The book of Hosea’s main theme is that though God will bring judgment on sin, He will always bring His people back to Himself. Hosea linked his message closely with his personal life. By marrying a woman he knew would eventually betray his trust and by giving his children names that sent messages of judgment on Israel, Hosea’s prophetic word flowed out of the life of his family.
God is faithful
God wanted to illustrate to His people how faithful He was despite their idolatry. To do so He instructed His prophet Hosea to marry an adulterous wife and to love her despite her adultery.
Hosea 1:2 When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.” 3 So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
Hosea’s wife bore him many children but some of them were not fathered by Hosea. Despite her adultery Hosea loved her.
This drama depicts the faithfulness of God. He is faithful even when we are unfaithful. Even when our love for Him wavers and we turn our eyes elsewhere, God never stops loving us. And God continued to honor the covenant He made with Abraham and to bless his offsprings. Even when the Israelites went astray, God did His best to bring them back rather than cancel His covenant with Israel.
God disciplines us like a Father
In Chapter 2 God describes how unfaithful Hosea’s wife would be. She would chase after other men and forget the goodness of God. When we turn away from God, He disciplines us like a Father so that we would go back to him.
Hosea 2:5 Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’ 6 Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. 7 She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.’
When something bad happens to us when we sin, it is not because God does not love us. On the contrary, God takes the trouble to discipline us because He loves us and does not want us to continue in our wrong ways.
Hebrews 12:5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
God restores us
After God punishes us and we turn from our sinful ways, He restores us. The whole purpose of God’s chastisement is so that we would turn back to Him and enjoy His blessings again.
Hosea 2:15 There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.16 “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ 17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. 18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety.