We are in the process of studying the Minor Prophets in the Old Testament. Hosea is considered a pre-exile prophet, because it seems Hosea was written prior to the capture of Samaria in 722 B.C.. Hosea was believed to live in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
1. Forgiving love:
Hosea was commanded by God to marry Gomer, a woman who would be unfaithful to the marriage rites, a woman who would reject the family life that Hosea would give her. Hosea’s life was quickly deteriorating because of Gomer. Later God commanded Hosea, in his love for his wife, to buy her back from the auction block, after being used by the men of the Northern Kingdom.
God used Hosea’s situation to point the people of Israel to salvation. Hosea’s name means salvation, so this becomes the theme of Hosea. Hosea became God’s living example to Israel of God’s love. God was calling Israel to salvation, a time of compassion, a time of restoration, such as Hosea showed Gomer his wife.
2. Nurturing love:
God said, Ephraim is joined to idols, leave him alone” (Hosea 4:17). Jeroboam separated the ten tribes from Judah, to keep the people from going to Jerusalem, he set up Temples in Bethel and Dan. The people joined themselves to idols instead of worshiping God. This was the point why God used Hosea and Gomer, Gomer turning back to her old way of life (prostitution) instead of being with Hosea. Jeroboam turned the hearts of the people away from God to idol worship, (spiritual worship).
God is calling Israel to return to Him for mercy and to acknowledge Him. Give God first place in their heart. God reminds Israel He is their Savior, and the only Savior who is able to deliver them. God is nurturing the Israelites to return to Him and His love and mercy.
3. Healing love:
This part of Hosea reminds the reader of the New Testament story about the Prodigal Son. God is waiting for Israel to return in salvation to Him. Through the Old Testament God’s whole theme to attempting to draw the Israelites closer to Him.
God sent His son, Jesus for the forgiveness of sin, even when that forgiveness is delayed God is nurturing His people, with signs and wonders to draw His people back to Him. There is only Salvation in One, Christ Jesus. When Salvation is realized Healing Love can be gained. There is Healing in the Arms of God, only for those who are willing to turn back to God.
When Hosea bought Gomer and brought her back to his home, Hosea told his wayward wife, I am your husband, you are my wife, you will not follow your other life, you will with me. God is calling His people back to Himself, He wants to be your God, and for you to be His Sheep in His pasture. Return to God and embrace His Forgiving Love, His nurturing love, and Healing love.