God used Hosea to prophesy about the faithless nation of Israel, but this
book is different from the other books of prophecy, because Hosea
prophesied in two ways: 1) As with the other prophets, God
commanded Hosea to convey His prophetic words to the people; 2)
However, He also gave Hosea some commands concerning his personal life
which would present an accurate analogy to Israel, in order to better demonstrate His prophecies.
The Book of Hosea
Hosea 1 - 3
As odd as it sounds, God commanded Hosea to marry a prostitute; i.e., a
faithless wife, just as Israel had been a faithless nation toward
God. Hosea obeyed by marring Gomer, and they had two sons and
one daughter. The first son Jezreel represented the fact that God
would scatter the nation of Israel around the world (later to be
re-gathered). The daughter Loruhamah demonstrated God's
withholding of mercy upon Israel. The second son Loammi
represented the fact that the people of Israel, in their fallen state, were no longer God's people.
Gomer left Hosea and again practiced prostitution, representing how
Israel once again proved to be faithless toward God. Since
Hosea loved Gomer so much, he sent his children to ask her to
return. This series of events made it easier for Hosea to understand the
analogy to God and His great love for Israel. God commanded
Hosea to accept Gomer back, even though the Law of Moses called for such an
adulteress to be stoned.
Hosea 4 - 7
Hosea confronts the nation of Israel with their sin. They had
no knowledge of God and they violated the Ten Commandments by practicing
idolatry and immorality. Therefore, they would not escape
judgment, especially their kings and priests. Hosea predicted
that the nation of Israel would fall, and they would ask God for mercy, but God would not respond.
However, in the end times, Israel would return to God. God
would reluctantly judge and punish the nation of Israel, but in the end, God
would save them. Meanwhile, even as God would forgive their
sins, they would continue in their evil practices which were condoned by their leaders.
Hosea 8 - 10
When the people continued to turn away from God, they expected their
king to save them. They somehow even expected their material
wealth to save them--even a golden calf. The people had been
blinded and fooled by their wealth. God had given them land,
but he would drive them from that land, into Assyrian captivity.
Hosea 11 - 14
God loved Israel, but His justice demanded that they be
punished. Their prosperity had deceived them to the point where they thought that
they could buy peace from their enemies. Worse yet, they
thought that their prosperity meant that no longer needed God, instead of
realizing that it was God who had blessed them with that prosperity. Therefore, their judgment was inevitable.
However, in the last days, God would save the nation of Israel. God is immutable, and He will love Israel forever. His love
will triumph in their healing. They would finally turn from their idolatry, and back to Him.