Survey of the Bible - Hosea
Text: Hosea 11:1-11
I. Introduction to the Minor Prophets
A. If there is an area least read in the Bible, it is the minor prophets – the last twelve books in the Old Testament.
1. Prophetic books tend to be harder anyway, and being small, these books are easily overlooked.
B. The name “minor” comes because the books are small.
C. The Israelites kept all twelve on one scrolls, so they were known ast “the twelve.”
D. They cover the 400 years of captivity and return: Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian
E. They are not in chronological order
1. The order in our English Bibles and the Hebrew Bibles is the same.
2. They are grouped by periods
a. Hosea to Nahum were written during the Assyrian Empire
b. Habakkuk and Zephaniah were written during the Babylonian Empire
c. Haggai to Malachi were written during the Persian Empire
II. Overview Hosea
A. Hosea’s name means “salvation.”
B. Hosea was written in the period covered by II Kings 14:23-18:12, prior to the destruction of Israel by Assyria - Hosea 1:1
1. This makes Hosea a contemporary of Isaiah. Where Isaiah wrote mostly for southern Judah, Hosea’s remarks are directed toward northern Israel.
2. Another prophet at this time in Israel is Amos, who is older than Hosea.
3. Hosea was called to prophesy during Israel’s last hours.
a. Hosea lived in northern Israel. Note “our king” - Hosea 7:5
b. Israel is often called Ephraim, after the name of the tribe where the capital was located, just as the southern kingdom was called Judah.
4. It covers the last 40 years of Israel’s history.
D. At the start of Hosea’s work, Israel has been enjoying prosperity un Jeroboam II, but it soon crumbles as Assyria gained strength under Tiglath- pileser III.
E. It is the story of Hosea and his unfaithful wife, Gomer, who illustrate God’s relationship with faithless Israel. God’s holiness is contrasted with Israel’s corruption, which must be punished, but a promise is given of restoration in the future because of God’s love.
1. Hosea and Gomer had two sons and a daughter
F. Two main divisions
1. The personal story of Hosea and Gomer - Hosea 1-3
2. The application to the nation of Israel - Hosea 4-14
A. Hosea’s personal story - Hosea 1-3
1. Hosea’s Marriage - Hosea 1
a. He was told to marry a prostitute - Hosea 1:2
b. They have children named
(1) A son named Jezreel - “God scatters” - Hosea 1:4-5
(2) A daughter named Lo-ruhamah - “Not pitied” - Hosea 1:6-7
(3) A son named Lo-ammi - “Not my people” - Hosea 1:9
(4) While the first is called Hosea’s son, the other two are not directly stated to belong to Hosea.
c. In case you think it is all gloom, there is a promise of a future that is greater than the present - Hosea 1:10-11
2. How Gomer is like Israel - Hosea 2
a. The charge is laid that Gomer has been committing adultery and that some of the children are the result of her adultery.
b. God made life difficult, so that she would not have success with her lovers and would decide to return to her husband - Hosea 2:6-7
c. She forgot where her blessings came.
d. She would be punished, but then God would restore - Hosea 2:14
e. And it would be greater than before - Hosea 2:23
3. Restoration of Gomer - Hosea 3
a. The marriage is restored - Hosea 3:1, 5
B. The Nation of Israel
1. Adultery of Israel - Hosea 4-5
a. The sins of Israel - Hosea 4:1-2
b. They forgot God - Hosea 4:6
c. It fed on itself - Hosea 4:7-9
d. It would be destroyed to learn a lesson - Hosea 5:14-15
2. Refusal to repent - Hosea 6-8
a. A call to repent - Hosea 6:1-3
b. But it doesn’t last - Hosea 6:4, 7:6-7
c. Any sorrow is shallow and insincere - Hosea 7:13-16
d. They would be sent off to Assyria - Hosea 8:8-10
3. Judgment by God - Hosea 9-10
a. Israel will be dispersed - Hosea 9:3
b. Their population will plummet - Hosea 9:11-12
c. Removal of the idols - Hosea 10:5-6
d. You reap your sowing - Hosea 10:12-15
4. Restoration of Israel - Hosea 11-14
a. God cared for them - Hosea 11:1-4
b. They were bent on sin - Hosea 11:7
c. Called to repent - Hosea 12:6
d. They cause their own destruction - Hosea 13:9
e. God is willing to take them back - Hosea 14:1-4
IV. God wants to heal, but the wicked forces His response - Hosea 14:9
A. Despite their grave and continual sins, God still wants to forgive.