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Hosea Bible Study: Getting to Know God Better

Updated on June 30, 2018
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Angela first knew of Jesus as a child, but did not walk with him until she was adult. She now hopes to share the good news ith the world.

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Book of Hosea: Old Testament Bible Study

Hosea from the Old Testament is often known for its harsh words but is also a book about hope. In the Jewish Hebrew Bible, Hosea was one of twelve prophets. He was known for making some very interesting decisions. It was his decisions that caused him to view Israel in a unique way.

God had asked Hosea to marry a woman of harlotry. Most people, even if they thought God was truly asking them to do such a thing, would have a hard time obeying. Yet, Hosea, being a true follower of God, married Gomer, a harlot. After he married her, she had an affair. As you can imagine Hosea became very jealous, betrayed, and humiliated. This colored his view on how God viewed Israel.

Hosea spent his years preaching to the people of Israel - God's people. He compared God's relationship to His people as a marriage. Just as God expects total commitment of a husband and a wife to one another, he also expects it from His people and Himself. Yet, as human nature has a tendency to do, the Israelites were not faithful to God, worshipping many other gods.

The Chosen People of God Are Unfaithful

During early times of Hosea's ministry, Israel was doing very well economically. In the Earth's past, the more plentiful riches are, the more spiritual trouble occurs. Israel was not different. Israel began worshipping other gods, more than God our Lord. One in particular was Baal, which Hosea sites several times in his book. They were building shrines to these other gods and even felt there was a legitimacy to Sacred Prostitution, as if prostitution could truly be a sacred element. This was an abomination to God and saddened Hosea. Israel was not unique during this time, but God held them more accountable due to their being the chosen people. Hosea recognized Israelites being the same as men before them and after when he stated, "But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant.

He may have felt stronger than normal because of his own pain over his wife Gomer's infidelity. He felt he could relate to how God would feel, knowing that His people were being unfaithful also. Although Hosea recognized why God's people were not submitting to the Lord and credited it to their lack of knowledge. He cried out in his book:

Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel
For the Lord has case against the inhabitants of the land.
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land. (4:1)

He wanted the people of Israel to know God more. He emphasized the importance of spending time with God in our spiritual walk. The only way we could truly live the way God expects us to live is to know God fully. Today we are given both the New and the Old Testament. We need to make sure we don't fall into the same traps. We can avoid this by praying, reading the bible, getting to know our God.

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Biblical Repentance

Israel had already fallen away. The only way they could truly come to know the Lord again is if they humbled themselves and repented. God was eager to forgive. In Hosea's own life, he manifested God's forgiveness with his wife, which is shown how he forgave her and took him back in his home after Gomer left him to be with another man. Taking back an unfaithful wife was very unusual during his time.

Just as he forgave Gomer, Hosea showed that God was planning on doing the same with Israel. Israel left God to worship Baal along with many other gods, yet the Lord was eager to forgive them. All he asked was for repentance:

I will heal their apostasy,
I will love them freely,
For my anger has turned away from them,
I will be like the dew to Israel,
He will blossom like the lily.

Hosea was foretelling that there would be a time when God would bestow His reward on Israel despite their deep transgressions. But this was not yet to happen. The first fruits would begin in 722 years when Jesus walked the Earth, but not fully until the end of Earth itself, where God promises, "...there is a harvest appointed to you, When I restore the fortunes of My people." (6:11)

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End of Times Prophecy

Despite the book of Hosea being a short book, it has great significance now, and especially during the time Jesus walked the Earth. In the New Testament, Hosea is quoted three times. Once to show that Hosea was prophesying the mere existence of Jesus (Hosea 11:1). This is quoted in Matthew 2:14-15:

So Joseph got up and took the Child and His Mother while it was still night and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had spoken by the Lord through the prophet (Hosea), 'Out of Egypt, I called My Son.'

Hosea was not only important to Jesus because it prophesied his arrival, but because it still held true to His feelings about the people at that time. Jesus referenced Hosea when confronted by enemies regarding his association with sinners. Jesus states, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice," (Matthew 9:13), which is a direct quote from Hosea.

The idea that Jews and Gentiles alike could come to the Lord, was not new to the New Testament, in fact, Hosea had stated it much earlier in Hosea 2:23, "And I will say to those who were not my people, 'You are My people!' And they will say, 'You are my God." This is reiterated throughout the Old Testament, but none more directly than in Romans 9: 24-26:

To make known the riches of riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only but also from among Gentiles, As He says also in Hosea,
I will call those who were not my people, 'My people.'
And her who was not beloved, Beloved
And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people.'
There they shall be called sons of the living God.

