Today’s Thoughts – 17 August 2021
As we begin our study of the book of Hosea, we have to look at it through the lens of our own life. The book of Hosea was originally written to the Northern Kingdom of Israel between 760 and 700 B.C. However, the message is one that we can apply today
Hosea is the account of a man of God – a prophet – who was commanded by God to marry a harlot named Gomer. She bore Hosea 3 children whose names have significance for the prophecy (as we will see later in this study). She then left Hosea for other men and ended up in slavery and captivity. Hosea had to track her down and purchase her back so they could be a family once again
This is the stunning picture of God’s people, Israel, in the wretched condition of unfaithfulness. However, they still remained the object of God’s love, despite the sins and filth they committed
The word of the Lord that came unto 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.
What more wonderful picture could we have of grace, not only to the undeserving, but to those who had deserved the very opposite? It is important to remember that grace is not merely unmerited favor, but it is favor in spite of merited judgment.
Hosea’s name means “salvation”. Although his book comes after the book of Daniel in the Bible, he comes before Daniel in history. He was the third prophet to the Northern Kingdom (Israel) during the reign of Jereboam II and those of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah (the Southern Kingdom)
The book of Hosea is only referred to as a Minor Prophet in relation to the size of the book, not the content contained therein. He was contemporary with Isaiah, Micah, and Amos. And as a book in the Minor Prophets, we usually find a three-fold lesson:
- A historical lesson: this would meet an immediate need in the lives of the people receiving the message in that historical time period – in this case, the people of Israel
- A prophetical lesson: this would be something about Israel’s future which would include either judgment, restoration, or both
- A practical lesson: this would be something that we need to pay close attention to ourselves. The same sins that Israel committed, we can commit today
For Us Today
Hosea preached a more painful “action sermon” than the other prophets. Some even call him the brokenhearted prophet for this. That is a suitable name since he is portraying the brokenhearted God to His people, Israel, and a brokenhearted God to His children when they stray away from Him
The people of Israel were deaf to the voice of God and His covenant to them in their time. They committed spiritual adultery against God like Gomer committed physical adultery against Hosea. As we study this book, let us remember that we too have a tendency to commit spiritual adultery against God
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
But let us remember the theme of Hosea: God’s love in spite of spiritual infidelity. And let’s run back to God and get right with Him personally, familially, and corporately