Hosea - God's Redeeming Love (1:1-3:5)
1. About the time that Amos (the "country prophet") was prophesying to
the northern kingdom of
, another prophet came on to the scene Israel
a. His name was Hosea
b. Whose name means "salvation" (Joshua and Jesus are derived from
the same word)
2. While the audience was the same, there were some differences...
a. Amos was from Judah (Tekoa); Hosea appears to have been from
b. While Amos showed little patience with his northern relatives,
Hosea displayed a large degree of sympathetic understanding
toward his own people
c. Just as Amos is reminiscent of John the Baptist in his approach,
so Hosea is reminiscent of how Jesus approached people
[In this lesson, the first of several on Hosea, we will see why Hosea
was so sympathetic, even as he condemned his own people for their sins.
Let's start with some...]
I. BACKGROUND MATERIAL
A. THE MAN...
1. His father was named Beeri (Hos 1:1), but nothing more is
known of his ancestors
2. Some think he may have been a priest, in view of his high
regard for the duties and responsibilities of the priesthood
3. We read of his wife (Gomer, Hos 1:3) and his children...
a. Jezreel, a son - Hos 1:4
b. Lo-Ruhamah, a daughter - Hos 1:6
c. Lo-Ammi, another son - Hos 1:8-9
-- Through his family, the basic message of Hosea will be
illustrated (see below)
B. THE DATE...
1. Hosea prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz,
and Hezekiah, kings of
; Jeroboam II also reigned during Judah
this time in
- Hos 1:1 Israel
2. Most place the time of his work at 750-725 B.C.
3. Hosea was possibly a young man when Amos was almost through
with his ministry
4. His work in relation to other prophets during this period of
a. Amos and Hosea prophesied to
b. Isaiah and Micah were prophesying in
C. BACKGROUND OF THE TIMES...
1. For a good background of this period of Bible history, cf.
2 Kin 14-17; 2 Chr 26-29
2. The northern kingdom of
was on its last legs... Israel
a. Sin was even more rampant than seen in the book of Amos
b. Religious, moral, and political corruption was rampant
3. One word sums the condition of the nation of
: harlotry Israel
(whoredom, KJV), used thirteen times throughout the book
D. KEY TO UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK...
1. An analogy is made between Hosea's experience with Gomer, and
the Lord's experience with
2. This analogy is described in chs. 1-3, and serves as the
backdrop to chs. 4-14
[With this brief introduction to the book of Hosea, let's now survey
the first three chapters...]
II. HOSEA'S FAMILY, AND THE ANALOGY WITH
'S REJECTION SYMBOLIZED... (1:2-9) ISRAEL
1. Hosea commanded to marry "a wife of harlotry" - Hos 1:2-3
a. Her name was Gomer
b. If the parallel between Gomer and
is exact, then she Israel
was not a harlot at the time of the marriage; but her
background would prompt her to become one
c. She certainly would come to symbolize what
2. Gomer bears three children - Hos 1:4-9
a. The first son is named "Jezreel"
1) Which means "God scatters", or "God sows"
2) His name prefigured God's judgment on the ruling house
- Hos 1:4-5 Israel
b. The daughter is named "Lo-Ruhamah"
1) Which means "no mercy"
2) Her name describes God's attitude toward
, though Israel
still found grace in God's sight - Hos 1:6-7 Judah
3) Some suggest that the daughter (and the son to follow)
were not Hosea's
a) Note it does not say she bore "him" (Hosea) a
daughter, as before
b) I.e., Gomer had become a harlot - cf. Hos 2:4
c. The second son is named "Lo-Ammi"
1) His name means "not my people"
2) Thus God declares his rejection of
- Hos 1:8-9 Israel
'S RESTORATION FORETOLD... (1:10-2:1) ISRAEL
1. Though cast off, God promises a restoration
2. There might be a reference to the restoration from Assyrian
and Babylonian captivity
3. However, both Paul and Peter apply this promise to believing
Jews and Gentile in the church - Ro 9:25-26; 1 Pe 2:10
'S UNFAITHFULNESS... (2:2-13) ISRAEL
1. Condemnation for her sinful conduct - Hos 2:2-5
a. Charges of harlotry and adultery
b. No mercy on her children, as the children of harlotry
-- God's rage for
's unfaithfulness described in terms Israel
of an enraged husband who learns not only of his wife's
adultery, but that the children are not his
2. Punishment for her sinful conduct - Hos 2:6-13
a. God will prevent
from finding her lovers Israel
b. God will take away the blessings and the feasts that
c. God will destroy what
has used to commit spiritual Israel
's sin was foremost her idolatry (cf. references to Israel
"Baal"); God viewed such idolatry as a form of "harlotry"!
