Part One: Introduction
Why study Hosea?
Perhaps to be held captive by the prophet Hosea as he walks out his call from God; a request that entails him marrying a prostitute who just won’t quit her job. Things seem to go from bad to worse for Hosea and God’s people.
Many see this old book as all gloom and doom, a story that journeys deep into the darkened hearts of God’s people. Yet, God’s amazing grace through Jesus Christ always finds a way to interrupt darkness. The book of Hosea is no exception.
What does Jesus even have to do with Hosea?
You might be saying, “Wait a minute! What does Jesus even have to do with the Old Testament?” My answer – everything. Those aren’t my words; those are the words of Jesus.
After the resurrection, Jesus used scripture to explain who He was and why He came. In Luke 24, on the road to Emmaus, Jesus engaged travelers discussing all that had happened since His crucifixion.
“He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25-27)
Jesus said, “all of the scriptures”. The scripture He was referencing was the Old Testament.
We study prophetic books like Hosea to see the promises and predictions that Jesus fulfilled. Jesus is the great prophet to which all other prophets’ point.
The Old Testament prophets were messengers for God. Jesus was and is more than a messenger – He is the message.
Jesus was and is more than a messenger – He is the message.
And what is the message?
The Bible tells the tale of a God whose love for the world is relentless, a love demonstrated through the person and work of Jesus. “This is how we know what love is that Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.” (1 John 3:16a)
In the story of Hosea, Jesus is on display as Israel’s faithful spouse willing to die to bring His unfaithful bride out of slavery to sin. It was a message for the people of God in that day but is also a message of hope for us today.
We carry inside us hearts much the same as God’s Old Testament people, hearts longing to be set free by this kind of love. The book of Hosea reminds us that no matter who you are and what you’re up to, God sees and loves you. His is a love which no one and no thing can interrupt.