Introduction to Hosea

Hosea was a prophet who lived and prophesied in the last decades before the fall of Samaria. While the text does not say explicitly, it seems logical that Hosea lived in the Northern Kingdom (Israel) based on his detailed knowledge of the geography. The message appears directed toward Israel, but the lessons Hosea teaches were meant for Judah and ultimately for every generation.

Abandonment, punishment, repentance, forgiveness, and restoration form the lesson series taught by Hosea first in the marriage described in the opening chapters and again in the prophecies toward Israel in the latter chapters.

The first three chapters describe the prophet’s marriage to a prostitute. Hosea was chosen for a specific purpose and given specific commands. His situation should not be construed to imply acceptance of marriage to an unfaithful partner, nor should it be thought to condone marital violence. The acts described in these chapters provide a vivid illustration of sin’s reward. They also describe the restoration of the relationship when repentance and forgiveness are realized. Theologians argue about whether the details of these chapters are literal or purely allegory. Regardless of historical fact, the lessons about God’s character as eternally faithful and forgiving are consistent with the whole of scripture.

Chapters 4 to 14 shift from allegory to a direct message with specific charges as well as a personal appeal to repentance and restoration. Through Hosea, God confronts Israel’s departure from faithfulness in the form of various religious, social, sexual, and political offenses. Indictments are made, judgment is given, and God’s character is expressed. The call to know God requires a very personal and intimate relationship, not merely an intellectual possession of correct information. This lesson overflows into the Gospel message that calls people to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus for salvation. The call to repentance issued by Hosea is another theme in line with Christian salvation. The faithfulness of God to forgive sin and save the soul of one who enters that intimate personal relationship is the culmination of knowing God and repenting of sin.

About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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5 Responses to Introduction to Hosea

  1. Steve Nelson says:

    Please tell me you’re writing a commentary on the 12 Prophets! 🙂

    • Lance Ponder says:

      Someday I hope to get it to book form. So far I have 10 written, working on #11. It started out as a project to get ready to study Revelations. LOL. Well, you know how these things take on a life of their own. All of Habakkuk is already posted here. I figure Hosea will take us through the end of the year. At this rate the book will be out when you son is ready for seminary – LOL.

  2. Lance, nice! Oh to get the Church and the People of God back into the Biblical Text! Hosea is a good place to start again!

    • Lance Ponder says:

      Oh yes, Fr Robert. I do love the Minor Prophets. Some of my favorite quotes come from this book. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hos 4:6. Another favorite passage is found in the last chapter – one of the greatest evangelism chapters, especially of the OT. I look forward to your feedback as we go forward. You have so many thoughts to share.

      • Lance, The text of Hosa 4: 6 is profound! And also within the context is the Jewish priesthood, and their failure to teach the people the Word and Law of God! Contrast this with 2 Tim. 3: 8, and note 2 Tim. 4: 3-4 also. Today, we are seeing this even more so, sadly. But, we can know that the Word of God is right on track!

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