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Getting to Know the Bible: Hosea Overview

Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.


Today we are going to visit our Getting to Know the Bible Series. In this series, our goal is to come to a comprehensive understanding of each book of the bible. At this point of the series we're going to focus on Hosea. But before we get to Hosea 1, I want to ensure we have a baseline understanding of the book of Hosea. This way we can have a full appreciation for the exquisiteness of the entire book, as well as each individual chapter.


And so, in that spirit, see below for a comprehensive overview of the book of Hosea, as we prepare to behold and discern Hosea, beginning with Hosea 1 in our next installment of this series.





Book Type: : The first book of the Minor Prophets; the twenty-eighth book of the Old Testament


Author: Hosea


Date of Writing: Most likely 755-710 BC.


Audience: Northern kingdom of Israel


Theme: God's compassion and perfect, just covenant love


Original Language: Hebrew


Genre: Allegory; Narrative; Poetry; Prophecy


Purpose of Writing:

Hosea wrote this book to remind the Israelites—and us—that ours is a loving God whose loyalty to His covenant people is unwavering. Through the symbolic presentation of the marriage of Hosea and Gomer, God’s love for the idolatrous nation of Israel is displayed in a rich metaphor in the themes of sin, judgment, and forgiving love.


Summary: This book is an allegory, as it both tells the story of a man’s unrelenting love for his unfaithful wife. Much more importantly though, the story of the prophet Hosea and his wife Gomer illustrates another love story—that of God’s love for us that endures even when our sins have broken his heart. Here is a picture of God who longs to forgive us when we turn to him.


Overview:

Hosea includes 14 chapters, focusing on two general themes: (1) Hosea 1:1-3:5 is a description of an adulterous wife and a faithful husband, symbolic of the unfaithfulness of Israel to God through idolatry, and (2) Hosea 4:1-14:9 contains the condemnation of Israel, especially Samaria, for the worship of idols and her eventual restoration.


The Book of Hosea is a prophetic accounting of God’s relentless love for His children. Since the beginning of time God’s ungrateful and undeserving creation has been accepting God’s love, grace, and mercy while still unable to refrain from its wickedness.


Chapters 1—3 emphasize the adulterous relationship that occurred between Hosea and his wife, Gomer. She was faithless to him, yet God called him to redeem her and restore his relationship with her. The Lord then used this as an example of his relationship with His people. Though they had abandoned Him, He remained faithful to redeem them and restore their relationship.


The second section covers the remaining chapters (Hosea 4—14), speaking of adulterous Israel and God's faithfulness. Hosea 4:1—6:3 emphasizes Israel's guilt, and chronicles their many evil ways. In Hosea 6:4—10:15, the Lord speaks through Hosea to call His people to turn from their evil ways and return to Him.


Chapters 11—14 transition to themes of the future. God predicts Israel will be restored to the Lord. The Lord would continue His love (Hosea 11), though He had much against the behaviors of His people (Hosea 12). Judgment would take place (Hosea 13), yet they could still return to the Lord (Hosea 14). The book ends with a warning: "Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them" (Hosea 14:9).



Foreshadowing:

Hosea 2:23 is the wonderful prophetic message from God to include the Gentiles [non-Jews] as His children as recorded also in Romans 9:25 and 1 Peter 2:10. Gentiles are not originally God’s people, but through His mercy and grace, He has provided Jesus Christ, and by faith in Him we are grafted into the tree of His people (Romans 11:11-18). This is an amazing truth about the Church, one that is called a mystery because before Christ, God’s people were considered to be the Jews alone. When Christ came, the Jews were temporarily blinded until the full number of the Gentiles has come in (Romans 11:25).


Application:

The Book of Hosea assures us of God’s unconditional love for His people. But it is also a picture of how God is dishonored and angered by the actions of His children. When we do sin, if we have a sorrowful heart filled with repentance, then God will bring us back to Himself and show His never-ending love to us (see 1 John 1:9).


Key Verses (ESV):


Hosea 1:2, "When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, 'Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.’"


Hosea 2:23, “I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called 'Not my loved one.' I will say to those called 'Not my people,' 'You are my people'; and they will say, 'You are my God.'”


Hosea 6:6, “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”


Hosea 14:2-4, “Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: 'Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips. Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount war-horses. We will never again say "Our gods" to what our own hands have made, for in you the fatherless find compassion.' "I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.’”


*Note: The book of Hosea illustrates that no one is beyond the offer of our forgiveness because no one sits outside God’s offer of forgiveness. God does indeed bring judgment on those who turn from Him, but Hosea’s powerful act of restoration within his own marriage set the bar high for those of us seeking godliness in our lives.


I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.


May the joy of the Lord continue to be your strength.


Love you much.


Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!


-Humble Servant


P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.

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