Talks for Growing Christians
Israel's Discipline for Spiritual Adultery
Lesson Number 2
- The nation of Israel would be disciplined and punished.
- The land of Israel would be devastated and forsaken.
- Why would God ask Hosea to marry a woman who would become a prostitute?
- With whom did Israel commit spiritual adultery?
- Who was Baal and what was he supposed to be able to control?
- What is the difference between Baal (Hosea 2:8) and the Baals (Hosea 2:13)?
- Where were the Baals located?
- What would God have to do because of Israel’s idolatry and immorality?
- Because God was going to use Gomer, Hosea ’s wife, as an object lesson of Israel’s spiritual adultery.
- With the foreign gods of the nations surrounding Israel.
- Baal was the Canaanite deity that supposedly controlled the weather and the fertility of the land. If this god was appeased, then the Canaanites believed there would be agricultural and economic prosperity.
- The Baals were local manifestations of the one Canaanite deity, Baal.
- Local images and shrines to the Baals were scattered throughout the land.
- God would have to judge the idolatry and spiritual adultery of His people.
- Review Hosea 2:1-9. Just as the husband-wife relationship between Hosea and Gomer had been severed by adultery, so the honeymoon was over between God and Israel. God would have to discipline and punish His wayward people. Israel was giving credit to the foreign gods for meeting her basic needs. How terrible it was to give credit to false gods instead of the one true God who gave Israel her food and wealth. Aren’t many of God’s people today involved in the same sin? The more God blesses them with material prosperity, the more they want and they get involved with things that take them away from the Lord. Is this true of you?
- Because of Israel’s idolatry, not only would the people suffer the consequences, but the land would suffer as well. The Assyrian Empire conquered the land of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in the 8th Century B.C., not too many years after Hosea ’s prophecies. Because of the deep population of the land then, the grain fields and the vineyards were reduced to an overgrown forest or thicket. The productivity of the land came to an end in line with what God’s law had said. God’s law said that if the people did not follow Him, then there would be no rain and no blessing. This all came about as Hosea had predicted, despite Baal and his fertility powers!
- God used obstacles to redirect Paul’s ministry just as He used obstacles to confront the Jewish people over the years to redirect them and to bring them back to Himself. See 1 Thessalonians 2:18, Romans 15:22 and Acts 16:6-10.
Are you facing obstacles in your life right now? Analyze them. Maybe they are put there by Satan to hinder you in your walk with the Lord. Or maybe they are put there by the Lord Himself in order to discipline you or redirect your present path. Maybe God is opening new doors of ministry for you. Analyze your obstacles.
- “Bring charges against your mother (Israel)…for she is not My wife, nor am I her Husband! Let her put away her harlotries and her adulteries… ” Hosea 2:2
- “I will not have mercy on her children, for they are the children of harlotry, for their mother has played the harlot…She said, 'I will go after my lovers, who gave me my bread and my water.'” Hosea 2:4-5
- “I will hedge up your way with thorns, and wall her in, so that she cannot find her paths. ” Hosea 2:6
- “She did not know that I (God) gave her grain, new wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold– which they prepared for Baal ” Hosea 2:8
- “'She went after her lovers; but Me she forgot,' says the Lord.” Hosea 2:13