Well....another book completed in the Word of the Lord!!! AMEN!!! :) Do you remember anything we've read? Probably not....but we recognized things more when we are studying for Sunday school lessons or Bible study!
chapter 1 Hosea obeys God's instruction to marry Gomer....a prostitute. Although difficult...even repulsive...Hosea does not hesitate. Just as the Lord reveals himself to Job through his suffering and gains a more intimate relationship with him, the Lord uses Hosea's marriage to Gomer to mirror the people of Israel's unfaithful relationship with Him. God is always ready to forgive and restore us -- if we repent....regardless of the sin in our lives.
chapter 2 Gomer is unfaithful to her marriage vows.....another mirror of Israel's unfaithfulness to the Lord. The picture in the words of v. 2-23 is one of blatant unfaithfulness. Without thought God's people go their own way to worshiping false gods. They run from God and indulge in all kinds of wickedness. but it is not God's intention to leave them in their sin. Without fail, God is angered at his people's unfaithfulness and works to draw them back to Himself. There is reassurance of hope and comfort for those who have wondered.
chapter 3 Hosea is reconciled with his wife.......Gomer ran away from him and their children so I'm sure it would be hard to take her back.....but remember this IS JUST a metaphor for the people of Israel and their relationship with the Lord. But the Lord instructs Hosea to take Gomer back....just as the Lord will take his own unfaithful children back. God is faithful to Israel (and us) even when we don't deserve it.
chapter 4 spiritual prostitution.....leads them astray..they have a bent to unfaithfulness to God....we too, today, have the same bent. The act of prostitution may not be involved, but anytime we turn to our culture for gratification or consolation instead of turning to God, we exhibit the same "spirit of prostitution."
chapter 5 HUM....."does God hide?"verse 6.....does God hide himself from us when we blatantly and consistently disobey him...well, maybe...but He doesn't ever abandon us! there is a difference, don't you think? He has promised never to leave us as orphans or abandon us!We are never separated fully from God!
chapter 6 God does deal with his people harshly when they break his covenant but he does not withhold himself. When His people cry out...he comes like the spring rains!! But....as all to often and like with Hosea's time, the repentance is all too short lived. When the people sin and then repent, a faithful God is there with forgiveness and the restoration of soft spring rains. But his patience will not last forever.
chapter 7 the lust for power causes the princes of the land to assassinate their kings. Hosea does not mention any one king, but several kings of Israel are killed just before judgment falls on the nation.
chapter 8 sowing and reaping...sow the wind and reap a whirlwind! As the people of Israel continue to plant the seeds of idolatry and lust, the result is a whirlwind of instability and chaos in their personal lives and in the life of the nation.
chapter 9 at the end of the harvest, a feast was held on the threshing floor....where the reapers then slept to guard the grain from thieves. Women were not encouraged to attend, but prostitutes took advantage of the occasion. The lesson here.....when we have an intimate relationship with God, we trust that he will work out the details. We need not be afraid.
chapter 10 when the Israelites finally wake up to the magnitude of their sin against God, they will be filled with shame. The very land where they worship idols and practice sexual immorality will be brought down, exposing their betrayal of the Lord. Those who recognize their sin at the end of the world will prefer to have the mountains crush them than to have to face judgment from God!
chapter 11 God is taken his chosen people, by the hand....nurturing them, leading, teaching, and loving them as a parent would a child.
tomorrow: Hosea 12-14 and all of Joel....all 3 chapters of the whole book!! :) Love the minor prophets...nice and short!! :)