Hosea was a prophet assigned to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He served from 753-715 BC under the reign of King Jeroboam ll. The nation had prospered materially but had decayed spiritually. The people had adapted the moral behaviour and idolatrous religion of the surrounding Canaanites.
Hosea was commanded by God to marry a woman who was faithless in marriage and would cause him heartaches. Just as Gomer lost interest in Hosea and ran after other lovers, people can easily lose appreciation for their special relationship with God, and pursue dreams and goals that do not include him.
Hosea’s role was to show how the Kingdom had been unfaithful to God, their husband and provider, and instead had married themselves to Baal and the gods of Canaan. He warned that unless they repented of their sin and turned back to God they were headed for destruction. Hosea spoke of God’s characteristics-his powerful love and fierce justice-and how these should impact their lives and make them return to him. Unfortunately, the people had broken their covenant with God, and they would receive the punishments God had promised in previous generations (Deuteronomy chapter 27 & chapter 28).
Hosea closes with an appeal to listen, learn and benefit from God’s Word. Individuals who insist on doing their own thing are ‘as darkness’ they know not at what they stumble. If you are lost, you can find your way by turning from your sin and following God.