 6:1-3
a. Some believe these three verses are Hosea’s desperate plea
to Israel to repent
b. Others think that these are the words of Israel, but was
-- In either case, verse four reveals the shallowness of
2. Rejected because of Israel’s true condition - Hos 6:4-7:16
a. Faithfulness was only temporary, like the morning cloud or
b. They offered sacrifices, but did not show mercy or truly
c. They transgressed the covenant, and became defiled, even
d. When God would have healed them, their iniquity was even
e. Idolatry, alliances with pagan nations, rejection of God’s
efforts to discipline them...all these things were the
charges brought against Israel!
[Like a Judge in court God has brought His charges against unfaithful
Israel. Like an unfaithful spouse who committed adultery, so Israel
has done to God! Our next study will consider God’s warning of the
punishment to befall Israel, but before we finish this lesson let’s
II. SOME KEY PASSAGES IN THIS SECTION
A. "MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE"
1. Notice Hos 4:1,6
2. This verse, like many others in the Bible, emphasizes the
importance of knowing the Word of God - cf. Jm 1:21
-- How is your knowledge of God’s Word?
B. "EPHRAIM IS JOINED TO IDOLS, LET HIM ALONE"
1. Consider Hos 4:17
2. The context is that of warning Judah to stay away from Israel
3. There often comes a time when efforts to restore the erring
are futile; rather than risk being influenced adversely,
withdrawal of association is necessary - cf. 1Co 5:11-13
C. "YOUR FAITHFULNESS IS LIKE A MORNING CLOUD..."
1. Read Hos 6:4
2. Many people are quick to profess repentance, but do remain
true to the Lord; how faithful to the Lord are we?
D. "FOR I DESIRE MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE..."
1. This passage (Hos 6:6) was often quoted by Jesus - Mt 9:13;
2. It reflects what was said in the Proverbs - Pr 21:3
3. Micah taught the same principle - Mic 6:6-8
4. It is not that God did not call for sacrifice, but all the
worship in the world will not cover a lack of mercy and true
knowledge of God! - cf. Hos 4:6, also Jer 9:23-24
E. "THEY DO NOT CONSIDER IN THEIR HEARTS THAT I REMEMBER..."
1. Look at Hos 7:2
2. How sad that people sin, as though there is no God who takes
notice of what they are doing
3. But a time is coming when all that has been done will be
brought to light! - cf. Eccl 12:14; Ro 2:16; Rev 20:12
-- Our only hope is to have our sins forgiven by the blood of
F. "EPHRAIM HAS MIXED HIMSELF AMONG THE PEOPLES"
1. Cf. Hos 7:8
2. Through unsavory associations, Israel had been corrupted
3. Such is the danger of the wrong companions - cf. 1Co 15:33
4. Thus we need to heed warnings such as those found in 2Co 6:
1. Truly the words of prophets like Hosea were "written for our
admonition" - 1Co 10:11
a. Like Israel, we have been richly blessed - Ep 1:3
b. Like Israel, we are expected to remain faithful - Re 2:10
2. The question is, will we "fall after the same example of
disobedience"? - cf. He 4:11
a. Will we fall for lack of knowledge?
b. Will we fall because our faithfulness is like a morning cloud or
c. Will we fall because we forget the importance of mercy in our
service to God?
d. Will we fall because we do not consider that God remembers what
e. Will we fall because rather than be the "salt of the earth", we
become so "mixed" by those in the world we lose our flavor? (cf.
Through a careful and serious study of the prophets, we are more likely
to avoid making the same mistakes as Israel, and to heed the words of
the apostle Paul:
"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."