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A Brief Overview of the Book of Hosea

When you hear the name “Hosea”, what images come to mind? For some, it may be one of those hard-to-understand prophets that we don’t spend time with. For others, they may know the story of his life, particularly his wife and children, and then the doom and gloom that comes from God’s prophetic word through his ministry. Or perhaps it doesn’t ring any bells. As we get ready to study not only the book of Hosea but the entirety of the minor prophets, let’s take a step out and look at some major themes throughout the book of Hosea.

First, unbridled sin leads to cold hearts.  Right from the beginning of the book, the “whoredom” of Israel as represented by Gomer shows a blatant disregard for the marriage relationship. Then throughout the rest of the book, we see the terrifying picture of what it means to forget about God and ignore His call. The bride of Christ was bought at a great price, and we are foolish to turn to anything else that distracts us from Him.

Next, God desires that all would repent.  We see a clear invitation throughout this book, that God is waiting for those who will repent to return to Him so He may restore and heal them. This is not a one-time call and then a list of awful sins that need repenting. Instead, this is a father’s call to his wayward child. We today must listen for God’s call to repent when we find ourselves sucked into the temptations of sin.

Third, We must be careful to guard our beliefs and practices against worldly influence. Since their inception as a nation, God warned His people about mixing with the people around them in regard to culture, worship, and general life practices. Yet it seems the world is always enticing and offers something better than what’s in front of us. Taken to the extreme in this book, we know that we too face the temptation to compromise.

Finally, God’s love and forgiveness is so much greater than our sin.
The picture of God over and over lamenting Israel’s choices, and His tempering His wrath with His mercy and love is a shockingly sweet message in the midst of darkness. But it helps us to understand just how vast the love of God truly is. If we take anything away from the book of Hosea, we should be encouraged and challenged by how deeply the Father loves us.

I pray that as we study both this book and the remainder of the minor prophets we will learn to understand just how great God’s love is for us.

Love in Christ,
Pastor Ben

bible study, hosea, lifegroups, Old Testament

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