Hosea 11

Talks for Growing Christians

A Summary of God’s Dealings with Israel

Hosea 11

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Lesson Number 12

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God was gentle with His called out people.
  2. God is disciplining His willful people.
  3. God will regather His scattered people.

Practical Application

  1. Allow for the fuller meaning of scripture.


  1. When was the United Kingdom of Israel formed? Who were its rulers?
  2. What happened to the United Kingdom after the reign of the last king?
  3. Where did the prophet Hosea live? Where was the focus of his ministry?
  4. What was the spiritual state of the kingdoms during Hosea’s time?
  5. What was the problem concerning worship in the true temple of God?
  6. What accommodations were made for the migrating northerners?
  7. How many tribes were represented in the South?
  8. Why is this last issue important today?


  1. About 1051 B.C. Three kings who ruled were Saul, David, and Solomon. Each of these kings had a forty year reign.
  2. It divided into two kingdoms– the Northern Kingdom of Israel (also called Ephraim) and the Southern Kingdom of Judah. The capital of the north was Samaria and the capital of the south was Jerusalem.
  3. He lived in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and his ministry was directed primarily to that kingdom. However, his ministry did extend down to the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
  4. The Northern Kingdom of Israel had already totally departed from the Lord by the time of Hosea’s ministry in the 8th Century B.C. However, the Southern Kingdom of Judah still had a sizeable godly remnant that was following the Lord and participating in worship of the Lord at His temple in Jerusalem.
  5. The true temple of God was located in Jerusalem in the Southern Kingdom of Judah. After the United Kingdom divided, godly believers from the north migrated south in order to continue to worship the Lord at His temple in Jerusalem. See 2 Chronicles 11:16.
  6. The godly from the north continued to migrate south periodically, especially during times of revival in the South. King Hezekiah expanded the city of Jerusalem to accommodate those from the northern ten tribes that made their way south.
  7. All twelve tribes of Israel, which included those from the northern ten tribes and the southern two tribes.
  8. It means that the Jews who later went into captivity in Babylon and returned seventy years later, represented all twelve tribes of Israel. It further means that the Jews today represent all twelve tribes, not just the tribes of the south (Judah and Benjamin). In other words, there are no lost tribes in Israel.


  1. Refer to Hosea 11:1-4. What a beautiful picture of the tenderness and patience of the Lord in dealing with His people Israel. But Israel did not respond in love to the Lord. Rather, they went and sacrificed to the Baal idols. What is your response to God’s gentle and gracious care? The Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins, and God is drawing you to Himself with gentle cords of love. Why not respond to His gentle love today? Admit that you are a sinner in need of the Savior. Receive Christ today and become a called-out one, a child of God. If you are a Christian, how often do you thank the Lord for His gentle care? Let’s not fail here as Israel failed. Respond to your Lord God in love.
  2. God would have to punish and discipline His people because of their willful and rebellious ways. Because of their backsliding and hypocrisy, Israel would suffer under the Assyrian sword. Israel is still willful and trusting in itself. They still refuse to acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah, so they are still under God’s discipline. God will always discipline His willful children, and that applies to believers today. Why? Because God loves His people and He disciplines those He loves. See Hebrews 12:6. Are you under God’s discipline right now? Thank Him for His discipline to bring you to Himself. 3. There is good news! Israel will return to the Lord in the future. God will regather them. God’s heart of love for His people is seen in Hosea 11:8. God’s heart of love is seen toward us with His promises of eternal salvation for those who believe. Are you a believer? Will you be with Jesus in heaven?


  1. Allow for the fuller meaning of scripture. This is a principle for interpreting scripture, and it is very important to know for practical application. Be careful not to read into scriptures meanings from your own imagination.

Key Verses

  • “When Israel was a child, I loved him…I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms; but they did not know that I healed them.” Hosea 11:1-2
  • “I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love…” Hosea 1:4
  • “Because of their own counsels, My people are bent on backsliding from Him.” Hosea 11:6-7
  • “How can I give you up, Ephraim? My heart churns within Me.” Hosea 11:8

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