ONE IS THOROUGHLY CONVINCED in the study of Hosea that no one can charge the LORD with failure to warn and instruct.
What more can He say than to you He hath said?
To you who for refuge to JESUS have fled?
From the beginning, the people had divine commands. They also had the presence of the LORD in the Shekinah manifestation. GOD spoke through the fathers and by the prophets. He gave them a code of governing ethics and an imposing list of restricting statutes. They had moral standards of the highest order and ceremonial procedures with deep godly significance.
From Samuel to John the Baptizer, they were never without a faithful spokesman from the LORD. As long as they maintained even a faint regard for the divine instructions, the LORD, who is slow to anger, bore patiently with them. Yet the testimony of the people never became prominently strong. Indeed, there were times when it seemed the pulse of spiritual devotion had all but ceased. Hosea prophesied in such a period.
GOD's dealings with the people through Hosea may be tersely summarized in this anonymous outline:
I. DEMONSTRATION FOR CONVICTION (1-3)
II. REVELATION FOR KNOWLEDGE (4-6)
III. CORRECTION FOR OBEDIENCE (7-10)
IV. EDUCATION FOR DISCERNMENT (11-13)
V. RESTORATION FOR TESTIMONY (14)
Metaphorically, Ephraim  is sick - critically ill (5:13). There is promise, however, of his healing (14:4), and this volume views the patient being attended by the Great Physician in a matchless display of longsuffering. We note the recorded diagnosis, the case history, the prescribed remedy, the prophetic glimpses of recovery, and the ultimate restoration.
The reader is impressed with the historical value, the literary style and moral appeal of the book, to say nothing of the forensic persuasiveness of the prophet. But the matter of chief importance concerns the throbbing heart of JEHOVAH in calling back His covenant people who have forsaken Him for idols. It is a stirring revelation! It shows in a convincing and realistic manner the depths to which unbelief can plunge deceived hearts. And just as impressively, it proves both the greatness of divine love and the absolute necessity for divine chastening.
Hosea is to be studied prayerfully, sympathetically, and alertly, keeping in mind the practical significance of I Corinthians 10:11, that "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."