Hosea: “When Israel Was a Child, I Loved Him”

Does the book of Hosea remind you of that great story Jesus told about a wayward son and the indescribable love of his father (Luke 15:11-32)?  That son demanded and received his share of his inheritance and squandered it in extravagant living.  When the money ran out and he was destitute, he came to his senses and returned to his father who not only freely welcomed him, but lavished his love on him.  We call this story the Parable of the Prodigal son, but Timothy Keller makes the persuasive case that the story is really about the prodigal God.  Represented in Jesus’ story by the extravagant love of the father, God recklessly loves us at great expense to Himself.   We see something very similar in Hosea’s love for his wayward wife, Gomer, which is God’s way of revealing something of His love for a wayward Israel.  But there is a significant difference between the prodigal son of Jesus’ story and Gomer and Israel in Hosea’s story.  What is it?     

This week we will look at Hosea 9-13 and though the themes of Israel’s sin and God’s promised punishment continue we will hear something new of God’s broken heart over His people.  As you go through these chapters in Hosea listen to what the Lord tells us about His heart for His people, and for you.     

Pray:  One of the serious sins of Israel in the days of Hosea was that they abandoned the Lord’s Word and His covenant with them.  Moreover, they paid no attention to the warnings of the prophets. As you pray today for your time in God’s Word ask Him to keep you from falling into the same sort of carelessness about His Word and to let you hear the warnings of the prophet Hosea. 

Read:  Hosea 9-13.

Meditate:  The questions below are given to help you slow down and think about what you have read in these five chapters of Hosea.  We are covering a lot of ground, but the themes are familiar.  What does the Lord want to say to you about Himself and you through this ancient prophecy?