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.
2 The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord.
3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.
4 And the Lord said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.
5 And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel, in the valley of Jezreel.
6 And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.
7 But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.
8 Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son.
9 Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.
10 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.
11 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.
After Elijah, Elisha and Jonah, God chose two more prophets, Amos and Hosea, to work for the good of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Hosea was the last prophet to speak to the people there. The corrupt idol worship of the golden calves and Baal were prevalent, and the social evils were intolerable during the prosperous period of Jeroboam II (793-753 BC). The messages of Hosea were given to the northern Israel for about 30 years (755-725 BC).
Near the end of the long reign of Jeroboam II (793-753BC), Hosea was told to take back his wife of harlotry (1:2). It was an illustration of God’s love to Israel. At first Israel was a pure wife to God (2:7), as most probably Hosea’s wife was. God wanted to have Israel back, just like Hosea’s wife had returned to her husband. God would accept the return of the repentant wife Israel (“I will go and return to my first husband” (2:7). So Hosea was to accept his wife back and to love her and the children born by them.
God lovingly accepts those who are willing to return to Him, and as a people they will live under His protection and prosper (1:10-11).