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by Charles Box
Hosea, a prophet with An Unfaithful Wife
-- Hosea One --
In our Bible the books of Hosea through Malachi are called Minor Prophets. They were classified as "Minor" because of the short length of each book. These shorter books are inspired of God just as were the longer books of the prophets that are called "Major" prophets.
The Old Testament prophets were both "forth tellers" and "fore tellers." As forth tellers their purpose was that of preaching and teaching in order to communicate God's message to Israel. Their work as fore tellers was that of giving specific predictions concerning the Messiah, His work and His kingdom. These men were inspired by the Holy Spirit in both their preaching and their writing. The Minor Prophets wrote their messages as a part of Old Testament scripture. However, it must be observed that the books are not in chronological order in the Bible. These books fit in at various points in the history of Israel and Judah. Hosea's time frame corresponds to 2 Kings 14and onward in that book, 1 Chronicles 2 and 2 Chronicles 2 and onward in those books. Some prophets were contemporaries. Isaiah and Hosea were among those that prophesied at the same time.
Hosea must have been a relatively young man when he became a prophet. He prophesied "in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel." ( Hos_1:1 ) The time of Hosea's prophecy covered seventy two years, from the reign of Uzziah to the reign of Hezekiah. He was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom.
God provided Hosea with an unforgettable object lesson for Israel. God instructed Hosea to "Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD." Gomer would leave Hosea to run around with others and gradually sink lower and lower. Hosea would seek after her and forgive her when she repented. This vivid lesson was used by Hosea to preach to Israel about how they had deserted the Lord and gone after other god's. If Israel would repent God would take her back in His grace. The days of Hosea were a time of peace and prosperity for Israel. However, the people had become very materialist and immoral.
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28