Anxiety never robs tomorrow of its sorrow - it
only saps today of its strength.
This very tender-hearted prophet often cries, not
because of his own sins, but Israel's. This book
brings before us a picture of a man (God), who
has an unfaithful wife (Israel) who is put away
for adultery, but later is to be brought back,
purified and made the centre of the new earth.
The book can be divided into three sections. The
first, 1:1 to end of chapter 3. God telling His
purposes. The second, 4:1 to 13:8... Messages to
the sinful people of Israel, and third, 13:9 to
the end... the final blessings and glory of
Israel on this earth. Wonderful? Wonderful! You'll
find four names in the 1st and 2nd chapters.
Their meanings are "Lo-Ammi" 1:9,
"Not my people;" "Ammi" 2:1
"My people", "Lo-Ruhamah" l:6,
"Not having obtained mercy", and "Ruhamah"
"Having obtained mercy".
You'll notice the negative one is first in both
cases because Israel deserved nothing but
punishment which they will get, but afterwards
they will be blessed and happy.
Hosea speaks of the love of God more than the
righteousness of God. This makes the warnings to
Israel even more terrible. But yet a morning of
blessing is promised after the dark night. God
uses Hosea in a very striking way.
Hos 1:2-4 Hosea is told by God to live out a
parable. The reason being that Israel was very
unfaithful to God. Jer. 3:14 tells us that God
Himself uses a parable about Israel. So Hosea is
used by God to shock the people. You will see
that Israel itself is called by the same name as
the son that is born to Hosea (verse 11). Most of
the prophets had to suffer dreadful things so
that their message from God would be listened to.
Hos 1:5 The son's name is a name of a place in
Israel today. A reminder that God is still going
to punish Israel.
Hos 1:6-7 The daughter's name means "not
having obtained mercy". This refers to the
separated ten tribes called "the house of
Israel". They were swept away into captivity
and have never been heard of since. But God is
going to collect them all up again. "The
house of Judah" was going to be kept by God.
(It is Judah which has been back in the land of
Israel since May 14, l948).
Hos 1:8-9 But God had, at that time, completely
set aside Judah also.
Hos 1:10-11 A view into the yet future... all
completely restored and blessed. Not because of
themselves, but because the Lord Jesus has taken
their punishment since Hosea's time.
If we center our attention and affection on Jesus
Christ, we will walk and work together. If we
focus on ourselves, we will cause strife and
Hos 2:1-13 The Lord speaks to Israel as if she
were His wife who had become unfaithful to Him.
We could say "where sin abounded..." (see
Hos 2:5 Israel thought that she received her
blessings from the false gods to which she had
Hos 2:6-13 God has had to put Israel through
terrible days since that time to make them
realize that it was not the false gods who were
watching over her, but God Himself.
Hos 2:14-23 Here we can say "grace did much
more abound" Romans 5:20. God always has His
eye on the day when He will bless Israel in the
yet future. These verses are beautiful to read
with this in mind. Every punishment was needed to
cause Israel to look up to the Lord.
The highest point of moral dignity in Abraham was
this: that he was a stranger in the earth.
Israel has experienced this to the full. Since
the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, Israel has
wandered as a stranger over this earth, being
pushed from country to country unwanted. (It is
only in the last 50 years that the Jews have been
accepted in the countries in which they have
wandered.) This chapter ends the first section of
It is simplicity that brings us into the presence
From here to end of the Book, God speaks to the
people and pleads with them to turn back to God.
Hos 4:1-14 In this chapter, God shows that every
class of people in Israel had sinned. Prophet,
priest, king, everyone. Adultery and wine took
all their understanding away.
Hos 4:15-19 A special warning to Judah not to
follow the other ten tribes of Israel. And this
is just what she did.
Hos 4:17 It is a terrible thing when God leaves
us alone. Sometimes when we are determined to
have our own way, He does (for a while).
We cannot have good practice unless we have good
Hos 5:1 Hosea speaks to the priests and to the
people. He shows them that all their own sins
have brought the troubles. (A very important
lesson for believers to learn. Not the sins we
did before we were saved, but those things which
we are going on with now. Remember that doctrinal
sins are even more serious than moral sins).
Hos 5:15 Again that burst of sunlight, "till
they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face".
In the bread we see unity; in the cup, fullness
of blessing - the price paid to redeem us.
Hosea increases his tender pleadings to return to
Hos 6:3 Beautiful promise. (And for us too).
"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know
the Lord". If we all obey the Word of God,
then we will all understand alike, and think
alike. The Spirit of God cannot teach one
believer one thing and teach another believer
something opposite. Adultery or whoredom in
Israel's time, teaches us spiritually what
unfaithfulness to the Lord is. To be disobeying
the Lord doctrinally today is like committing
adultery in those times. And the longer we
continue in it, the harder our heart gets.
There is no higher privilege on earth than to be
at the Lord's Table, remembering His Person and
His work (death).
This is a chapter full of spiritual instructions
for the believer in the Lord Jesus today.
Hos 7:2 These people were so careless that they
could not realize that God saw everything that
was in their heart!
