I hope you can see God’s great inner conflict over His people in Hosea. His words of condemnation are harsh, and the coming condemnation itself will be catastrophic. But if your image of God from all these condemnations is that He delights in causing His people misery, you will have missed the point of the book.
In chapter 13 The Lord rehearses Israel’s sins and pronounces a horrible condemnation: “I will attack them and rip them open. Like a lion I will devour them; a wild animal will tear them apart.
But mid all the punishment we have these words: “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?”
Then, these words follow: “I will have no compassion.”
Punishment is coming for God’s people. It is well deserved. It will be terrible. But it will not happen with divine glee. God will send this punishment with an anguished heart, but He is looking forward to a day when His people, in penitence, return to Him for healing. “Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.”