Date Written: 755-725 BC
Author: Hosea, son of Beeri
Hosea's ministry began during the reign of Jeroboam II, king of
The Book of Hosea is a loose collection of the prophet's oracles. It consists of two main sections: Ch. 1-3 detail Hosea's relationship with his unfaithful wife Gomer and Ch. 4-14 tell of
The Lord gives Hosea one of the most shocking commands in the Bible: Marry a prostitute! (1:2) Hosea obeys and marries Gomer and they have three children. Then she apparently returns to her immoral lifestyle, but Hosea seeks her out, redeems her and takes her back (3:2). Their relationship is meant to be a metaphor for the Lord's relationship with his people. Gomer's unfaithful character mirrors
The people of
Hosea powerfully presents the image of the nation as the bride of the Lord. Other biblical books, such as Song of Songs, Isaiah, Revelation and the gospels, use this theme to explain the depth of God's love for his people and the gravity of breaking our relationship with him through sin. Sin separates us from God, but his mercy extends to cover us through Jesus. Hosea shows the mercy of God who welcomes back his bride after her time of unfaithfulness (3:5). The Lord's willingness to forgive his bride for her betrayal shows his willingness to forgive us for our sins. Not only does the bridal imagery show the intensity of God's desire for his people, it illustrates the extravagance of his mercy.
By Mark Giszczak