Hosea 4-5

We’re going to pick up the pace a bit in our reading through Hosea. (We took our time with the first three chapters last week: we saw the contrast between Israel’s unfaithfulness and God’s undeserved love that sets out to win back his wife, depicted in the real-life object lesson of Hosea and Gomer.) The next few chapters are reasonably repetitive – and there’s a reason for that, which we’ll see. They focus on Israel’s spiritual adultery (chapters 4 & 5), her lack of repentance (chapters 6 & 7), and the certainty and totality of God’s coming judgement (chapters 8 to 10). So we’ll work through these quickly over three days – with a little less comment than usual – before slowing down again when we hit chapter 11.

The case for the prosecution

This chapter is often described as a “prophetic lawsuit,” in which Hosea delivers God’s opening statements for the prosecution. It begins with the announcement that God is bringing formal charges against Israel:

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