- Genre: Prophecy
- Written: 755-715 B.C.
- Author: Hosea
Hosea is the first of the twelve minor prophets, an explosive entry in the First Testament’s prophetic works. A young prophet required to marry a prostitute unfaithful to him? Decades of prophecy of judgement to a nation who refuses to listen or repent? It is, at times, a dark and troubling entry in scripture. At the same time, Hosea contains powerful messages relevant today on the dangers of allowing idols in our lives, the need to use leadership and influence for God’s honor, the importance of being intentional with our actions, and most importantly, an incredible look at God’s limitless love.
The evidence points to Hosea being the author of the book of Hosea; most likely writing it in pieces over the years of his ministry (755-715 B.C.). It is a message he would have spoken to the people of Israel and then recorded later. It was written before Israel was conquered by Assyria – the coming judgment promised throughout the book.
Hosea’s marriage to Gomer has triggered debate over the years. Was it simply a parable? Did Gomer play the part to communicate the point while remaining faithful to Hosea? The shocking nature of the story makes it hard to read, however the way the passages are written seem to leave little room for alternate explanations; it was a prophetic sign exactly as described. Like other prophets, Hosea engaged “in shocking and otherwise inexplicable behavior in order to make his point for his audience.”
- Week 1, Love Story? (Hosea 1-3)
The dangers of not having God first, the beauty of God’s unlimited forgiveness.
- Week 2, Deadly Leadership (Hosea 4:1-6:3)
The call and importance of using influence and leadership for God.
- Week 3, The Whirlwind (Hosea 6:4-10:15)
Plant sin, reap the whirlwind. Plant righteousness and raise a beautiful harvest.
- Week 4, Healing Love (Hosea 11-14)
There is no life too far gone to be out of reach of God’s love and forgiveness.
About this Series
Why is this series called “The First Testament”? Words often communicate unintentional messages. While we have called the testaments “Old” and “New” for centuries, these labels have had an unfortunate consequence: for many, the word “old” conveys the ideas of irrelevance and being outdated. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Paul wrote, “Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” Romans 15:4 (NLT). When he wrote this, he was speaking of the Old Testament! Perhaps a better set of titles would be the “First” and “Second” testaments; together they give us the message of hope! The First Testament, two-thirds of the Bible, gives us the foundation from which Christ fulfills God’s will!