“Hosea addressed the nation of Israel when it was in a great struggle between those who worshiped the Lord only and those who advocated the worship of other gods in addition to the Lord. Hosea used many strange and harsh metaphors, writing most of his message in a powerful but sometimes obscure poetic form. Hosea, along with the other prophets, had a message that concerned God’s plan for the ages. Though the prophets spoke about their own times and people, they prophesied of the spiritual realities of the Lord and of His kingdom. This mission to speak God’s voice into the everyday affairs of men and women required speech that would arrest the attention of a people who had become complacent.
Hosea claimed that his message was the “word of the LORD” (1:1). God’s call came in the form of a command to marry an unfaithful woman, and so the prophet’s family life became a model for God’s relationship with Israel. Like his predecessor Amos, Hosea preached to the entire people of God, both Israel and Judah, but he stressed the coming judgment against the northern tribes (Israel).
Hosea wrote in a highly emotional tone, showing the Lord, as it were, agonizing over the consequences of judgment against His beloved Israel. This literary technique was intended to seal the message of God’s everlasting love for His people in their hearts more powerfully.
At the exodus from Egypt, the Lord established a covenant with Israel. Hosea told the nation that they had broken not only the covenant but also the Lord’s heart. God had loved them from the beginning, still loved them, and would always love them. But the people had spurned His love like an adulterous woman rejecting her husband. In following after false gods they participated in various rites of drunken and sexual debaucheries. They resorted to violence and relied on foreign nations to solve their political problems.
Hosea preached a tough love. God had to judge Israel’s destructive behavior. The Assyrians would destroy Israel and send her into captivity. That disaster would set into motion a process of refinement that would result in restoration. God’s covenant love is not like Israel’s—fickle and quickly evaporating. God’s love endures forever. Someday those who are no longer God’s people will once again be called “My people,” and once again they will say of the Lord, “You are My God” (2:23).
The book of Hosea gives insight into the character of God. He is the sovereign Lord over history and has the absolute right to bring judgment against His people, but He exercises that right only after bearing with them with long-suffering mercy. Eventually sin requires drastic action, but the Lord still has plans to give His people a future.
The Lord requires that all people must worship Him alone, and they must treat each other justly. Hosea shows us what it means to “love the LORD your God with all you heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Dt 6:5) as well as to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Lv 19:18). Hosea’s message that God loves His people even when He has to discipline them is needed for any people who ignore their Creator and treat their fellow human beings as things that get in the way of personal pleasure.”(HCSB)

Just as the book of Hosea described the metaphorical family life that served as consequences of people turning away from God, today, Christians can learn how to live better according to His plan. God calls a husband and wife to represent the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Church. God has the ideal family life mapped out in the Bible and provides His Spirit for guidance in carrying out His plans. We, as human beings, do have a choice to turn away from God and live according to what we believe is best and will end up regretting that decision in the long run. Both the Old Testament as well as the New Testament provides insight on the blessings and curses that will come based on our decisions on whether or not to follow His ways.

I have chosen the following as the select few verses that should be pointed out and contemplated on: 4:11, “Promiscuity, wine, and new wine take away one’s understanding.” 6:6, “For I desire loyalty and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” 12:5-6, “Yahweh is the God of Hosts; Yahweh is His name. But you must return to your God. Maintain love and justice, and always put your hope in God.” 13:4-6, “I have been the LORD your God ever since the land of Egypt; you know no God but Me, and no Savior exists besides Me. I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought. When they had pasture, they became satisfied; they were satisfied, and their hearts became proud. Therefore they forgot Me.” 14:9, “Let whoever is wise understand these things, and whoever is insightful recognize them. For the ways of the LORD are right, and the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.”

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