What is a minor prophet?
Hosea is one of the longest Minor Prophets. Zechariah is also just as long.
The Minor Prophets were written in phases –
Fifth century – Haggi, Zechariah, and Malachi
Sixth century – Joel, Obadiah, and maybe Jonah
Seventh century – Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah
Eighth century – Hosea, Amos, and Micah (the oldest minor prophets)
Hosea and Amos are the only two Minor Prophets that focus on the Northern Kingdom. (Jonah was also written to the northern kingdom however, it specifically addresses the Nineveh)
Background info –
Background info –
Author – Hosea – 1:1
When Hosea began his ministry, Jeroboam was still reigning in Israel at the time. His ministry was from about 755 B.C. to about 715 B.C.
Date – 721 BC
Audience – Northern Kingdom Israel
Theme – God’s Loyal Love
The book of Hosea is approximately forty years of prophetic ministry.
This evening as we come to the book of Hosea we are going see how God is faithful to Israel despite their unfaithfulness.
The outline that I am using is taken from the Talk Thru the Bible Book
Adulterous wife and Faithful husband –
1. THE COMMAND –
1. THE COMMAND –
Hosea 1:2 “When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord.””
Hosea wanting to obey the Lord is going to follow through with what the Lord tells him to do. Although it does not make sense to us it was the direction of the Lord, which Hosea is going to abide by.
Making it personal - how are you responding to the commands from our Savior? What are some of the commands?
2. THE OBEDIENCE -
2. THE OBEDIENCE -
Hosea 1:3-4 “So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. And the Lord said to him, “Name him Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.”
Hosea in his unwavering obedience went and took Gomer who was a harlot to be his wife. What a step of faith, Hosea did not necessarily understand why the Lord commanded him to do this; he just followed through with obedience.
Making it personal - how do you struggle with obeying the commands of of Savior even when you don’t understand?
THE SIN –
THE SIN –
Hosea 1:6 “Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to him, “Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them.”
Hosea 3:1 “Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.””
In verse one of chapter three it says to marry a wife who is an adulteress. The woman that Hosea married was Gomer who was a woman who committed adultery.
THE CONTINUED OBEDIENCE –
THE CONTINUED OBEDIENCE –
Hosea 3:2 “So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley.”
Again the Lord gives Hosea specific instruction telling him to love an adulteress women. So Hosea being obedient to the Lord goes and buys Gomer back at a price. He demonstrates faithfulness, and love to Gomer despite her unfaithfulness to him.
The relation to Hosea’s marriage and the nation of Israel is painted very clearly for us here in Hosea. Hosea, was told to marry Gomer, he was told by the Lord to be faithful to her. Hosea was faithful and Gomer continued to practice harlotry. God told Hosea to buy her back, which he did. (Restoration)
Now, we are going to see how Hosea’s marriage relates to the nation of Israel. The Lord says that He is going to be faithful to the nation.
What the Lord is going to do with the nation of Israel –
Hosea 1:10-11 “Yet the number of the sons of Israel Will be like the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered; And in the place Where it is said to them, “You are not My people,” It will be said to them, “You are the sons of the living God.” And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together, And they will appoint for themselves one leader, And they will go up from the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel.”
Here we learn what the Lord is going to accomplish with the nation of Israel. He is going to make them great like the sand of the sea; they will be called His people, and He will refer to them as the sons of the living God.
Adulterous Israel and Faithful Lord
Remember how Gomer was unfaithful to Hosea?
Just like that the nation of Israel was unfaithful the Lord.
· Hosea 4:1-6 “Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel, For the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land, Because there is no faithfulness or kindness Or knowledge of God in the land. There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, And everyone who lives in it languishes Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky, And also the fish of the sea disappear. Yet let no one find fault, and let none offer reproof; For your people are like those who contend with the priest. So you will stumble by day, And the prophet also will stumble with you by night; And I will destroy your mother. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”
· Hosea 2:4-6 ““Also, I will have no compassion on her children, Because they are children of harlotry. “For their mother has played the harlot; She who conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, Who give me my bread and my water, My wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’ “Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns, And I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths.”
· Hosea 4:12 “My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them; For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, And they have played the harlot, departing from their God.”
The Lord gave the nation of Israel very specific directions to follow Him yet they did not do it. In verse 2 it said that there is stealing, murdering, swearing, deception, and adultery among them. On several different occasions the Lord told them how to act, and they did exactly the opposite.
The Lord has given you and I specific direction as well. How often do you and I forsake those commands? Yet the Lord remains faithful to us! Praise the Lord.
THE JUDGMENT -
THE JUDGMENT -
Hosea 5:4-7 “Their deeds will not allow them To return to their God. For a spirit of harlotry is within them, And they do not know the Lord. Moreover, the pride of Israel testifies against him, And Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity; Judah also has stumbled with them. They will go with their flocks and herds To seek the Lord, but they will not find Him; He has withdrawn from them. They have dealt treacherously against the Lord, For they have borne illegitimate children. Now the new moon will devour them with their land.”
In verse 5 says Ephraim stumbled in their iniquity – The term Ephraim is used because the tribe by that name was the most powerful of the tribes in the Northern Kingdom.
As a result of their continual disobedience they (Israel – when it says Ephraim it is referring to Israel) will not be able to find the Lord b/c He has withdrawn Himself from them. They have gone out and committed adultery and were unwilling to remain faithful to the Lord.
Just like Gomer was unfaithful to Hosea so is Israel to the Lord. The Lord told Hosea to be faithful to Gomer just like He was faithful to Israel.
The Response –
Hosea 6:1-3 ““Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him. “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.””
The Nation recognizes their sin and then cries out to the Lord knowing that He is faithful and is willing to restore them back to Himself. It sounds like the nation is ready to follow the Lord faithfully right? Well, let’s take a look at the actual out come.
The actual out come –
Hosea 7:10 “Though the pride of Israel testifies against him, Yet they have not returned to the Lord their God, Nor have they sought Him, for all this.”
God’s continual love and faithfulness for His people
· Hosea 11:1-4 “When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. The more they called them, The more they went from them; They kept sacrificing to the Baals And burning incense to idols. Yet it is I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them in My arms; But they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love, And I became to them as one who lifts the yoke from their jaws; And I bent down and fed them.”
· Hosea 14:4-7 “I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from them. I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily, And he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon. His shoots will sprout, And his beauty will be like the olive tree And his fragrance like the cedars of Lebanon. Those who live in his shadow Will again raise grain, And they will blossom like the vine. His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon.”
The Promise -
Hosea 2:19-20 ““I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord.”
The Lord is serious about his promises. He tells the nation of Israel that if they are willing to following Him then I am willing to be faithful to you!
Talk about the meaning of Gomer’s children names – (the relation to the nation of Israel)
ü Jezreel – a name that carried with it the idea of judgment. (God Scatters)
ü Lo-ruhamah – a name meaning “no peaty,” indicating that God would no longer show mercy to His rebellious people.
ü Lo-ammi – which means “not my people,” indicating that God was distancing Himself from Israel.
So What? – How often do you and I forsake the commands of the Lord?
As we learned about God’s faithfulness it ought to motivate us to do three specific things –
Motivate us to fall on our knees and thank the Lord for His faithfulness.
2 Tim 2:13 “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”
Motivate us to take sin seriously.
Rom 14:10-12 “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall give praise to God.” So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.”
Motivate us to take the commands of the Lord seriously.