Have you ever found it difficult to keep straight the main themes of the various books of the Bible? While many can outline the key arguments of Romans, few could summarize Hosea. That is why it is helpful to memorize a key verse or two of the lesser-known books. I'll use Hosea to illustrate.
Hosea is a difficult book to outline but it can be divided into two parts. The first three chapters describe an adulterous wife and a faithful husband, symbolic of the unfaithfulness of Israel to God through idolatry. The remainder of the book expands on this allegory through a series of prophetic messages and concludes with a promise of restoration.
Memorizing some of the key verses of Hosea can capture the main theme. If I had to pick only one I would probably choose Hosea 1:2 as it contains the symbolism on which the first section is based.
When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord.”
There are a few other key verses to memorize in this book. Hosea 2:23 foreshadows the grafting into the tree of the Gentiles:
I will plant her for myself in the land;I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’;and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”
Assyria cannot save us;we will not mount war-horses.We will never again say ‘Our gods’to what our own hands have made,for in you the fatherless find compassion.”