Key Scriptures: Hosea 1-3
Supporting Scriptures: Genesis 22:17
1. Her Character: Though a married woman, she carried on numerous affairs, crediting her lovers for the gifts her husband had given her. (1; pg. 139)
2. God’s Instructions: Hosea 1:2a—“… the Lord said to him (Hosea) Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness,…”
3. God’s Explanation: Hosea 1:2b—“.….because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord”.
4. Obedience required: Hosea 1:3a—“So he married Gomer…”
5. God’s Wrath:
A. Hosea 1:3b—“she conceived and bore him a son. Then the Lord said to Hosea, call him Jezreel, because…I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. ”
NOTE: NIV footnote 1:4—Jezreel means “God scatters”
B. Hosea 1:6—“Gomer conceived again….Then the Lord said to Hosea , call her Lo-Ruhamah, for I will no longer show love to the house of Israel that I should at all forgive them.
NOTE: NIV footnote 1:6—“The naming represents a reversal of the love (compassion) that God had earlier shown to Israel.”
C. Hosea 1:8a-9—“…Gomer had another son. Then the Lord said, call him Lo-Ammi, for you are not my people, and I am not your God.”
NOTE: NIV footnote 1:9— “The name represents a break in the covenant relationship between the Lord and Israel, which later, however, would be restored. The warnings became more severe in moving from the first to the third child.”
6. Israel’s Disobedience: Hosea 2:4— “Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, I will go after my lovers, who gave me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink”
NOTE: Here Hosea’s relationship with Gomer is symbolic of God’s relationship with Israel. The Israelites had been unfaithful by worshiping other gods and attributing their blessings and prosperity to those false gods, not the Lord who was the true source.
7. God’s Promise: Discipline Not Destruction: Hosea 1:10-11— “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God’. The people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited and they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.”
NOTE: NIV footnote 1:10-11— “The threatened punishment would be for a limited time, and a period of blessing wouldfollow. The Israelites being like “sand on the seashore” refers back to God’s promise to Abraham (Gen. 22:17): “I will surely bless you and make your decendants….as the sand on the seashore.” The break in the covenant relationship signified by the name of the third child, Lo-Ammi, (for you are not my people) changes to ‘sons of the living God’. Also, the meaning of the first child’s name, ‘God scatters’ is reversed with Judah and Israel being reunited.”
8. God’s Punishment:
A. Hosea 2:2; 4— “Rebuke your mother, rebuke her, for she is not my wife and I am not her husband…I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery”.
B. Hosea 2: 6-13—“Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,…therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine; I will stop all her celebrations, her New Moons, her Sabbath days—all her appointed feasts. I will ruin her vines and her fig trees…I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals…and went after her lovers, but me she forgot, declares the Lord”.
NOTE: Israel’s disobedience by worshiping Baal and other gods brought dire consequences including separation from God and loss of blessings. During the period of Exile, all celebrations would be stopped (see NIV footnote 2:11) “in exile those joyous seasons would be only a memory”.
9. Israel’s Repentance: Hosea 2:7b—“Then she will say, I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.”
NOTE: NIV footnote 2:7— “go back-The Hebrew for this expression often means ‘repent’; my husband –The Lord”.
10. God’s Forgiveness: Hosea 3:3a— “Then I told her, you are to live with me many days;….and I will live with you.”
NOTE: Hosea forgives Gomer and takes her back into his home, as God forgives Israel.
11. Repentance Necessitates Change: Hosea 3: 3b— “you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man.”
NOTE: Gomer’s behavior must change to signify sincere repentance. The same holds true for Israel.
12 God’s Restoration: Hosea 2:14-15; 18b; 19-20; 21a; 23 “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. …give her back her vineyards, and make the valley of Achor (trouble) a door of hope. There she will sing as in the day she came up out of Egypt…. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever… in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.…in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord”. In that day, I will respond, declares the Lord…I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one’. I will say to those called ‘Not my people, ‘ You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.”
13. God’s Ultimate Desire-Reconciliation
A. Hosea 3:1—“The Lord said to me, Go show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites,”
NOTE: NIV footnote 3:1— “Hosea’s love for unfaithful Gomer illustrates God’s love for unfaithful Israel.”
B. Hosea 3:2— “So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.”
NOTE: In spite of Gomer’s unfaithfulness, Hosea was willing to pay a price for her return to him. God also was willing to pay a price for His beloved people as shown in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…”.
C. Hosea 3:5— “Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their King. They will come trembling to the Lord and to His blessings in the last days.”
NOTE: NIV footnote 3:5— “Israel’s repentance is envisioned, the reverse of her present stubborn rebellion.”
- Women of The Bible; 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups; Jean E. Syswerda
- The NIV Study Bible; Zondervan Edition 1985