Hosea 4

Talks for Growing Christians

Judgment Against the Ancient Northern Kingdom

Hosea 4

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Lesson Number 5

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
  2. God’s people suffer because of idolatry.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t think that God has a double standard.


  1. Gomer had sunk to the level of becoming a prostitute slave. What did God tell Hosea to do about her?
  2. What did this mean concerning God’s relationship with Israel?
  3. Will there be a spiritual revival of the Jewish people?
  4. Read Hosea 4:1-2. List the sins that follow a lack of knowledge of God.
  5. Read Hosea 4:3. What is affected here by man’s sin?
  6. Who is the “mother” in Hosea 4:5?


  1. God directed Hosea to go and buy her back from her pitiful condition, and after many days to reestablish his love relationship with her.
  2. Israel is pictured as married to the Lord. They were God ’s special people, but Israel had departed from the Lord and had committed spiritual adultery with the foreign gods. For these sins, Israel would be judged, but God still loves the Jewish people and He will bring them back to Himself.
  3. Yes, a spiritual revival is in their future. They will receive their Messiah, Whom they once rejected.
  4. Swearing, lying, killing, stealing, committing adultery, breaking all restraints, and shedding blood.
  5. The land and everything in it. Ecological and environmental problems stem from man ’s sin.
  6. “Mother” is Israel.


  1. God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. The prophets and priests in Israel were not communicating the word of God or the law of the Lord to the people. As a result, the nation was in a self-destruct mode because they had rejected knowledge and they had forgotten the law of the Lord. Many sins follow this lack of knowledge, and even ecological and environmental problems result from man’s sin. God said, "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me…" (Hosea 4:6). Israel was to be a kingdom of priests before the Lord, but they lost that privilege because they rejected the knowledge of God’s word. The same is true today. America is a so-called Christian country, but how well does the average American know the Bible? How well does the average teenager know the moral principles of Scripture? How well does the average child of our country know the way of salvation? The people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Consider the denial of God in America ’s schools and courts and even in some churches. Personalize this - How well do you know your Bible?
  2. Sacrifices were being offered not to the Lord, but to idols. See Hosea 4:12, 17. True worship of the Lord was focused in the temple down south in Jerusalem, but the people in the Northern Kingdom of Israel were offering sacrifices on any mountaintop. Israel had set up her own priesthood in the north, but they were not in the line of Aaron and they were as corrupt as the people. What was true in Israel then is true in Israel today. God’s people suffer because of idolatry. There are idols all around us. Is the Lord number one in every area of your life? If not some idol has taken the place of the Lord and has control in that area of your life. Rid your life of idols.


  1. Some of the people in Hosea’s day thought that God should punish the women for immorality and not the men. See Hosea 4:14. God does not have a double standard. All will be punished.

Key Verses

  • “Hear the word of the Lord…for the Lord brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land; there is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land.” Hosea 4:1
  • “The people break all restraint. Therefore, the land will mourn.” Hosea 4:2-3
  • “The priest and prophet and people will stumble.” Hosea 4:4-5
  • “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me.” Hosea 4:6
  • “My people ask counsel from their idols and they have played the harlot before their God.” Hosea 4:12

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