Hosea was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He exercised this office for about seventy years. He was a contemporary of Isaiah and Micah, who prophesied to the Southern Kingdom of udah. He prophesied during the dar!est period of Israel"s history, as she sped down the steep decline of sin, into #udgement and $ssyrian captivity. %he political life of the nation in his day, was characteri&ed by anarchy and misrule. %he throne was occupied by men who obtained possession by the murder of their predecessors. %he people were cruelly oppressed by these despots. %he nation was deeply entangled in foreign alliances and through them had been led in idolatry. %his boo! describes the sins of the nation ' luxurious living, robbery, oppression, falsehood, adultery and murder ' and they refused to be corrected. Into this appalling scene, (od sent Hosea. )rior to his ministry, (od had sent *li#ah, *lisha, onah and $mos. Hosea is one of the +minor prophets,. %here are twelve boo!s in the -ld %estament, called the +minor prophets,. $gain, they are minor, only in regards to their length, and not the importance of their content. %hese prophets called the people to repentance. $ll through their writings, you will read of them pleading with the people to +return,. %he minor prophets reveal the attitude of (od toward His sinning children. %here is an insight into the heart of (od found in these boo!s, that is found in no other place. %hey describe in vivid language how (od feels when His people go after +other gods,. %hus, these boo!s contain an appeal to the bac!slider, and explain (od"s attitude and reaction toward them. Hosea came to the people with a message, not a sermon. He came with a message made more real because of the personal heartbrea! of his own home. %hrough his experience, he was better able to understand (od"s feelings toward the +unfaithfulness, of His people. Here is the story. Hosea married a woman named (omer, by the direct commandment of (od. %hree children were born to them. %heir names ' e&reel, .o'ruhamah, and .o'ammi ' were given by (od, and their meaning portrayed the gradual declension of Israel. (omer played Hosea false, and became a public prostitute. $fter some time, when she had fallen to the utmost depths of degradation and shame, and no one cared for her any longer, she was placed in the slave mar!et to be sold. (od commanded Hosea to go to the slave mar!et and buy her bac!. %hat story is told in chapters /'0. (omer is a type of Israel 1/234, and (od is her +husband,. Isa. 5625 ' +7or thy ma!er is thine husband8 the .ord of Hosts is His Name..., er. 02/6 ' +%urn, - bac!sliding children, saith the .ord8 for I am married to you..., Israel, at this time, was playing the harlot. 9hapter two describes Israel as giving herself to other gods. $s Hosea"s children were born, they were named by (od, and reflected the conditions of Israel. e&reel means +coming #udgement,8 .o'ruhamah spea!s of a people not obtaining mercy. .o'ammi means +a people that are re#ected,. %his was (od"s way of warning Israel of the conse:uences of their spiritual adultery. Several phrases in this boo! describe Israel"s conditions2 /. + oined to Idols, ' 62/; ' oined 1or married4 to idols. %hese people were worshipping <aal. %hey had ta!en the things that (od had blessed them with, and were offering them to <aal. 3. +$ bac!sliding heifer, ' 62/= ' >eliberately and intentionally, they stubbornly refused to mend their ways. %hey were, as another prophet describes it, +bent on bac!sliding,. 0. +Mixed among the people, ' ;2? ' %hey were no longer a separate people, as they had been called to be. %he <ible warns us about evil associates. $ll of Israel"s history is a sad story of failure to obey (od, and be a distinct people. Moses and oshua in their farewell addresses warned them of the conse:uences of +mixing with the people,, but their warnings went unheeded. Hosea said, +strangers have devoured thy strength, 1;2@4. 6. +$ ca!e not turned, ' ;2? ' Halfheartedness is something that (od despises. 1See Aev. 02/5'/=4. 5. +(ray hairs, and not aware of it, ' ;2@ ' >eterioration 1which was evident to others, but not to themselves4. %hey did not reali&e how far they had fallen. udgement was almost upon them, and they did not !now it. %hey had gradually declined. No one bac!slides +overnight,. It is a

I still love you. while we. %he concluding chapter in this boo!. +Bhat can I doC 1=204. (od would leave the door open for their return. (od #udges that He might saveD %his text is a reminder of the Holiness of (od. +I wanted so much to bless youD. are unaware. (od said He would #udge them ' 152/3'/54. but it describes (od"s attitude toward them and their sin. I want E-FD. $ll of this reveals the loving heart of god. (od is married to a bac!slider. He would leave them. %his boo! not only reveals Israel"s condition. %he message and pleas of (od through Hosea were ignored. (od said. (od said. +How shall I deliver thee up 1//2?4C. +I love you. (od said He would afflict them to cause them to return. . and if they still refused. if they would. It often can be obvious to all others. the nation of Israel was no more. (od was bro!en'hearted. He would then continue to send affliction until they would return. even if you do not love me. ourselves. 3. (od felt as Hosea felt. and in a few short years. and that sin brea!s our fellowship with Him. I don"t want your offerings.progressive movement away from (od. pleading with the people to return and promising His richest blessing upon them. However. +I want your love.. /. contains (od"s final words.