THE BOOK OF HOSEA
THEME: God's love, which seeks the restoration of His people astray (2.14-19, 14.4-8).
MESSAGE: God suffers when His people sin; He feels their disloyalty, warns them of trouble to come, longing for restoration.
1. The domestic unhappiness of Hosea (chapter 1 and 2). He married Gomer, and had three children; she abandoned him and became a prostitute. Israel was also unfaithful to God.
2. The husband's love (chapter 3). The prophet searches and rescues his wife (now a slave) and puts her back home. Israel will return to God.
3. God and Israel (chapter 4 - 14). It is not easy to see the chronological and spiritual order of these chapters, but the teaching is clear and poignant.
The sins of Israel (4-5).
Its faltering repentance (6-7).
The sad results of its sin; the love of God; the temporary rejection (8-13).
Love triumphant: the appeals of the prophet and from God; Israel restored and healed in the future (14).
Hosea prophesied in Israel for 70 years, was a contemporary of Isaiah and Micah. He is called "the prophet of a broken heart" because of his own tragic experience - the infidelity of his wife - so he can understand how God loved Israel and wanted the restoration of that unfaithful nation.
Hosea laments the immorality of the leaders in Israel, their lack of trust in God, their disloyalty to the covenant, and emphasizes God's love and loyalty.
The quotations of this book in the New Testament are important. See Matthew 2:15 and 9:13, Luke 23:30, Romans 9:25-26, Revelation 6:16.