HOSEA: God and the Prostitute Nation

Hosea 3:1:

Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover[a] and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.”

Writer:  

The author of this book is Hosea the son of Beeri. He prophesied to the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

Literature:

 This book is written in narratives, as well as prophetic and Hebrew poetry.

Dates:

Hosea prophesied from 767-722BC; during the reigns of Kings Jeroboam II and Joash in the North; and Kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah. This is a period of prosperity but ending is the destruction of the nation.

Main Purpose & Historical Background:

Hosea writes to call Israel to repentance and reconciliation to God, the God of loyalty and love.

Through the metaphor of his marriage to a prostitute God demonstrates the faithlessness of the nation toward their covenant with God.

 Hosea also charges the nation of its lack of knowledge, steadfast love, and faithfulness to God.

Structure:

Hosea and Gomer: 1:1-3:5

God and His People (Judgment and Redemption): 4:1- 14:9

Main Themes:

God’s Broken Heart: God was broken by Israel’s refusal to trust and follow in him and his commandments.

Israel’s Idolatry: Israel following the god’s of the surrounding nations, and following in the traditions of Jeroboam.

Jeroboam’s Sin: Jeroboam sinned (see II Kings 12:28) by making golden calves for the people to worship, as he feared that if he allowed his people to pilgrimage to Jerusalem, they would desire to leave the northern Kingdom, and join with Judah. It is ultimately Israel’s compliance in Jeroboam’s sin that brings on their downfall. 

Judgment:  God proclaims a destructive sentence upon Israel.

Redemption: However, despite Israel’s sin, God show the nation that they can be redeemed, and He offers Israel redemption.

Micah – Trial / The Lord verses His people

Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

Writer : The prophet Micah, to the nation of Judah.

 

Literature : Prophetic

 

Dates : During the reign of the kings Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. 740 BC – 700 BC

Main Purpose & Historical Background:

The first part of the book was for Judah and Israel, but while Micah was living, the northern kingdom of Israel went into exile, so the most part of Micah was aimed at Judah.

Within the book, we find a stern message of judgement to Jerusalem and warnings to rulers who didn’t obey the Lord plus an exposing of sin and prophecy regarding the punishment God would send. Micah told them of their need to change their ways and ask for forgiveness.

There is much in the way of prophecy regarding Jesus within Micah, with reference even to Bethlehem as the town where Jesus would be born.

Structure:

3 main sections;

·        Exposing sin and warnings.

·        God’s judgement.

·        Hope in a new ruler (Jesus)

 

Main Themes:

·        The righteous judgement of God.

·        Hope in Jesus who would be strong, majestic, great and bring peace. An end to punishment.

Joel – The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord

Joel 2:13 So rend your hearts, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness. And He relents from doing harm.

Writer: The prophet Joel to the people of Judah

Literature: Prophetic

Dates: 835 – 796 BC during the reign of King Joash

Main Purpose and Historical Background:

Joel lived during a time of peace and prosperity, but also a time when the people did not have God in His rightful place. It took a natural disaster, that would have been crippling to the economy for Gods people to take heed. Joel describes in detail the devastation caused by the locusts and the drought.

Joel uses this disaster to warn the people of their need for genuine repentance and a future terrible judgement, but also blessings for those who are obedient to the lord.

 

Structure:

 

3 Chapters

·        Chapter 1 – The devastation

·        Chapter 2 – The day of the lord and a call to repentance

·        Chapter 3 – Gods judgement

 

Main Themes:

The main themes in Joel are of warnings of Gods judgement, but ultimately the coming of Jesus Christ who would come to judge all blessings for obedience.

Amos – Justice or Judgement

Amos 5:15 Hate evil, love good; establish justice in the gate. It may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

Writer: Amos, a prophet to Israel.

Literature: Prophetic.

Dates: During the reign of Kings Uzziah (Judah) and Jeroboam II (Israel).

760 – 750 BC

 

Main purpose and historical background:

This was a time where Israel, like Judah were doing well on the surface. They were in a time of relative peace and prosperity, but also of idolatry and hypocrisy. The people were putting their trust in wealth, mistreating the poor, and had an over confidence in their own strength, Amos tries to encourage the people to turn back to the one true God or expect judgement.

 

Structure:

 

4 main sections;

·        Amos warns the people about God’s coming judgement.

·        Three sermons on the sins of Israel.

·        Five visions of judgement on Israel.

·        God’s promise of restoration.

 

 

Main Themes:

 

·        Judgement if they didn’t turn back to God.

·        God’s great power.

·        God’s promise of restoration.

JONAH The rebellious prophet and Gods heart for the Nations

Jonah 4:2

He prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing.

 

Writer : The prophet Jonah (prophet to the Northern kingdom of Israel) oracle to the Assyrians (Nineveh was their capital)

 

Literature : Historical narrative, Prophetic and Psalm of thanksgiving (Ch2)

 

Dates 8thC BC

 

Main Purpose & Historical Background:

 

8thC BC was before the fall of Israel or Judah, the Assyrians were a rising power.

The book was written to show the Israelites that Gods love was for ALL people (Jew and Gentile) and that forgiveness is available to ALL through repentance, not just Israel.

To show what God will do when a nation repents, and to show that Gods people were always called to be a blessing to the nations even though they failed!

 

Structure

Chapter 1 Jonahs commission & disobedience

Chapter 2 Jonahs prayer of deliverance

Chapter 3 Jonahs recommission/obedience and Nineveh’s repentance

Chapter 4 Gods Grace and Jonahs lesson

 

MAIN THEMES

Gods love is for ALL people.

Forgiveness is available to ALL through repentance.

Through Faith comes deliverance and salvation.

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