We’ve seen Hosea’s pattern: Israel slips more and more into sin and away from God, then into idolatry. After that sin multiples dramatically. God sees all of this and sends messengers of warning to the people, who scoff at them; they aren’t all that interested in returning to God. Then God tells them that He will execute judgment against them and shows us that the reason for the judgment is to bring the people back into relationship with Him so that they may be saved from their own wickedness, ending up with a message that points us to Christ Himself.
In our brief study thus far, we’ve seen the pattern more than once already.
A few people have asked me why I don’t write about the books of prophecy more often, and this is why− they tend to repeat, and I find myself having to repeat the same things over and over each time. Of course, I could always approach them differently. I could forget about context and try to force them into thrilling end of the world narratives, you know, make a good story out them. While that would probably make for more entertaining reading, it would be at best, unethical, and at worst, a sin against God to do so knowingly.
Hosea continued through the end of chapter 7 with his pattern, and then began again in chapter 8 and went through chapter 13, this time in some extra detail, yet the same message: Israel has run out of time, it is going to face Judgment very shortly, and it may interest you to know that the Assyrian campaign actually began while Hosea was still writing.
Yet not every last person there was unfaithful, there were still a few who, like Hosea, remained true to their God. I can’t help but wonder if those last few were the ones to whom chapter 14 was written, for it contains a final appeal for repentance, confession and trust in God’s mercy. In our next and final edition of our Hosea study, let’s take a look at the ending of the book, and see how this message of hope was delivered. See you then.