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The Prophets: Hosea
Hosea, from the Hebrew name pronounced ho-shay-awh, meaning salvation, was a prophet of the LORD of, and to, the northern kingdom of Israel (see also The Prophets: North and South). Hosea is unique in that he is evidently the only native prophet of the northern kingdom from whom we have a written record i.e. the book of Hosea (although it's not apparent in English translation, experts in the original ancient languages recognize Hosea's "northern accent" by the structure and wording of his writing - the same Galilee "Aramaizing diction" that Jesus of Nazareth spoke centuries later).
As was the case for other prophets, the time frame of Hosea's ministry was stated in relation to the reigns of kings of Israel and Judah (the "Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel" was Jeroboam II - see Kings of Israel and Judah):
"1:1 The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel." (Hosea 1:1 KJV)
"For the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD"
Hosea lived in a time of prosperous decadence. Israel had made a god of itself; it all seemed so right to them, even though they were living in crass idolatry and immorality. As an object lesson for all to see, the LORD commanded Hosea to flagrantly marry an unrepentant whore, with the purpose that the people of Israel could look to their prophet and feel the revulsion that the LORD had for them.
"1:2 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea.
Israel at that time was identical to the "Christian" nations of today who are living in a state of lawless perversion in God's sight (see Violence to understand what that word means in the Holy Scriptures).
"4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. 4:2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood." (Hosea 4:1-2 KJV)
Hosea's warning to Israel was a warning to all who declare themselves free of God's Law - "they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind":
"8:7 For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up." (Hosea 8:7 KJV)
It was Jesus Christ who spoke to Israel through Hosea:
"13:4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no Saviour beside me." (Hosea 13:4 KJV) (see 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 and 'Before Abraham Was, I AM' to understand who the "I am the LORD thy God" was and is)
The people of Israel did not listen to the prophets of the LORD who were sent to warn them to turn from their self-destructive way. They were therefore destroyed as a nation and became "the lost ten tribes" (many of their descendants compose the bulk of the populations of the "Christian" nations of today, who, as stated above, are now repeating the national death spirals of their ancestors). But the time will come when the evil that influences them to eagerly destroy themselves will be gone. Hosea described that bright future time as well, beginning with the resurrections to awakening and judgment (see Resurrections).
"13:14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave [see the Fact Finder question below]; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes." (Hosea 13:14 KJV)
Fact Finder: How does "I will ransom them from the power of the grave" (Hosea 13:14, quoted above) apply to Christians?