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FRAMEWORKS: Hosea

(Return to Old Testament Contents)

 

FRAMEWORKS: INTRODUCTION TO HOSEA

 

Why Read Hosea? Hosea is a clear declaration of the heart of God during the reign of Jeroboam II of Israel, mostly about the northern kingdom, Israel, but with a few oblique references to the southern kingdom, Judah.

 

In Part 1 (ch.1-3) we see Hosea being instructed to play out an action-parable to convey the unfaithfulness of Israel and yet the desire for reconciliation by God.

 

In Part 2 (ch.4-10) we are presented with a number of prophecies that confront Israel with their sins of unfaithfulness to God, idolatry, and reliance on other nations instead of God, together with severe warnings of judgment that is coming unless they repent.

 

In Part 3 (ch.11-14) the tone is conciliatory with the Lord expressing His heart of concern for Israel, appealing to them to remember their past and to learn from it, explaining in detail why this judgment will come, and then a final appeal for them to come to their senses, return to Him in repentance and receive all the blessings He has on His heart for them.

 

There is no history here except a brief reference in chapter 1 to the kings reigning during the time he prophesied. The fact that there are four kings of Judah mentioned suggests these words were spread out over a number of years, presumably directed towards Jeroboam II of Israel who reigned for 41 years who, the record declares, did evil in the eyes of the LORD and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit. (2 Kings 14:24) i.e. he maintained the idolatry his namesake at the beginning of the divided kingdom had instigated [1 Kings 12:26-33] That initial idolatry and substitute religion has clearly got worse and this book appeals to the nation to come back to God. The tragedy is that they never did and were taken into exile by Assyria in 722BC.

 

Was Hosea wasting his time? No, first he was being obedient to God and, second, Israel could never say they had not been warned and, third, history thus records the Lord's merciful heart trying to direct this foolish nation away from destruction.

 

 

Contents:

 

Part 1: Hosea's Marriage a picture of failure and hope

Ch.1 Prophetic Children

Ch.2 Israel, to be Punished & Restored

Ch.3 Reconciliation

 

Part 2: Hosea's Message [1] - prophecies of warnings for Israel

Ch.4 Israel's sins, all guilty

Ch.5 Declaration of Guilt and Warning of Coming Judgment

Ch.6 Israel's ongoing unrepentance

Ch.7 Israel's folly, failure, and fall

Ch.8 Israel will reap the whirlwind of judgment

Ch.9 The form of Punishment for Israel

Ch.10 The Fruits of Invasion

 

Part 3: Hosea's Message [2] appeals to consider and come to repentance

Ch.11 God's loving Anguish for Israel

Ch.12 Remember and learn from the past

Ch.13 Causes of an Inevitable Judgment

Ch.14 A Final Appeal: repentance to bring blessing

  

  

  

Continue to Chapter 1