Hosea’s ministry spanned the reigns of four of Judah’s kings and began during the reign of Israel’s ninth king, Jeroboam. At various times the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and the Southern Kingdom of Judah would repent and God would faithfully forgive His people and even delivered them from their enemies. Sadly, Judah and Israel were bent on worshiping stone carvings and wooden poles. God’s people became like an adulterous wife, betraying the One who loved them. Hosea knew all too well what an unfaithful wife was like; he was married to one, and like God, he mercifully extended hope.
Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days. It had been years since David was alive, but he was known as a man who was after God’s own heart and I think Hosea wanted to stir that deep level of commitment within God’s un-committed people. The word-picture of a nation trembling back to God and to the blessing He gives is interesting. It reminds me of the advice Paul gave many years later about working out our salvation with fear and trembling. What frightens us? A healthy realization of our sin should bring about fear and mourning. When we take our sin to God in Christ with repentance, we receive forgiveness, and real comfort and blessing from God can return. God does not want for us to continue in estranged arrangements, but to live wholly connected to Him. He is our faithful Example.