Hosea: the Prophet of God’s Love
Pastor of the Linden Avenue Baptist Church, Dayton, Ohio in 1942
Bulletin, Linden Avenue Baptist Church, Dayton, Ohio, July 5, 1942
This was taken from a church bulletin, so it has been expanded and edited from a highly condensed format—Pastor Clinton Macomber.
God is both justice and love. God hates sin but loves the sinner, and seeks to save him. All the prophets taught these two great truths, but Hosea especially emphasized the love of God for a faithless Israel, as Amos emphasizes the justice of God.
I. The Times: Read II Chronicles 23-32 and II Kings 15. Hosea preached from about 755 to 740 B.C. Captivity came in 722. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was doomed because of sin, yet the appeal.
II. The Prophet Himself: Little known except in this book of sermons. A terrible domestic tragedy—an unfaithful wife, Hosea 1-3, gave him a message about the faithfulness and love of God toward a faithless Israel.
III. His Message: Like all other prophets centered in the sin of the people.
1. God had loved Israel, Hosea 11:1 and had led her, Hosea 13:4.
2. Yet she had sinned grievously—turning away to strange gods, Hosea 13:2. The priests were corrupt, Hosea 4:5-9; 5:1. “Like priests, like people.” Israel is like an unfaithful wife committing spiritual adultery. This figures all through the book, Hosea 4:10-11, 14; 7:4; 9:1 etc. cf. Ephesians 5:23-33. “God was not found,” Hosea 5:6. Stubborn sinning, Hosea 4:1-19.
3. Punishment must come to such a people, Hosea 4; 9:17; 11:5.
4. But the appeal is to “Break up fallow ground,” Hosea 10:12, and to seek God, Hosea 6:1-3.
5. There are some striking passages in Hosea 6:6; 7:8; 12:1; and 11:4.
6. Ephraim was often appealed to as the leading tribe of the ten.
IV. The Book Itself: A collection of messages given throughout the years. It is difficult to analyze for this reason. The style is abrupt. Yet this is the general outline:
1. His domestic tragedy—illustration of God’s attitude toward Israel, Hosea 1-3. Two children were born out of wedlock, named “No Mercy” and “Not My People,” Hosea 1:6-9.
2. Messages about the sin of Israel with appeals to repent, Hosea 4-12. Israel was guilty of great sin, Hosea 4-8; especially idolatry, Hosea 8:4-13. Captivity and punishment must come, Hosea 9 to 11; YET—God has been faithful and will eventually bless, Hosea 12-14.
Note the statement in Hosea 11:9, answering the question, “Why does not God do something?”—“I am God and not man.” It is the marvelous kindnesses of God to people that do wrong. Think out “fallow ground,” Hosea 10:12. What is meant?