God tells the prophet, Hosea, to take a harlot for his wife. Even after her adulterous affairs, Hosea takes her back. This object lesson depicts the love God has for Israel, his forgiveness and restoration. The book relates God account of Israel’s sins and the harsh punishment she will have to bear, even though He continues to love and woe her. It is a fair depiction of God’s love for each of us. The first three chapters relate to Hosea’s family life. Then they change to Israel’s sin and how she played the “harlot” but God’s love will still rescue her.
Chap. 1:10-11 In spite of all, God promises unification. They will come back to him. Jezreel means “God plants.”
Chap. 2:8-13 sins of materialism, sex and idolatry, un-thankfulness, “she decked herself with rings and jewelry and went after her lovers, but me she forgot.” How sad! What are we doing to make us forget him? 14-20 God’s plans to woo her back 23 Is this talking about drawing Gentiles to himself? If it is, that’s me, and I’m saying, “Yes, Lord, you are my God!”
Chap. 3 Hosea buys Gomer back. He pays 15 pieces of silver and some barley. Fifteen pieces of silver was half the price of a slave, and barley was food for the animals. That shows to what low estate Gomer had fallen. He bought her back out of the humiliation she had willingly gone into. I’m sure you have seen pictures of beautiful girls “before” compared to their “after” pics – the change from several years of drug addiction. This is Gomer “after.”
Chap. 4:4-9 Verse 6 is an oft quoted verse generally used to chastise people for not seeking God in prayer and Bible reading. This no doubt is true, but the verse is in the middle of a tirade against the priests and prophets not teaching the people. Note that the verse continues: “because you – my priest – have rejected knowledge, …” So why did the people not have knowledge? Because the priests rejected knowledge. Preachers of our day, God will not take it lightly when you fail to pass on the knowledge God gives to you. You do not have editorial rights over God’s message. Verse 9 says they, people and priests, will both be punished so ignorance is not justification for sin.
Chap. 5:10 “leaders move boundaries” Do our leaders continually “move boundaries” (compromise) to keep people happy? 13 caution against looking to others for help 15 “in their misery they will seek me” Do you seek God when everything goes well or when things get miserable? Perhaps misery is a gift of God to warn of spiritual sickness, just as pain is a warning of physical sickness. (Boy, I just went against a lot of theological thought with that statement!)