Hosea was the last writing prophet to minister to the northern kingdom of Israel before they fell to the Assyrians. His message was to the nation of Israel (also called “Ephraim”), exposing their sins and warning them of God’s judgment. There is also a message of hope for the future. But the unique thing about his message is that he had to live it out in his personal life as a striking object lesson for the people. God told Hosea to marry a woman that would become a whore, have children with her, and take her back after she left him and became an adulteress.
I. Israel’s Unfaithfulness Pictured (1-3)
A. Judgment pictured in the children (1)
B. Sins of the nation pictured in the wife (2)
C. Restoration of the people pictured in the husband (3)
II. Israel’s Sins Proclaimed (4-7)
In this section, Hosea uses several illustrations to show the condition of the people. For example, morning cloud (Hos 6:4), half-baked cake (Hos 7:8), gray hairs (Hos 7:9), silly dove (Hos 7:11), deceitful bow (Hos 7:16).
III. Israel’s Judgment Pronounced (8-10)
In this section, Hosea uses several pictures to illustrate the coming judgment. For example, swift eagle (Hos 8:1), whirlwind (Hos 8:7), burning fire (Hos 8:14), sowing and reaping (Hos 10:10-15)
IV. Israel’s Restoration Promised (11-14)
In this section the prophet speaks of the future glory of Israel. Just as his own wife was brought back and restored, so the nation would one day be brought back and restored to her land and to her Lord. These chapters magnify the faithful love of God in contrast to the unfaithfulness of His people.