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The prophet of second chances

"The word of the LORD that came to Hosea son of Beeri during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the reign of Jeroboam son of Jehoash king of Israel..." Hosea 1.1

The first 6 Minor Prophets belong to the Assyrian period (c. 850 - 600BC) and first up is Hosea, not because he is the earliest but on account of his book being the longest of the 6. In fact his ministry begins shortly after the end of that of another prophet, Amos. Yet Hosea has the distinction of being the only writing prophet to hail from the northern kingdom of Israel, the rest all belonging to the southern kingdom of Judah.

Hosea writes from the dying days of the northern kingdom, yet probably spent his twilight years in Judah. His 38 year ministry spanned the reigns of the last 6 kings of Israel, during which unfaithful leadership and political intrigue weakened the nation to the point of collapse and dismembering. Hosea was called by God, not only to preach against the wickedness he saw but to devote his own life as a visual illustration, by marrying a an adulterous wife, Gomer. The fact that he welcomed her home, every time she repented, offered reassurance to the adulterous nation of Israel that it too could expect restoration by God - if they would only repent of their wicked ways...



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