Have you ever wondered what lengths your Creator would go in His love for you? Do you want to be pleasing in the LORD’s sight? Have you ever pondered if your LORD is jealous for you? Do you want to know how to be loyal to the KING of kings? The book of Hosea has all the answers to these questions and more. Is this your first time reading and studying the Bible? Is this your first time reading and studying the book of Hosea? If your answer is no - great! If your answer is yes - great! If your answer is yes, I want to challenge you to look at Hosea again with fresh eyes to see what GOD has to say to you right now, at this time. Not forgetting what you have learned, but not letting any walls prevent you from hearing what GOD wants to say to you right now. And believe me, there is a lot that GOD wants to say to us today in this book.
First, we need to start off asking some basic questions about the book of Hosea? Who wrote the book of Hosea? What was the setting and audience of the book of Hosea? When was it written? What is the main theme of the book of Hosea? What style is the book written in?
The book of Hosea was written by, well, Hosea, if we believe the first person narrative. Whether Hosea was actually the one that put pen to paper, his first person narrative throughout the book suggests that it is himself telling GOD’s story. So, who is Hosea? Hosea lived in the northern kingdom of Israel, also referred to as Ephraim. Hosea was chosen by the LORD to represent Himself in life and also as a prophet.
When was the book of Hosea written? According to the first verse of Hosea, he received this word from GOD and imparted it to all of Israel during the reign of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel, as well as the reign of Jeroboam II of Ephraim, the northern kingdom of Israel. The dates are approximately 792 BC to 687 BC. What else is happening in the world at this time? Rome was being formed in 753 BC and the first olympic games are recorded in 776 BC. Homer, author of the the Iliad and Odyssey, lived from about 800 BC to 701 BC.
So who was Hosea directed to tell this message from the LORD to? Mostly, he was referring to Ephraim, but also Judah. Now, you have heard the places Judah and Ephraim several times and if those places are confusing, you are in the right place because we will be going over those in detail. So you may be wondering, how does this have any relevance to today? GOD, the Creator of all, knew that we would need these words from Hosea to help us stay on the path that is hard, narrow, and lightly traveled. As we read through Hosea, let’s remember that it was first written to all of Israel, but also to us.
When I started writing this studying, my intention was to show how much GOD loves us. This is true, GOD loves us more than we can even comprehend. After much study, the theme became more apparent and is the same that bears the name of this study; loyal. We are commanded to be loyal to our LORD. We are commanded to love the LORD our GOD with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our might, (Deuteronomy 6:5) trusting in the LORD and not in our own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5). Throughout this study, we are going to examine ourselves to seek to find if our actions and our hearts are pleasing to the LORD. We are going to stop looking horizontal, comparing ourselves to our peers and how we compare to them. We are going to start practicing looking vertical to the LORD. We are going to work this muscle in the hopes of developing this muscle memory.
The style of this study is going to start at the beginning of Hosea and work our way to the end of Hosea. We will read a portion of the scripture and then expand on it. We will be answering questions to help us think more deeply about the passage and looking up words in the dictionary. These are words that we may think that we know, but after looking up the meaning, realizing that we may not have known them as well as we had thought. We are also going to be looking at a lot of history throughout the Bible, to help us to better understand what the meanings are behind the words, phrases, and choices. This will sometimes take the greatest amount of time and possibly the most rewarding. Lastly, we will sometimes rewrite verses in our own words to help us to better comprehend what the words say and mean.
Our journey through Hosea will stretch 11 weeks, with lessons five days a week, and each lesson will take between 15 to 30 minutes. Sign up for the emails to receive the daily lessons sent to your mailbox each morning and subscribe for the free membership to download a PDF of the week’s lesson every Monday that you can print and write notes in.
Buckle up, because this adventure is not going to be smooth and easy, but bumpy. These are times we are going to be learning to love the LORD our GOD the most. These are the times that we are going to be learning to be loyal.