'S RESTORATION DESCRIBED... (2:14-23) ISRAEL
1. Using a "wilderness", God will win her back, just as He did in
the days of Moses and Joshua - Hos 2:14-15
2. God will cure her of using the language of Baal worship
- Hos 2:16-17
3. God will establish a covenant of peace and safety, and betroth
to Him once again - Hos 2:18-20 Israel
4. God will once again bless them, and be merciful to them as His
people - Hos 2:21-23
-- While there may be references to the restoration from
captivity, it also foreshadows the age of the Messiah and His
spiritual blessings - cf. Ro 9:25-26; 1 Pe 2:10
E. ISRAEL'S RESTORATION SYMBOLIZED... (3:1-5)
1. Hosea is charged to love an adulterous woman - Hos 3:1-3
a. Most take this to be Gomer, who had gone into harlotry
b. Hosea takes her back, though with a period of probation
2. Symbolizing God's willingness to take
back - Hos 3:4-5 Israel
a. Also with a probationary period, in which there be no king,
would return, and seek the Lord and David their Israel
king (the Messiah?)
1. In these first three chapters, it appears God used Hosea to teach
an object lesson... Israel
a. Through Hosea's experience with Gomer, God provided
concrete illustration of what His relationship with
had played the harlot; but God would take her back, Israel
following a period of punishment and probation
-- Keeping this analogy in mind will assist our understanding of the
2. A lesson to be learned from this analogy is how God views apostasy:
a. Christians, we are "betrothed to Christ - cf. 2 Co 11:2
b. But we too can become spiritual harlots" if we are not careful!
- 2 Co 11:3
Are we being true to our betrothal? May the words of the Lord in Hosea
encourage us to remain ever faithful:
"I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me
in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will
betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the LORD."
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
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...
's rejection symbolized, in the names of Hosea and Gomer's Israel
children - Hos 1:2-9
's restoration foretold - Hos 1:10-2:1 Israel
's unfaithfulness described, depicted as a wife guilty of Israel
harlotry - Hos 2:2-13
's restoration described, cured of her idolatry - Hos 2: Israel
's restoration symbolized, depicted as a harlot taken back Israel
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
and her sins - Hos 4:1-7:16 Israel
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
for her sins, chapters 4-7...] Israel
I. GOD'S INDICTMENT OF
A. THE CHARGE AGAINST
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
in the south - Hos 4:15-19 Judah
Judah, don't be like ! Israel
Judah, leave Ephraim ( ) to her idols! Israel
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
Israelto stumble, even as Judah
d. God has withdrawn Himself from them
5. The impending sentence - Hos 5:8-15
a. Ephraim (
Israel) shall be laid waste, and shall not Judah
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 repent Israel
b. Others think that these are the words of
, but was Israel
-- In either case, verse four reveals the shallowness of
's faithfulness Israel
2. Rejected because of
's true condition - Hos 6:4-7:16 Israel
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
[Like a Judge in court God has brought His charges against unfaithful
. Like an unfaithful spouse who committed adultery, so Israel Israel
has done to God! Our next study will consider God's warning of the
punishment to befall
, but before we finish this lesson let's Israel
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. Ja 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
Judahto 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. 1 Co 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 - Pro 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,
had been corrupted Israel
3. Such is the danger of the wrong companions - cf. 1 Co 15:33
4. Thus we need to heed warnings such as those found in 2 Co 6:
1. Truly the words of prophets like Hosea were "written for our
admonition" - 1 Co 10:11
, we have been richly blessed - Ep 1:3 Israel
, we are expected to remain faithful - Re 2:10 Israel
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
, and to heed the words of Israel
the apostle Paul:
"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."
