It’s important, I think, not to miss the significance of the opening verse of Hosea: “The word of the Lord that came to 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” (1:1). Historical events, historical people, and in the midst of it all, “the word of the Lord came to Hosea.” In the face of such great sin and disloyalty, God spoke! And what did he say to Israel?
God declared, “I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths. She shall pursue her lovers but not overtake them, and she shall seek them but shall not find them. Then she shall say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now’” (2:6-7). God promised, “I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her” (2:14). The Lord vowed, “I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people;’ and he shall say, ‘You are my God’” (2:23). He assured, “The children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days” (3:5). Day after day after day, I am amazed at God’s mercy.
Thro’ the day Thy love hath spared us,
Now we lay us down to rest:
Thro’ the silent watches guard us,
Let no foe our peace molest.
Jesus, Thou our Guardian be;
Sweet it is to trust in Thee. --Thomas Kelly (1806)