Hosea Week 11: Final Appeal

Oh, sisters, how refreshing it is to come at last to the final chapter of our study. Not because it means that our time is drawing to a close, no, but because we see in chapter 14 of Hosea a model of true, mindful, heartfelt repentance and the Lord’s turning from his anger as a result. The outline of true repentance in the first 3 verses are instructive, and the promises of God to his repentant people are precious. These point forward to Christ, because of whom, ultimately, God’s anger is turned from his people, our apostasy is healed, and God therefore loves us freely and blesses us abundantly. Continue reading “Hosea Week 11: Final Appeal”

Week 7, No Worship in a Foreign Land, Hosea 9:1-9

The first nine verses of Hosea chapter 9 are hard to read. The prophet Hosea marches into a festal celebration where the people of Israel are enjoying (apparently) the Feast of Tabernacles—or rather, their version of the feast which had merged with the pagan harvest rituals and therefore took place on threshing floors rather than with booths set up at the temple. They are partying, pouring out drink offerings to the LORD, bringing sacrifices, and eating the bread baked from the firstfruits of the grain harvest, when Hosea walks in and rains on their parade with his pronouncement of judgement: Continue reading “Week 7, No Worship in a Foreign Land, Hosea 9:1-9”

Week 6: Israel’s Hypocrisy, Hosea 8:1-14

This week in our study of Hosea chapter 8, we continue learning the cost of Israel’s iniquities. Their many sins in breaking God’s covenant and rebelling against his law, which included idolatry, alliances with pagan nations, hypocrisy in worship, and self-reliance, trace directly to the root of forgetting the God who made them (8:14). Therefore the God to whom they should have turned for protection has decreed their demise. Instead of crying out to the LORD who covenanted to be their refuge, they have turned to the neighboring nations seeking security, employing worldly solutions to their degenerating foreign affairs. Meanwhile, Assyria is circling like a vulture overhead and will soon swoop down upon them with unrelenting destruction (8:1).

And yet it is evident that the Israelites believed that they were on good terms with God. Appealing to him that, “My God, we—Israel—know you” (8:2). But they have “spurned the good” (8:3), rejecting (with disdain and contempt) the covenant and laws by which he made himself known to them and called them to walk in his ways as his own people. They are pursuing relationship with their Creator not on his terms, but their own. By forsaking their exclusive calling to be set apart from the nations and live according to God’s holy laws, they made a mockery of their faithless worship of him. Continue reading “Week 6: Israel’s Hypocrisy, Hosea 8:1-14”

Week 2: Hosea’s Family, Hosea 1:1-3:5

This week we dove straight into Hosea. Just like diving into a cold pool on a hot summer day, it was both shocking and refreshing.

Hosea was instructed by God to marry a “wife of whoredom” to illustrate to Israel (and Judah) in shocking fashion the depth of their national depravity and the abomination of their spiritual adultery. If his marriage wasn’t enough, the names God had him give to his children would provide repeated opportunities to reiterate the message God had for his wayward people.

“Hosea! Long time no see. Are these your children?”

“Why yes, they are. Allow me to introduce Bloodshed, No Mercy (we call her Unloved, for short), and Not My People (nicknamed, Not Mine).”

“Um, okaaay…”

Though these first three chapters are shocking, we also found the blessed refreshment of the gospel in at least three places, and that’s what I want to focus on for our summary today. Continue reading “Week 2: Hosea’s Family, Hosea 1:1-3:5”