Hosea was a biblical prophet in the land of Israel and spoke the messages of the Lord. He appears on the Bible Timeline Poster around the 8th century B.C. He prophesied to the people of Israel during the years that Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Kezekiah were kings of Judah and when Jeroboam II was king of Israel. Hosea’s name means “salvation” or “God’s salvation” but many people refer to him as a prophet of doom. Even though Hosea’s prophecies were full of judgment and punishment from God, they were intended to turn the people away from their sins and to restore Israel to their rightful place with the Lord.
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God used Hosea’s life in a very unusual way to spread his message to the people. The Lord told Hosea to marry a prostitute so that he could have some children born to him and other men. On the surface, it seems as if God is telling a righteous man to sin, but there is a deep spiritual reason he gave Hosea these instructions. The people of Israel were committing adultery against God by worshipping foreign gods.
Since the time that the kingdom of Israel split into separate territories, the people had been worshipping false gods. So God used Hosea’s life as an example of their unfaithfulness. The Lord told Hosea to have a child by his adulterous wife who was named Gomer. They ended up having a son that God told Hosea to name Jezreel. King Jehu murdered some people at Jezreel, and God was using Hosea’s life to illustrate the fact that he was going to punish Jehu‘s dynasty for this sin. He also decided to break the military might of Israel in the Jezreel Valley. Gomer gave Hosea another child, and it was a girl. God told Hosea to name the child Lo-Ruh amah because she would be used to show how God would no longer to show love to the people of Israel. God said that he would love Judah and free them from their enemies. Gomer gave Hosea another son and his name was Lo-Ammi, and his name means “not my people”. God explained that he no longer considered the people of Israel to be his servants and that he is not their god. It was in this context that Hosea’s prophecies were spoken to the people.
Hosea points out that God considered Israel, an unfaithful wife. He explains to the people turned their backs on him no matter how good he treated them and chased after other lovers. Verses 14 to 23 of chapter 2, points out that God’s love for Israel is still strong for them regardless of their sins.
God commands Hosea to redeem his wife from her lover even though she loves adultery. Hosea obeys the Lord and buys back Gomer from her adulterous lover. Hosea then told Gomer that she must live in his house for many days without committing adultery. God uses this incident in Hosea’s life to point out that Israel wouldn’t have a king or be able to offer sacrifices for many years. They wouldn’t even be able to offer sacrifices to their idols. God goes on to say that in the last days that the people would come back to him trembling and ready to receive his good gifts.
God goes into details about Israel’s sin, and he uses the illustration of adultery and prostitution to point out the unfaithfulness of his people. Hosea also points out how the people are committing adultery spiritually and literally.
God condemns Israel’s leaders and priests for not being responsible enough to lead the people in the right way. Once again he uses the theme of adultery and prostitution to point out the unfaithfulness from the leaders and priests.
Hosea 6 – 10
Hosea pronounces many judgments against Israel, and he states that God is going to destroy Israel’s statues and idols. God also destroyed Israel’s fortresses as a part of his punishment for his people. Hosea goes back and forth between judgments and the call of repentance between chapters 11 and 14. Ultimately, God used Hosea to give the people of Israel his hope for salvation or rescue from destruction.
- Hosea 1: 1 Hosea’s background.
- Hosea 1: 2 – 11 God tells Hosea to marry a prostitute and have children that will be used to illustrate his judgments against Israel.
- Hosea 2 God treats Israel like an unfaithful wife.
- Hosea 3 God tells Hosea to buy back his adulterous wife from her lover, and he did this to illustrate how the people of Israel would no longer have a king or to be able to worship false gods.
- Hosea 4 – 14 The remaining chapters of the book of Hosea outlines God’s judgments and his call to repentance for the nation of Israel.
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