Hosea accuses Israel of breaking their covenant with God and warns of the tragic consequences to come.
The northern kingdom of Israel enjoyed moderate success from conquering neighboring kingdoms, but they were spiritually bankrupt. In the book of Hosea, God sends Hosea to Israel during King Jeroboam II's reign to admonish them of their perpetual idol worship and dependence on outside nations.
Love conquers all
At the time of Hosea's prophecy, King Jeroboam II was ruling over Israel. He was one of the worst kings in Israel's history. He allowed idol worship to run amok in the nation, opening the doorway for Israelites to cheat, steal, and even murder each other on a constant basis. The people grew cold and distant, and they no longer knew God intimately. But God didn't forget Israel even in their self-destruction. Despite all of their failings, Hosea's prophecies speak of a relentlessly pursuant God and the hope of the coming Messiah.
Hosea prophesies against the corruption of Israel's priests, who led Israel away from knowing God and into idol worship. Judah, too, is warned against their sins.
God's relationship with Israel is demonstrated through Hosea's marriage with the prostitute Gomer. Like Gomer, Israel has committed adultery against God by worshiping foreign gods.
Though Israel is adulterous and worships idols, God's relentless love will bring them to repentance. He will restore Israel again and bring a messianic King from David's family.
God Cries Out
In a moving allegory of a father and son, God expresses his love for Israel and his heartbreak over their constant rebellion, pleading with them to repent.
Even though God confronts Israel's wrongdoings, he longs to restore them. God will heal their faithlessness if they choose to repent. Sadly, Israel doesn't listen.
Reading the Book of the Twelve, commonly referred to as the “Minor Prophets,” can be really disorienting. These books are full of poetic language, metaphors, and imagery unfamiliar to modern ears. Also, they speak a lot about God’s judgment, which can feel like a total downe...