Hos 7:9 Only slowly did they slip away from the
Lord. (Were you once happy when you first came to
know the Lord as your Saviour? And do you now
have no strength to resist temptation? Read this
Hos 7:10-14 Here is our answer. Come back to the
Lord, and confess the sins we are going on with.
Get into God's presence alone. If we don't, we
won't realize what we are really going on with.
We may even think we are being good and living
clean moral lives. That is good, but what about
our religious associations? Does Scripture
condemn what we are going on with? It is not what
we say in "Chapter-A-Day", but what God
says, to which each one of us is going to have to
give account to God.
If we don't enjoy the truth we're going to slip
away and be taken captive by the enemy. If we don't
enjoy the truth we don't have it.
He continues to plead with the people. (Much
instruction is here for us too.)
Hos 8:2 Do we say "Yes I know God"? And
all the time the Lord sees our thoughts. (This is
why so many believers have little peace in their
Hos 8:4 Idols are the cause of our weakness.
Anything which comes between the Lord and us is
Hos 8:11 Notice the words "altars to sin".
This plainly tells us that this is not immorality,
but religious disobedience. An altar was for
worship. Everything was in the name of religion.
Hos 8:12 They were so careless that they did not
understand. (To disobey the Lord in religious
things is even worse than immorality, because it
is sin against the Lord Himself!) People decide
the seriousness of sin by how it affects other
people. God decides the seriousness of sin by how
it affects Christ.
Hos 8:14 People may build many buildings to come
to worship God, as they say, but notice what God
says. It is the heart that God wants. In these
chapters, remember that when Ephraim is spoken of
it is referring to the 10 separated tribes. When
it is Israel, it is all the 12 tribes, seen as
one. When it is Judah, it is just Judah and
Benjamin (the two which are back in the land now).
We are in the world to represent Christ, and we
can do that by acting Christlike in all our
More plain talk. (Are we applying these things
spiritually to ourselves? We should). They did
not listen to all these pleadings. Are we? Do we
go on with things which we know do not please the
Lord? Do we pray for a tender conscience? If we
do not our conscience becomes hardened, as it did
in these people.
I am to respect the conscience of another person,
but another man's conscience is not to guide me.
Hos 10:1 Back to religious evil. The more riches
they had, the more religious evil!
Hos 10:2 Divided hearts! How many believers there
are today with divided hearts!
Hos 10:13 Note the plowing and the reaping! May
the Lord open our own eyes to see what is
weakening our life. Only sin weakens the believer.
When we allow unholiness among us, we lose ground
on doctrine. First the gold goes, then the silver,
then the brass.
Beautiful chapter. God now reminds them that He
is not a man. He has the heart of God. Though
they didn't love Him, He remained the same! (This
is the language which breaks our hearts sometimes.
We believers often slip away from the Lord. With
His gentle love He draws us back. In the 23rd
Psalm, He says "He maketh me to lie down in
green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still
waters". So we would think that there is no
danger for us, but what does He say next? "He
restoreth my soul". Just think about that!
When everything is going well, this often is when
we get out of communion with the Lord).
Hos 11:10-11 When they start to tremble, they
have come to the end of themselves. (We can thank
the Lord that He lets us come to the end of
ourselves, and then we are ready to be restored).
Every sacrifice has to have salt: devotion.
This is interesting. God would certainly have to
punish them for their sins, but He reminds them
of another time long before. The time of Jacob,
when he had wrestled with the angel of the Lord,
and Jacob had won. And the angel was the Lord
Himself! Jacob had succeeded in turning away the
Lord's anger and the Lord had told Jacob His name.
"Now", says the Lord to these people
"you do the same. Turn back to Me. Wait for
Me. I don't change". Just think of the mercy
of the Lord toward Israel in spite of everything
He said to them, they just brushed Him aside. And
yet the day is going to come when He is going to
make them the centre of the whole world! Does
this make you thank the Lord for what He has done
for you? Or are we still careless? Do we drift
back to the worldly pleasures and entertainments?
May the Lord touch our hearts.
If we have no evangelistic desire, we have not
matured in what it means to be a Christian.
These last two chapters are very beautiful. They
give us a little view of God.
Hos 13:1-5 God must announce the punishment, yet
in doing it, He remembers what He is. (We might
put it like that).
Hos 13:6-8 Punishment was necessary.
Hos 13:9-10 But back the Lord comes to love and
Hos 13:11-13 Punishment must be given because sin
Hos 13:14 Notice the words, "I will" (future).
But turn to 1 Corinthians 15:54 "Death is
swallowed up" There it is in the past tense.
Because the cross of Christ has come between
Hos 13:15-16 God would have to punish.
Knowing the apostles' doctrine and practicing it
is the apostles' fellowship.
Hos 14:1-3 He loves Israel so much that He even
tells them what to say to Him so that He might be
able to bless them!
Hos 14:4 His love bursts out. God is holy. God is
love. Holiness demands punishment. But God's love
in the end shall overcome. Do you know why?
Because He punished His Son, the Lord Jesus
instead of Israel. We hope you have been helped
by this book. May our conscience be touched by
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