The writings that you will see on the Minor Prophets I wrote before 1980. Look at how much more they apply today. I pray you will enjoy and learn from them.
Hosea the Prophet had a message for the children of Israel. You can see His message pounding in the churches of today. First off you must see and declare what a true Prophet is. God said, that a Prophet was not to be afraid of the people. A Prophet is a person that the crowd does not like, for they expose their sins. His job is to root out, to pull down, to destroy, to throw down, to build and to plant. God said People would fight them, but they would not prevail for God would deliver the Prophet. (Jeremiah). So it is under this light that that I will see the ministry of Hosea.
The name Hosea comes from the root which signifies salvation or help, and deliverance. He was a man of the soil and drew many of his simple images from the garden and the farm. His Book is one of the most evangelical of the Old Testament.
Hosea lived and worked in the Northern Kingdom toward the close of the prosperous reign of Jeroboan II, and thru the period of confusion and anarchy that followed. The successors of Jeroboan were short lived.
You must see Israel as it was at this time. You can also see it likened to our world of today. Morality was at a low ebb, and idolatry flourished. Into this confused mass of struggling hamanity, God sent Hosea, not only to Speak His Message but to live it. The country was very wealthy at this time. The leaders lived on the lap of luxury. Israel had Military Power, Political Influence, and Economic Stability, yet it was rotten to the core. Like us, today, Israel had turned her back on God, the thing that made her unique. God wasn’t looking for prophets who would declare what a fine people they were, God was Screaming Judgement for a Backsliding Nation.
He declared that the prophets no longer called upon God, they live their lives in wickedness and lies. They turned their back on the God who had Redeemed them and brought them out of slavery.
You can see Hosea thundering the message of God to a sinful Nation that does not see a need for God. He blows the Trumpet and Comes against the House of Israel. God sees their sins, how they've set up Idols. They have played the part of a whore. lusting for the things of sins of the world they lived in. Everything about them defiled. For this God brings a fierce judgement against them.
But yet, you still see the Love of God. He will not allow His people to die in their iniquities. The day will come when God will restore the Nation Israel. He will reverse His Judgement against them. Judgement will then become forgiveness. Scattered Israel will be Renewed by God.
Hosea shows us what God is like. He shows us God’s mercy, and God’s love. From his lesson with Gomer, Hosea learns to have love and to forgive. Hosea shows us how much god suffers when we play false with Him. Hosea shows us God’s Grace and Love for each of us idolaters in the midst of Spiritual Harlotry. God refuses here to let judgement be His Last Word. As with Israel God makes every effort to bring mankind back to Himself, even tho we break His Heart by our Sins and Rebellion.
We should all learn from Hosea what the end results of sin are and then we must make our Choice, we can return and repent unto God, or we can choose to rot in our own Rebellion. The choice is ours alone.
Hosea dates the beginning of his Prophetic ministry to the time when God commanded him to marry a woman who was to be untrue to him, and would bear children who share her impurity. The purpose of this Command was clear: Hosea Marriage to the unfaithful Gomer was to be a demonstration of God’s relationship to Israel, His people. God gives the reason for the Command in Hosea 1:2.
In the Exodus from Eqypt God had entered into a special relationship with Israel, which is called a Covenant. In response to what God had done in saving His people, in leading them thru the sea and across the desert, they pledged themselves to be His People, His Bride. Their vow to Him was like the marriage vow, they somely swore to be faithful and obedient to Him Forever.
When they entered the Promised Land, their attitudes changed, they found their vows difficult to keep. The Canaanite’s had a very different approach to religion. They worshipped Baal, not the Lord God. To Baal they attributed their crops and flocks. as a god of fertility Baal was responsible for the seasons. The Israelites began to pray and to sacrifice to Baal and to thank him for the blessings of the land. The worship of Baal was unfaithfulness to the Lord God. This is a type of spiritual harlotry, an act of playing false with her true husband.
The mother of Hosea's children in her adultery, illustrated Israel’s waywardness.
Israel’s lovers were the Canaanite gods who by their pagan ceremonies, which included immorality and drunkness, had lured Israel away from her true Husband the Lord God who had redeemed her. At this point God had no choice but to judge. He had drive His children to their knees in order to draw them back to Himself. The very names of the children born to Gomer, Hosea’s wife describe the judgement of God. The oldest son was named Jezreel: This means “ God will scatter”. His next child a daughter who name was Lo-Ruha-mah which means “not pitied”. Then another son joined the family Lo Ammi which means “not my people”.
The three names are a terrible description of God’s wrath upon His people. Hosea’s family had become object lessons of the impurity and corruption of Israel. This is symbolized by Gomers unfaithfulness, of the stern judgements of God which is illustrated in the names of the children themselves. Whoever these three children by name must have been reminded that the God of Israel was about to divorce His People on ground of infidelity.
As you read these chapters in Hosea you can cleary see the judgement of God on a world stripped of their true God. There is always God’s judgement to be faced when you leave the True God to go and play with the things of the World. Or else you leave the Bible on the shelf to never be read or thought of unless it is to impress or try and play you are a child of God. If you really want God you will find Him in this Book, for we are also a Nation of Corrupt people. When God Word warns it was not only for the Israelites it is for us also today.
The judgements of God stripped the people of their possessions, crops, religious festival, and her land. We can see the same judgements today. Priests and Prophets are being exposed for their evil deeds. God will expose all ungodliness. He will bring all things to Light. He will test the hearts of all men. Spiritual Adultery must be and will be judged.