"Go and marry a prostitute." These are the first words God spoke to his prophet Hosea. Why would he ask this of one of his special spokesman? Because he wanted to teach Hosea, the nation of Israel and all of us today a lesson we will not forget, a lesson that is painful yet joyous.
Hosea's somber portrait of the human condition is our lesson in pain. All of us have played the harlot by forsaking God and his ways. The picture is not pretty but it's true. Yet Hosea clear illustration of God's love for us brings joy. While we are yet sinners, God comes to us and loves us.
Derek Kidner imaginatively takes us through the unfolding story of Hosea and his wife, Gomer explaining the basic message, pointing out the subtleties and encouraging readers to live lives worthy of the God who loves the loveless.
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To the reader. . . .
Part One: a parable from life
A Distracted Family - Hosea 1-3
Introducing Hosea - 1:1
An ominous beginning - 1:2-9
A rift in the clouds - 1:10-2:1
The lovers and the Lover - 2:1-23
'Love . . . as the Lord loves' - 3:1-5
Part two: the parable spelt out
How can I give you up? - Hosea 4-14
A people without understanding - 4:1-19
The prospect darkens - 5:1-14
Let us press on to know the Lord - 5:15-7:2
Decadence - 7:3-16
Sowing the wind, reaping the whirlwind - 8:1-14
Wanderers among the nations - 9:1-17
'Time to seek the Lord' - 10:1-15
'How can I give you up?' - 11:1-11
Look back and learn! - 11:12-12:14
Additional Note on Hosea - 12:12
The unmaking of a kingdom - 13:1-16
The way home - 14:1-9
Map: Assyria and the West
Map: The break-up of Israel
A bird's eye view of the book