Like a wife unfaithful to her husband so Israel was unfaithful to the LORD. This is vividly illustrated in the book of Hosea where Hosea's own marriage represents Israel's relationship with the LORD.
In worldly terms it appears that life is going well for God's people. The Northern Kingdom had been going through a time of great economic stability and security. However this does not lead the people of Israel to give thanks to the Lord who is the provider of such blessings but rather they fall straight into the arms of the heathen idol Baal. Despite their unfaithfulness, the Lord does not give up on them, but rather he speaks to them in grace and mercy. Through the use of metaphors, Hosea brings an uncomfortable yet vital message to warn them of impending judgment if they do not return to Yahweh, the one true God.
Hosea shows that God's constant love and perfect judgment, when put together, restores his relationship with his people. This prophecy is a book of hope for us today because it reminds us of God's unfailing and faithful love for his people down through the ages even when they fail and fall so badly. Here is grace indeed!
Table of Contents:
1. The Prophets of Israel
2. The End of the Northern Kingdom
3. The Prophet and His Ministry
4. Composition and Style
5. Theological Themes
1. A Broken Marriage (1:1-3:5)
2. Waiting for Repentance (4:1-6:3)
3. The Forgetful People (6:4-11:11)
4. The Final Resolution (11:12-14:9)
John L. Mackay is the Principal of the Free Church College, Edinburgh and is internationally known as an Old Testament scholar. He is also in demand for church retreats where his skill in the practical exposition and application of doctrine are well respected.
"A divine tragedy played on a human stage, Hosea portrays the heart of God like no other Old Testament prophet and Mackay exposes it brilliantly. Whether unveiling the richness of the historical record, the prophet's exalted Hebrew prose, or the anguish of a jilted lover, this commentary successfully maps the intersection of human faithlessness and God's relentless grace." - Hershael W. York ~ Associate Dean, School of Theology, Victor & Louise Lester Professor of Preaching, Southern Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
"It combines first rate scholarship with warm evangelical exposition. It is clear, concise, well researched, and written from a pastoral and practical perspective." - Guy M. Richards ~ Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Gulfport, Mississippi, USA
"Professor Mackay makes the prophet speak afresh to us. Of help to all serious readers of the Bible, this book brings out the timeless significance of the ancient prophet, and is a welcome addition to the literature on Hosea." - Iain D Campbell ~ Minister, Point Free Church of Scotland, Isle of Lewis & Moderator, General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland 2012
"John L. Mackay's Mentor commentary on Hosea is a rare thing: a commentary that is both scholarly and readable. The engagement with the text is thorough without ever getting over-complicated while the prose is consistently clear and vibrant. Even though all the questions you want addressed are addressed, you never feel like you are loosing sight of the big picture." - Tim Chester ~ The Porterbrook Network and The Crowded House, Sheffield, UK