Hosea prophesied while Uzziah was king in Judah and Jeroboam II in Israel, as well as during the time when Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah were kings over Judah. (Verse 1) His whole prophetic ministry covers about 70 years, so he must have reached a very old age. His prophecy is directed almost entirely to the house of Israel, which had degenerated and turned from the Lord in quite a short time.  Hosea lived during these awful years.

Like the message of other prophets Hosea’s message is one of judgment and future mercy. He announced the coming judgment of the Lord upon Israel as being sure and irreversible. They were to be led away into captivity. Hosea’s sons and daughters born to him by Gomer, his “wife of whoredoms”, expressed this coming judgment in their names which were given to them by the Lord’s direction.  “Jezreel” means God will scatter; “Lo-Ruhamah” means I will have no mercy; and “Lo-ammi” means not my people. (Verses 2-9). Then Hosea announced in the name of the Lord, “I will cause the kingdom of the house of Israel to cease.” (Verse 6). “I will have no mercy upon the house of Israel.” (Verse 7).  “Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.” (Hosea 8:8).  “They shall not dwell in the Lord’s land”. (Hosea 9:3). “They shall be wanderers among the nations.” (Hosea 9:17).  In the greater portion of his message there is an exposure of the people’s moral condition and their impenitent condition.

Yet, in the face of this coming judgment of Israel by the Lord, we learn that this is only temporary, and that God will one day regather Israel and Judah and acknowledge them once again as being His people.  We read in Hosea 1:10-11, “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” 

The great day of Jezreel will come, when our Lord Jesus returns. Then shall Judah and Israel be gathered together under one head, and gather once more to their national feasts in the land.  That one head will be the Lord Jesus, Himself.  This day has not yet come but will happen after the seven year Tribulation period.

However, there is another way to look at verse 10 of this chapter.  Paul the apostle quotes this verse in Romans 9:23-26, “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.”  It means first that Israel shall indeed be reinstated; but it also means the Gentiles, called in sovereign grace, are to be constituted “the sons of the living God.” It is a prophetic hint on the blessing that has come to the Gentiles, and that their blessing is greater than Israel’s. 

John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”  (CC)  (552.2)