OPENING QUESTIONS for Hosea
How many here tonight have heard of Hosea?
What do you know about Him?
Have you read Hosea?
Within the past year?
How many times in the past year has your pastor taught on Hosea?
I became interested in Hosea because my lovely wife was reading a novel based on it called “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers and she COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! We talked every night and sometimes days as well about this story. The love described in this book and in Hosea impacted me deeply. The most profound understanding is the depth of God’s love for us and commitment to us. Equally as profound has been the understanding of how we trample on this love daily, without mercy, and most of us DO NOT REALIZE IT!
In my experience, apart from a few cookie cutter verses taken from Hosea, such as “my people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6) or “I called my son out of Egypt”(Hosea 11:1), that are usually referenced to support another statement made far off in the Bible, the rest of the book is largely unread, largely untaught, and largely ignored. Perhaps it is the subject matter that steers people away. We generally hear only about the “heroic” prostitutes in the Bible, such as Rahab but by in large this type of subject matter is not taught on Sunday.
Or perhaps it is because Hosea offers up questions that we are not ready to answer:
For Men: Would you take back an adulterous wife?
For Women: Can you devote yourself fully to only one person?
For All: Is my repentance real or simply convenient?
As we ponder these questions, we will begin by attempting to understand Hosea and his world before trying to understand what He and God are trying to say to us. You see, prophecy is an eternal partnership, a deep, permanent bond between God and the prophet to express God to the world. We have seen this in Jeremiah, in Ezekiel, and we will see it in Joel. Tonight we will see it in Hosea as well.