The book of Hosea is divided into two unequal sections: The first (Chapters 1-3) uses the relationship between Hosea and Gomer, to set the stage for the second (Chapters 4-14), which deals with God's complaint against Israel and the coming judgment. In the first, we have the faithful prophet and the faithless bride; in the second, we see the faithful God and faithless Israel.
For our study, we will focus primarily on the first three chapters, using them as a template by which to understand the last section. Each section will be viewed from its theological perspective: what does it teach us about God (i.e., His love, justice, providence, mercy, etc.). We will then compare some parallel passages in Hosea dealing with the same theme. This will be followed by some comparisons to the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus—God's Hosea. Finally, we will make some pointed applications to our present and personal needs. Finally, I encourage you to prayerfully read, and re-read, the book for your fullest benefit.
The theme of the book is the loyal love of God for idolatrous Israel, and the power of His redemption and forgiveness to transform her into His beloved bride.
The story of Hosea and Gomer is a living parable of the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ and God’s relentless and refining love for His people.
Hosea’s love for Gomer—like the love of God for Israel—is not based on who or what she is, but on who he is.
Gomer—accustomed to “love” as defined by men—is not prepared for the love of Hosea, which is unconditional. Nothing she does can hinder his love in any way.
We have all heard the maxim “love conquers all.” Only when we speak of the love of God does this saying become an axiom of truth. (A maxim is accepted as true, an axiom is true!)
In the end, Hosea’s love will redeem, refine, and transform Gomer, from a perfect harlot, to a perfect bride. Even so will the love of God—through His greater Hosea (Jesus)—redeem and refine His people, who will be transformed into His spotless bride.
The great Bible expositor J. Vernon McGee spoke of the book of Ruth as “The romance of redemption.” The book of Hosea is simply another portrayal of this magnificent story, but with a surprise ending!