1. Did they have hope that they could return to the Lord?
Yes: “(1) Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. (2) After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. (3) Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth” (Hosea 6:1-3).
- God had previously stated: “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early” (Hosea 5:15).
- They could humble themselves and turn back to the Lord (Deuteronomy 4:29-31, II Chronicles 7:14, and Nehemiah 1:8-9).
- Yet, their pride has stood in their way (Hosea 7:10).
- Though He had punished them, they could count on His mercy (Lamentations 3:40-41).
- We should be careful when considering this two days and three days statement from the prophet. How about this simple point… This is a statement in the sense of the plea for the Lord to restore quickly (cf. Psalms 38:21-22, Psalms 70:1-2, Psalms 71:10-12, etc.).
- Knowing the Lord, as follows the pattern of the words of this prophet, is about relationship (Hosea 2:20).
- The connection of rain to their restoration… Hosea 10:12; 14:1-6
2. As Ephraim and Judah are addressed, what was compared to the early dew?
Their goodness: “O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away” (Hosea 6:4).
- Temporary, brief faithfulness (Judges 2:18-19, Psalms 106:12-13, and Luke 8:13).
- Faithfulness has to be continuous (John 8:30-32, John 15:9-10, Acts 14:22, Hebrews 3:1-14, Titus 3:8, and Titus 3:14).
3. What did the Lord do by His prophets and by the words of His mouth?
“Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth” (Hosea 6:5).
- They were cut/divided and slain by the words of the prophets (Isaiah 58:1, Jeremiah 1:10, Jeremiah 23:29, Daniel 9:11-12, Zephaniah 2:5, Zechariah 1:6, and Hebrews 4:12).
- The Lord’s judgment was as a light that goeth forth (Psalms 9:16).
4. What did God desire greater than sacrifice and burnt offerings?
Mercy and knowledge: “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6).
- I Samuel 15:13-23, Proverbs 21:3, Isaiah 1:10-20, Isaiah 58:6, Jeremiah 7:22-23, Micah 6:6-8, Matthew 12:1-14, Mark 2:23-28, and Luke 6:1-11
5. How had they dealt with God?
Very treacherously against Him: “But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me” (Hosea 6:7).
- Mankind had a long history, back to the beginning, of transgression (Romans 3:9-23; 5:14).
- Also, of old, hiding those sins has been common practice (Job 31:33) instead of confessing and forsaking as they ought to have done (Proverbs 28:13).
- Regarding Israel, this had long been the pattern (Deuteronomy 9:7; 9:24 and Isaiah 48:8).
- They had dealt treacherously against the Lord (Jeremiah 3:8-20).
- Again, the language of transgressing and a covenant carries the beginning theme of this book of a man married to a harlot (Hosea 1:2).
6. Was Gilead a faithful city?
No: “Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood” (Hosea 6:8).
- What we know happened throughout Israel was that they refused justice and were guilty of shedding innocent blood (Isaiah 59:1-9).
7. Were the priests known for doing the right things at this time?
No: “And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness” (Hosea 6:9).
- Even the priests were guilty of shedding blood (Lamentations 4:13-14).
- Zephaniah 3:3-4
8. When the Lord saw an horrible thing in Israel, how did He summarize their state?
As defiled: “I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled” (Hosea 6:10).
- Horrible (Jeremiah 5:30-31 and Jeremiah 23:14).
- Defiled, in the sense of a wife (Numbers 5:29).
9. What did the Lord set for Judah?
An harvest at the time of restoration: “Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people” (Hosea 6:11; cf. Psalms 69:35, Psalms 126:1-6, and Micah 4:6-13).
© 2020 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.