Hosea 1 introduces the prophet, his marriage, and his family. God commands Hosea to marry an unfaithful wife and have children with her. Hosea takes Gomer as his wife, and she gives birth to three children. Hosea’s faithfulness to his faithless wife teaches important spiritual lessons about the faithfulness of the Suzerain God, who is as a husband to His unfaithful people, Israel. The chapter can be outlined as follows:
I. Hosea receives the word of the LORD during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel (v. 1).
II. The LORD commands Hosea to marry an unfaithful wife and have children with her. Hosea marries Gomer, and she first gives birth to a son. God commands Hosea to name the child Jezreel to symbolize the end of the dynasty of Jehu and of the northern kingdom of Israel (vv. 2-5).
III. Hosea’s wife gives birth to a daughter, and the LORD commands Hosea to name her “Lo-ruhamah” (No Mercy) because He will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel (vv. 6-7).
IV. Hosea’s wife gives birth to another son, and the LORD commands Hosea to name him Lo-ammi (Not My People), meaning the Israelites are not God’s people and He is not their God (vv. 8-9).
V. The LORD promises to restore Israel and Judah. He states that one day the nation will experience a great increase in population and will be gathered together under one leader (vv. 10-11).