(1 Co 10:12)
Hosea - God's Redeeming Love (8:1-10:15)
1. Thus far in our survey of the book of Hosea, we have seen...
a. The analogy of Hosea and Gomer, illustrating God's experience
's rejection symbolized, in the names of Hosea and Israel
Gomer's children - Hos 1:2-9
's restoration foretold - Hos 1:10-2:1 Israel
's unfaithfulness described, depicted as a wife guilty Israel
of harlotry - Hos 2:2-13
's restoration described, finally cured of her idolatry Israel
- Hos 2:14-23
's restoration symbolized, depicted as a harlot taken Israel
back to be a wife - Hos 3:1-5
b. God's indictment of
1) The charges brought against
- Hos 4:1-5:15 Israel
's appeal rejected - Hos 6:1-7:16 Israel
-- The theme proposed for this book has been "God's Redeeming Love"
2. The love God has for
does not preclude the need for Israel
punishment if she is to be truly redeemed...
a. As mentioned in Hos 2:13
b. This punishment will be seen in the form of the Assyrian
invasion, as foretold in the section now before us
[In this lesson, we shall continue our survey of Hosea by noticing
God's warning of punishment that is to befall
, chapters 8-10...] Israel
I. GOD'S PUNISHMENT FOR
A. WARNING OF APPROACHING JUDGMENT (8:1-14)
1. Judgment is coming because they transgressed the covenant
- Hos 8:1-6
2. They have sown the wind, through their alliances with
and shall reap the whirlwind - Hos 8:7-10
3. The altars of their religion has made them sin, their
punishment will be a "return to
Egypt" ( as a symbol of Egypt
captivity) - Hos 8:11-13
Israelhas forgotten his Maker, and even places more Judah
trust in fortified cities; but judgment will come upon them
both - Hos 8:14
B. ASSYRIAN CAPTIVITY FORETOLD (9:1-17)
1. Because Israel has played the harlot - Hos 9:1-2
2. Ephraim (
Israel) shall "return to " - Hos 9:3-9 Egypt
Egyptused as a type for captivity, but then Assyriais
mentioned by name
b. They will be unable to celebrate the feasts
c. They will be punished for their sins
3. The fleeting glory of
- Hos 9:10-17 Israel
a. Though considered the firstfruits, they soon gave
themselves over to idolatry
b. Thus their glory will fly away, and they will be like one
c. For their wickedness, God will cast them away
'S SIN AND CAPTIVITY REITERATED (10:1-15) ISRAEL
1. Her guilt and coming captivity - Hos 10:1-8
2. Her sin and coming punishment - Hos 10:9-15
[With such ample warnings through prophets like Hosea, God let
know what was to befall her. Yet the prophet's message did not end
there. A message of hope concerning restoration was also proclaimed,
which we will shall consider in our next lesson. For a few remaining
moments, let's review...]
II. SOME KEY PASSAGES IN THIS SECTION
A. "I HAVE WRITTEN FOR HIM THE GREAT THINGS OF MY LAW, BUT THEY WERE
CONSIDERED A STRANGE THING"
1. Notice Hos 8:12
2. This is a sad commentary on the condition of
a. God had done a wondrous thing by giving them His Word - cf.
b. Yet they had become so perverted that God's word seemed
strange to them!
3. Is this not true today as well?
a. We have been richly blessed with the full revelation of
God's will through His Son Jesus Christ
b. Yet many people (even some in the church)...
1) ...are so unaware of what the Bible says
2) ...are so caught up in the thinking of the world
...that the principles and truths of God's word are
"considered a strange thing"!
-- Is God's word considered a strange thing to you?
B. "SOW FOR YOURSELVES RIGHTEOUSNESS, REAP IN MERCY"
1. Consider Hos 10:12
2. While we cannot earn our salvation by good works, works of
righteousness can result in experiencing God's grace and mercy
a. A case in point is the conversion of Cornelius - Ac 10:1-6
b. His fear of God, prayers, and alms did not save him, but
God did take notice
c. By striving to serve and please God, he came to know the
way of mercy and salvation
-- Thus we should be diligent in our service, not to earn
salvation, but to receive God's gracious mercy - e.g.,
Onesiphorus - 2 Ti 1:16-18
C. "YOU HAVE PLOWED WICKEDNESS, YOU HAVE REAPED INIQUITY"
1. Read Hos 10:13
2. Iniquity (injustice, NASB) is the natural consequence of
a. When people turn their ears away from hearing the Word of
God, they will be wicked
b. And the consequence is great injustice and lawlessness
-- Sadly, I believe we can see why our society is reaping so much
injustice and lawlessness today (because of the wickedness
that is sown)
1. The messages of Hosea, though first spoken to a people of an earlier
time, speak to us also...
a. History tends to repeat itself; we need to learn from the
mistakes of others
b. The people of God are not immune from apostasy, wickedness and
2. As Paul wrote to the
, after reviewing parts of churchof Corinth
's history... Israel
"Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should
not lust after evil things as they also lusted." (1 Co 10:6)
3. God's "intent" in preserving the Old Testament was that we might
's mistakes Israel
a. The works of prophets like Hosea can certainly help
b. Will his words be well known to us, or will they too be
"considered a strange thing"?
