The Message of Hosea: Spiritual Harlotry

The Message of Hosea: Spiritual HarlotryText: Hosea 1:2

In this series, we are going to do an overview of the Minor Prophets. The goal is to (1) understand the overall theme of each book and (2) see what lessons there are for us. In this lesson, we are going to see what we can learn from the book of Hosea.

Historical Context

  • Identifies the kings who reigned during the time when Hosea prophesied (Hosea 1:1) – Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah in Judah (2 Chronicles 26-32); Jeroboam son of Joash in Israel (2 Kings 14:23-29); approximately 760-720 BC
  • Prophesied primarily concerning Israel (Hosea 1:4-6) – about 200 years after the kingdom divided

Overall Theme: Spiritual Harlotry

  • What is spiritual harlotry? – being unfaithful to God by serving other gods; just like a spouse would be unfaithful to his/her spouse by committing adultery
  • Why is this wrong? – they were to serve God exclusively (Exodus 20:3-5)
  • The illustration in Hosea’s life – he was to take a wife of harlotry (Hosea 1:2); his sons’ names represented a progression of sin (Hosea 1:3-9)

Main Points

  • The problem – they had committed spiritual harlotry (Hosea 4:11-14); they had transgressed the covenant (Hosea 8:1); they had eaten the fruit of lies (Hosea 10:13-15)
  • The cause – lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6); pride (Hosea 5:4-5); mixing with the nations (Hosea 7:8-11)
  • The result – God’s wrath (Hosea 5:8-15; 8:7); sacrifices not accepted (Hosea 8:13); punishment (Hosea 9:7, 17)
  • The solution – return to the Lord (Hosea 6:1-3; 14:1); God would heal them and love them (Hosea 14:4); understand that God’s ways are right (Hosea 14:9)

Lessons for Us

  • We must be completely loyal to God (Matthew 22:36-38) – cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24)
  • We must continue to grow in knowledge (2 Peter 3:18) – knowledge leads to freedom in Christ (John 8:31-32)
  • We must avoid friendship with the world (James 4:4) – come out and be separate (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)


  • Hosea teaches us of the need to be faithful to God
  • Shows the importance of this by likening it to the marriage relationship – unfaithfulness is equal to adultery
  • Let us remain true to the Lord – if we haven’t, then let us return to Him

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