S Dr. J. Vernon McGee points out, it is a little incongruous that the 12-chapter long book of Daniel is dubbed a major prophecy, yet the 14-chapter long book of Hosea is considered to be a minor prophecy. Not only that, Hosea prophesied over 150 years before Daniel did. In fact, Hosea was born before Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel too, although apparently his life did overlap with Isaiah's. By naming the Jewish kings who lived during Hosea's ministry, Hosea 1:1 gives us the setting for the book. And, while Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel were associated primarily with Judah (the southern kingdom), Hosea was commissioned as a prophet to the 10 northern tribes of Israel. And, it will be Assyria that will get Hosea's attention rather than Babylon. So, we are moving backward in time in our study.
Those other prophets (whose books we have already studied) had life experiences that God used to convey His message. Hosea's life story was also a platform for his message. God gives people experiences that He specifically intends to use in their presentation of His truth (2nd Corinthians 1:4). Hosea's journey was a strange and difficult one indeed, but it increased the potency of his message.
In Hosea 1:2 we find that God commanded Hosea to marry a prostitute. This prostitute was going to represent Israel. Israel was not faithful to God but was guilty of “loving” and “trusting” many other gods. The prostitute's name was Gomer. Gomer was probably flattered and grateful to be accepted and loved by this noble prophet. At least, she may have felt that way for a while. We will discover that (like Israel) despite Hosea's kindness, Gomer was destined (of her own volition) to return to her harlotry.