I pray this study will help his words become more familiar to us...
Hosea - God's Redeeming Love (11:1-14:9)
1. In our survey of the book of Hosea we have proposed the theme as
"God's Redeeming Love"; this may have seemed strange...
a. As we considered "God's Indictment of
" in chapters 4-7 Israel
b. As we considered "God's Punishment for
" in chapters 8-10 Israel
2. But as we saw in the first three chapters, Hosea's experience with
Gomer serves as an analogy of God's experience with
a. Following the adultery there was a period of separation
b. Following the separation there was the ultimate restoration
would be restored, but only after a period of Israel
3. Here is another way to summarize chapters 4-14...
a. God is holy (which is why He must indict
for her sins) Israel
- Hos 4-7
b. God is just (which is why
must be punished for her sins) Israel
- Hos 8-10
c. God is love (which is why He will restore
) - Hos 11-14 Israel
-- So having declared the holiness and justice of God, Hosea now
proclaims His great love for
[In this lesson we shall complete our study of Hosea by first looking
I. GOD'S PROMISE OF A FUTURE RESTORATION (11:1-14:9)
A. GOD'S LOVE DESPITE
'S REBELLION (11:1-11) ISRAEL
1. God brought
Israelout of , yet they worshipped the Baals Egypt
- Hos 11:1-2
2. God nurtured
though they knew it not - Hos 11:3-4 Israel
3. God will send them to
Assyriabecause of their backsliding
- Hos 11:5-7
4. Yet God will return them to their homes - Hos 11:8-11
'S REBELLION AND GOD'S CHASTISEMENT (11:12-13:16) ISRAEL
1. Ephraim (
Israel) is full of sin, and while still walks Judah
with God to a degree, God has a complaint against
well - Hos 11:12-12:6
2. Ephraim is cunning and boastful, and so God will bring his
reproach upon him - Hos 12:7-14
3. Ephraim and
Samaria(both representative of ), shall be Israel
held guilty and punished accordingly - Hos 13:1-16
'S FUTURE RESTORATION (14:1-9) ISRAEL
1. A call to return to the Lord, for
Assyriawill not save - Hos
2. God promises to heal their backsliding and return them to the
land - Hos 14:4-7
3. Ephraim (
) will finally be cured of her idolatry - Hos Israel
4. A concluding call to wisely consider these things - Hos 14:9
[God fulfilled His promise to restore
Israel(and ) starting with Judah
the decree of Cyrus and under the leadership of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and
Nehemiah (cf. the books of Ezra and Nehemiah). As indicated in Hos
was once for all cured of her idolatry. Her faith in God Israel
may have weakened later on, but idolatry never had the appeal it once
In the spirit of Hos 14:9, which calls upon us to understand and know
what is revealed in this book, here are some...]
II. CONCLUDING LESSONS TO BE DRAWN FROM HOSEA
A. GOD IS A GOD OF LOVE...
1. He loves His people
a. Like a man loves his wife (cf. Hosea and Gomer)
b. Like a father loves his child - Hos 11:1
2. Because He loves His people...
a. He blesses them abundantly
b. He nurtures them patiently - Hos 11:3-4
B. GOD IS A GOD OF HOLINESS...
1. He expects His people to know His will - Hos 4:1-2,6; 8:12
2. He expects His people to avoid harmful influences - Hos 7:8-9
3. He expects His people to sow righteousness, not wickedness
- Hos 10:12-13
C. GOD IS A GOD OF JUSTICE...
1. He cannot let sin go unpunished - Hos 9:9
2. Those who remain in sin He will devour - Hos 13:7-8
D. GOD IS A GOD OF MERCY...
1. He call upon His people to repent - Hos 14:1
2. He will gladly heal those who do so - Hos 14:4
1. Hosea presents a picture of God who is certainly desirous of
redeeming those He loves
a. Sadly, not many took Hosea's message seriously
b. I.e., only a remnant of
returned after the restoration Israel
2. Today, God's redeeming love is offered through His Son Jesus Christ
- cf. Ep 1:3-7
a. Sadly, not many take the gospel message seriously either
b. Even as Jesus warned - cf. Mt 7:13-14; 21-23
What many need to heed is the call of Hosea at the end of his book...
Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent?
Let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right; The
righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them.