A. We have finished the book of Daniel and today we begin the first book in what is classified as "The Minor Prophets."
1. The classification is really a little unfair in the sense that the reasoning for the "Major" and "Minor Prophet" classification is due to the size of the book and not upon importance.
a) Yet this is not completely accurate because Hosea is a longer book than Daniel.
b) You might be interested to know that they did not classify these book and "Major" and "Minor" til the 3rd century.
2. It seems to me that it would have been more appropriate to group this series of "Minor Prophets" according to their corresponding historical book.
a) You see, what these guys have to say corresponds with the time period of the "Divided Kingdom" when God's people were divided into the Northern Kingdom = known as Israel and the Southern Kingdom = known as Judah.
(1) Hosea is from the northern kingdom and it is this group that his prophecies are for.
3. To better give you a perspective of Hosea's ministry and his timeframe His is alive at the same time Amos = also a prophet to the northern kingdom of Israel.
a) Also living at the time are Micah and Isaiah = prophets sent to the southern kingdom of Judah.
4. Chronologically, Hosea's prophecies come before Jeremiah. In fact there are many similarities:
a) Both men spoke of the impending captivity.
b) Both spoke from a broken heart of personal experience.
B. We must keep in mind as we study the Minor Prophets, that these men are extremely loyal to their respective kingdoms, but they are even more loyal to the Lord!
1. Their messages deal with God's people not obeying the 10 commandments and therefore incurring His judgment as a people and a nation.
a) They are strong in their warnings against ungodly alliances with other nations.
(1) And they are strong in their warnings against political and moral corruption.
C. With all this in mind I would like to remind you of 2Chron 7:14 (NKJV) 14 "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
1. The Lord's desire is ALWAYS for repentance not judgment.
II. NOW LET'S TURN OUR ATTENTION TO HOSEA
A. Before us this morning is a love-story.
1. Young Hosea meets a girl by the name of Gomer in the hill country of Ephraim and they fall in love.
2. They commit themselves to each other, and marry but after a time, Gomer decides she doesn't want to follow the Lord anymore.
a) And as a result, she leaves her family and as a result of her sin, eventually she turns to prostitution to make a living.
(1) Now according to Mosaic Law, Hosea could have brought her before the elders and had her stoned to death for her unfaithfulness, but there was one problem with this he still loved her.
3. This is not too far removed from another couple who also fell in love in the hill country of Ephraim some 700 years later Mary and Joseph.
a) The principal difference was that Joseph had a misconception about Mary's character, but for Hosea all the information was sadly true.
(1) But the Lord instructs Hosea to marry her anyway.
(a) Hosea 1:1-2 (NASB)1 The word of the LORD which came to Hosea the son of Beeri, during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. 2 When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD."
(b) Some commentators want to write this off as simply an allegory because what this means is that the Lord deliberately and intentionally asked Hosea to break the Law of Moses!
(i) The Law said to kill her the Lord said to marry, love and forgive her.
(a) Can you imagine in his culture how this made Hosea look?
(b) Can you imagine how it must have made him feel to know that some of the men he saw every day, had slept with his wife?
(c) And can you imagine how real it must have been for him when he had to tell the people if Israel that they were committing adultery on the Lord and that HIS heart was broken?
III. HOSEA'S FAMILY
A. Hosea 1:3-5 (NASB) 3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4 And the LORD said to him, "Name him Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 "And it will come about on that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel."
1. Hosea's first son's name was Jezreel = "God will scatter, and God will avenge".
a) To get the full picture we would need to go to 2 Kings Chapter 9 and read of Jehu's destruction of King Ahab.
(1) The Lord had instructed him to do so, but he did it with hatred and vengeance and for that the Lord would take away the Israel's rule!
B. Hosea 1:6-7 (NASB) 6 Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the LORD said to him, "Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I should ever forgive them. 7 "But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the LORD their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses, or horsemen."
1. The second child's name was a daughter and her name was Lo-ruhamah = "she has not obtained (her father's) compassion".
a) Now, personally this means is that Lo-ruhamah didn't know who her real father was because of her mother's adultery.
b) What it means to Israel is that the Lord is saying, "You will not know my pity and compassion because I am not your father!"
C. Hosea 1:8-9 (NASB) 8 When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and gave birth to a son. 9 And the LORD said, "Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God."
1. Hosea's 3rd child a son, was named Lo-ammi = "not my people".
a) On a personal lever if this is brought into the singular it means "Not my child!"
(1) Evidently Lo-ammi was also conceived while Gomer was in sin.
b) What it meant in the life of Hosea and his ministry was that Israel was no longer his child! Their lives and lifestyles made them sons of satan not sons of the Father.
(1) This kind of blows a hole in the hopeful, yet very incorrect theory that "we are all God's children" doesn't it?
(a) John 8:44 (NASB) 44 "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.
A. As we continue the story Gomer leaves her home a goes back into the sin of prostitution.
1. She even sells herself into slavery and her loving and forgiving husband goes after her and buys her freedom and brings her back home. THAT IS LOVE!
a) And that is a very clear picture of Jesus and his love for us.
(1) Let's close with the last 2 verses of Chapter 1 Hosea 1:10-11 (NASB) 10 Yet the number of the sons of Israel Will be like the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered; And it will come about that, in the place Where it is said to them, "You are not My people," It will be said to them, "You are the sons of the living God." 11 And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together, And they will appoint for themselves one leader, And they will go up from the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel.
(a) So though Israel was scattered, though she did not in the past, have her Father's compassion an even though she was not behaving as the Lord's child He would not give up on her!
b) What kind of a son or daughter are we to the Lord?