Hosea is often overlooked, which is a shame as it is very important to the Christian way of life. It emphasizes the importance of putting God first and to worship Him as our only God. It points out that we are all sinners and need to repent of our evil deeds. Most importantly, it tells us that we are His people, and there is hope for everyone us through Christ Jesus.

Hosea the Movie

Citations

Hosea; The Bible: New American Standard.

Arnold, Bill T., and Brian L Beyer, Encountering the Old Testament: A Christian Service, Baker Books; Grand Rapids, Michigan: 1998. pages 439-453.

© 2012 Angela Michelle Schultz

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    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      7 weeks ago from United States

      Never apologize for giving a thorough comment, Jack!

    • Jack Jenn profile image

      Jack Jenn 

      7 weeks ago from Nelson Bay NSW Australia.

      Hi Angela,

      Enjoyed your writing and you're also quite right - this book, unbeknown or even realised by so many, does have a lot in prophecy, particularly concerning the END TIME, or TIME of the END.

      Fast forward a bit to Matthew 24: 32 - 34, the parable of the Fig Tree.

      v32: Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

      v33: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

      v34: Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things have been fulfilled.

      How do we understand this? That last verse is something I've always wondered about as I always thought (many years ago) that 'this generation' was in the time of Jesus - but it isn't. Jesus was telling the disciples that the generation of people who will be alive when the last days come about, would witness what He called the fig tree blooming and putting forth its leaves. So Jesus was saying (at that time but meaning now) when you see Israel re-blooming, your generation would be the one on earth and living when the last days occur - and if Israel was destroyed in 70 AD and its inhabitants scattered, when did Israel bloom again?

      May 14th 1948 is when history records it, which is when the Jews returned to the land that was promised to Abraham by God. The generation that witnessed that (those born shortly after WW2) most have not yet passed. So we are they who 'shall see all these things.'

      But because Jesus often spoke in parables to confound many and this one is no different, we need to look further into scripture. As god has given man 70 years or if by reason of strength, 80 years we see that there is a possible time difference of 10 years to connect to this parable. By adding 70 to 1948 = 2018. Adding 80 to 1948 = 2028.

      I believe that God in His mercy would not leave us guessing about such an important time so that by watching the times we are living in, I believe there is a more accurate way of determining the beginning of Tribulation and Hosea gives it to us in 6: 2 & 3, which says:

      v2: After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.

      The two days relates to 'two millennial days' and is the 2000 years after the death of Jesus (remembering the 7000 years/7 millennial days of human history) which is now the 6th day and is almost finished and is known as the church age.

      Jesus was killed in 33 AD and then adding the known church age, which includes Tribulation and comes to 2033 and then subtracting the 7 years of Tribulation, we arrive at 2026 for the start of Tribulation.

      The 'third day is the last millennial day' and is the 1000 years that Jesus reigns on earth.

      v3: in part says: And then we shall know if we follow on to know the Lord:

      Of course there is a lot more to it and I apologise for the length of my comment, I thought it might be of interest seeing your article was about Hosea.

      If you would like to know more about this, visit ichthys.com you won't be disappointed.

      My best regards Angela,

      Jack.

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      6 years ago from United States

      Yes, it is very weird indeed. It brings up a lot of questions.

    • revengadown profile image

      revengadown 

      6 years ago

      In the bible, Hosea married a prostitute. Does God really request such an immoral thing to us just to achieve his will?that s weird and the weird thing he married prostitute.I m sure it s one of JEWS FABRICATION.

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thank you so much! I had never really studied this book, until this year. I'm glad I did.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      It is amazing how this little book has such a vast wealth of wisdom within its pages. I do believe Hosea teaches us to obey God's plan, even though we do not see the whole picture. As you wrote, Hosea depicts a fallen picture of Israel but also the hope of redemption through Christ. Enjoyed the read, voted up and interesting.

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thank you Aunt Barb, I'll have to recipricate. I don't get much opportunity on here, so my time is limited. Right now, I have to head to work. Love you!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      6 years ago from USA

      Angela, This is an excellent Bible study. I enjoyed reading it. I love the peacock you are using for your profile pic too, just beautiful. I'll put a link on some of my Bible hubs to this.

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