Thursday, August 29, 2013

EMMDEV 2013-08-29 [Hosea Highlights] Intro

We're going to start a short series on the prophet Hosea. Hosea is one of the so-called "Minor Prophets" whose works are collected in the back of the Old Testament. Hosea is the first of these...
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When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, "Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD." 3 So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim Hosea1:1-2

The name Hosea means "God is my Salvation."
Hosea lived and worked during the time when the Israelites were split into a Northern Kingdom (Israel) and a Southern Kingdom (Judah.) His ministry spanned a tumultuous time because he would see the Northern Kingdom crumble in its sinfulness and rebellion against God and ultimately be overrun by the Assyrians.

The book is remarkable in its portrayal of the God as both husband and father/mother to His people. To make its point, the book tells us about Hosea's marriage (at God's command) to a prostitute. His wife, Gomer, is wayward and unfaithful, and God asks Hosea to be gracious, forgiving and loving.

Hosea's marriage becomes a picture of Israel's unfaithfulness on the one hand and God's faithful, unconditional love on the other.

The book is characterised by the unexpected:
- We would expect Hosea to give up on his wayward wife
- We would expect God to give up on His unfaithful people
- We would expect God to abandon His rebellious child
But the expected becomes the unexpected!!!

We could probably summarise the book in a sentence: "No matter how far we fall or how often we fail, God's love will reach out to us."

The structure of the book is as follows:
Ch1-3 Hosea and Gomer
Ch 4-14 God and Israel
--- Israel's rebellion (4:1-6:3)
--- Israel's punishment (6:4-10:15)
--- God's faithful love (11-14)

We'll go through the highlights of this amazing book in the next few eDevs...

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Theo Groeneveld theo@emmanuel.org.za
You can see past EmmDevs at http://emmdev.blogspot.com/

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