LESSONS FROM HOSEA
By David J. Riggs
A. Hosea prophesied to the ten northern tribes around the year 750
B.C. during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah,
kings of Judah, and Jeroboam, king of Israel. Hosea. 1:1
1. This Jeroboam was Jeroboam the II, not the Jeroboam the I,
who set up his false religion along with the golden calves.
B. Nothing is known of Hosea's family or occupation, only that he
was the son of Beeri.
1. He may have been one of the sons of the prophets.
C. Like most of the prophets, Hosea's message was a message of
1. He mentions a host of calamities which were about to come
upon them because of their sins.
2. Their only hope was a sincere, heartfelt repentance.
D. Hosea said concerning the Israelites: "They have sown the wind,
and they shall reap the whirlwind." Hosea 8:7
1. The mistakes of the Israelites present valuable lessons for
us to learn.
2. Truly, we, too, will reap what we sow. Gal. 1:7-8
I. THEY WERE DESTROYED BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE. Hosea 4:6
A. Neglecting to study is sowing the wind.
1. Their lack of knowledge resulted in much wickedness.
2. They had rejected the knowledge of God's will and, as a
result, God was about to reject them.
3. All of us need serious study of God's word.
a. We need to stop promising ourselves, but get don't to
business in truly studying the Bible.
4. Many people think they know God's will, but, in reality,
they know only bits and pieces. Here is one's explanation of
the parable of the good Samaritan: "There was a good
Samaritan going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell
among the thorns, and they sprang up and choked him and left
him half-dead. So he said, `I will arise!' And he arose and
came to a tree and got hung in a limb of that tree for forty
days and forty nights, and the ravens fed him. Then Delilah
came along with a pair of shears and cut off his hair, and
he fell on stony ground. He said again, `I will arise!' So
he came to a wall, and Jezebel was sitting on that wall; and
he cried out, `Throw her down!' So they threw her down, and
a dumb donkey spoke with man's voice when he saw some of her
blood being sprinkled on the wall, and when they came to
pick up the fragments that remained, they picked up twelve
baskets full, but whose wife shall she be in the
II. THEY WERE TRUSTING IN THE WRONG SOURCES.
A. First, they were trusting in their idols. Hosea 4:17; 8:4-6
1. Isaiah ridicules those who depend on a piece of wood for
deliverance. Isa. 44:13
2. If the tree cannot deliver itself from the fire, surely it
can't deliver those who carve it into an idol.
3. The true God is more than able to deliver. Dan. 3:17
B. Secondly, they went to Assyria for help. Hosea 5:13-15
1. They had mixed themselves among the people and these
people had devoured their strength. Hosea 7:8-10
2. Christians "sow to the wind" when they trust in anything
other than God - be it strong drink, prescriptions drugs, or
3. Consider Psalm 55.
a. David was in tremendous stress at this time. Verses 4-8
b. This Psalm is thought to have been written when his son
Absalom was trying to take over the kingdom.
c. In verses 12-14, his "companion and acquaintance" is
thought to be Joab or one of his chief officials.
d. Where did David turn when these great difficulties came
upon him? Verses 16-17, 22
III. THEY WERE GUILTY OF GRIEVOUS SINS. Hosea 4:1-3; 6:7-11
A. Thus, bloodshed and immorality were common in those days.
1. All the while, these same evil people were still offering
their animal sacrifices. Hosea 9:4
2. The other prophets spoke of this as well. Isa. 1:11-15
B. As we consider this, it is similar to the Christian today who,
although he continues to attend services regularly, lives an
evil, corrupt life.
1. We need to beware of empty, meaningless ritual.
2. We need sincerity in our worship, coupled with godly living
in our everyday lives. Hosea 10:12; Amos 5:24; Micah 6:8
IV. THEIR LEADERS WERE CORRUPT. Hosea 5:1; 6:9
A. The leaders were corrupt in our Lord's time. Mark 14:1
1. Consider this example of hypocrisy. John 18:28
a. They were so careful to observe the minute
requirements of the law, all the while murdering the only
begotten Son of God.
b. Thus, they were truly great hypocrites. Matt. 23:25-28
c. The Queen Mary was the largest ship to cross the
oceans when it was launched in 1936. Through four
decades and a world war she served until she was
retired, anchored as a floating hotel and museum in
Long Beach, California. During its conversion, the ship's
three massive smokestacks were taken off to be scraped
down and repainted. However, when they were placed
on the dock, they crumbled. Nothing was left of the 3/4
inch steel plate from which the stakes had been formed.
All that remained was more than thirty coats of paint
that had been applied over the years. The steel had
rusted away. (From Illustrations for Preach and
Teaching, p. 107).
d. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees who were corrupt inwardly,
but appeared righteous outwardly. Let us cleanse
ourselves inwardly that we might also be clean
V. THEY WERE CALLED TO REPENTANCE. Hosea 14:1-3
A. Hosea's job was to convict them of their sin so that they might
be humbled and lead back to God.
1. God would have readily received and blessed them if they
would have repented.
B. All men everywhere are now commanded to repent. Acts 17:30;
1. God will abundantly pardon those who turn to him. Acts
3:19; Isa. 55:6-7
2. For years, the opening of "The Wide World of Sports"
television program illustrated "the agony of defeat" with a
painful ending to an attempted ski jump. The skier appeared
in good form as he headed down the jump, but then, for no
apparent reason, he tumbled head over heels off the side of
the jump, bouncing off the supporting structure.
a. What viewers didn't know was that he chose to fall
rather than finish the jump. Why? As he explained later,
the jump surface had become too fast, and midway
down the ramp, he realized if he completed the jump, he
would land on the level ground, beyond the safe slope
landing area, which could have been fatal. As it was, the
skier suffered no more than a headache from the tumble.
b. To change one's course in life can be a dramatic and
sometimes painful undertaking, but change is better than
a fatal landing at the end. (From Illustrations for
Preaching and Teaching, p. 21)
A. May God help us to not be like the people in Hosea's day.
B. In spite of all their wickedness, God, through Hosea, makes a
final appeal for them to return to Him.
1. It is truly sad when people will not respond to such love
2. Let us have humble hearts and do our best to walk in accord
with the will of our Father.