We will begin the book of Hosea tomorrow, and a wonderful book it is.
Hosea means “Salvation”. We know from Hosea 1:1 that Hosea, son of Beeri, is the author of this book, giving his PERSONAL account of prophetic messages from God to HIS (God’s) children and ALL the world…..EVEN to us today. The date the book was written was likely between 755 and 725 B.C. Hosea prophesied for approximately 50 years, from 785 to 725 B.C.
The prophet Hosea was instructed by God to marry an unfaithful woman, and he found in his own life a vivid illustration of the unfaithfulness of God’s people and the faithfulness of God. Hosea echoes the three-fold message of the prophets:
God hates (abhors) the Sins of His people
Judgment is certain
God’s love stands firm
You are going to love this story! Why? The Theme of this book is: Love, God’s Covenant, Relationship with His people, Judgement and Hope. Hosea was the ONLY prophet to come from Israel (northern kingdom). This book was written after the fall of their capital Samaria. After the judgment on God’s people they STILL didn’t turn towards him (excluding the people we read about yesterday who listened to Hezekiah), instead worse happened, they went further away from the Lord. The country was in a rapid decline morally and politically.
During Hosea’s reign he saw 6 Israel Kings in just 20 years, most of them assassinating their predecessor, showing us how unstable things had become. The past 200 years the Golden Calf had become the official national god, and God sent prophet after prophet preaching to the people to change their ways. As God was encouraging HIS children to RETURN to HIM (and ALL who would come to HIM), Rome was being built with all their gods, and in India Buddhism was beginning .
God had sent (and HIS people had every opportunity to have heard and seen) Elijah, Elisha, Jonah and Amos. Hosea’s job was to preach that God still Loved Them. The book of Hosea is a one-sided story of faithfulness that represents the relationship between Israel and God. Gomer was married to Hosea, as Israel was married to God, like the Church is married to God. (We are GOMER in the story). The story has two characters, the faithful husband and the adulterous wife. She chases after other gods, idolatry, and materialism.
This book can be read in it’s literal interpretation or in its allegorical interpretation. The latter makes the names and places found in Hosea to represent spiritual and symbolic truths. Hosea is a prophet to the Northern Kingdom, who preached a message focused on the unfaithfulness of the people and God’s faithful love and commitment back to them. Hosea can be divided into 2 sections: chapter 1-3 is sort of an autobiography of Hosea and then 4-14 is Hosea’s preaching.
Before you read Hosea and during your read, please pray FIRST and ask God to show YOU how this story relates to us nationally and to each of us PERSONALLY.
Sharing HIS love,