The book of Hosea is one of the best-loved of the twelve shorter (unfortunately called “minor”) prophetic books. It holds this place, in part, because of its passionate and highly emotional tone. But another reason is because of the picture of God it presents. Like Hosea, God is depicted as the offended spouse whose mate has forsaken him. Every reader can feel the sense of betrayal and outrage that God feels. But God's final word to Israel, like Hosea's to Gomer, is not one of well-deserved revenge. Rather, it is a word of deep appeal, an appeal to return and let all be forgiven. No one can read this book and believe that the God of the OT is but a God of legalistic wrath.