The Ways of the Lord are Right!

 

Thoughts About What We’re Reading…

 

Today in our reading, we are looking at the book of Hosea – one of the minor prophets.

Hosea’s name means salvation. He has been called by some as the “tender” prophet or prophet of grace.

The major themes of Hosea are the same as many of the prophets – sin, judgment, and salvation with promises of restoration to those who are faithful – the remnant.

In this book we find five cycles of judgment and restoration.  God loves Israel but they have betrayed Him – judgment on sin is coming, but God will eventually bring His people back to Himself.

The uniqueness of this book is how the prophetic message is linked so closely to Hosea’s personal life.

Hosea marries a woman who will betray his trust, and take other lovers.

In addition, Hosea gives his children names that sent messages of judgment to the people of Israel. The return of Hosea’s wife Gomer after seeking other lovers is symbolic of restoration.

We can find the background for the book, the big idea so to speak, in the covenantal agreement and relationship between the Lord and Israel established in Deuteronomy 28.

Israel was to maintain loyalty and relationship with the Lord by worshiping Him alone and obeying His Commandments.

Obedience would bring blessing – disobedience would bring judgment and eventual exile.

Hosea’s role as a prophet was to expose Israel’s breach of the covenant and warn them of the Lord’s impending judgment.

Israel believed that by prostituting herself in worship to Baal she would receive blessing for her crops and other necessities in life – she was guilty of spiritual adultery.

Although other sins are mentioned in the book – social injustice, religious hypocrisy, etc., the nation was primarily summarized as an adulteress.

Judgment would come and exile would be a result.

Israel was so steeped in their sin of prostitution to the other idols and “gods” that any possibility of repentance was precluded for the time being.

Though Hosea’s prophecy contains some calls to repentance, he did not expect a positive response. The Lord’s coming judgment was inescapable.

In implementing the curses, the Lord would cause the nation to experience infertility, military invasion, and exile.

Several times Hosea emphasized the justice of God by indicating that His divine punishment fit the crimes perfectly.

However, the Lord would not abandon Israel totally.

Despite its severity, each judgment was disciplinary and was intended to turn Israel back to God.

Hosea’s own reconciliation with his wayward wife illustrated Israel’s ultimate restoration.

The ultimate purpose of the Lord’s judgment on His people was to restore them (Hosea 2:5–7).

For the time being, though, God would not hear their prayers.

He would go back to His place like a lion returning to its lair (Hosea 5:14) till the nation underwent its punishment.

As we read though this book we are again reminded of the consequence and effects of our sin.

We can be so much like ancient Israel pursuing idols in a vain attempt to build our own kingdoms, chasing greener pastures, yet end up wallowing in the shame and guilt of our actions.

Yet, our loving God, extends His mercy to a sinful people, despite our rebellion and sin, that we might repent and be restored into a rightful relationship with Him – our God, Lord, and Savior.

Until next time…  keep reading!

Jim

Sources and excerpts used for this blog were taken from: The Bible Knowledge Commentary 

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