Talks for Growing Christians
The Good News of Israel’s Brighter Future
Lesson Number 7
- God desires to heal rather than to hurt.
- God delights in loyalty rather than sacrifice.
- Let us press on to know the Lord.
- What is the theme of the book of Hosea?
- How is the theme seen in the book of Hosea?
- Who did Hosea prophesy to? When?
- What was the condition of this kingdom during Hosea’s time?
- God had Hosea buy his wife back from her condition as a prostitute slave, and then reestablish his relationship with her. What did this illustrate?
- God’s redeeming and steadfast love.
- Both in Hosea’s prophetic messages and in his life.
- In the 8th Century B.C. to the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
- The Northern Kingdom of Israel was strong militarily and quite prosperous economically, but it was morally weak and corrupt. The kingdom was not only guilty of social injustice, but had committed spiritual adultery. Israel had turned away from God to worship false gods.
- God’s relationship with His people Israel.
- God had to hurt Israel by disciplining them. They were torn and hurt, but still alive, and in their affliction they would acknowledge their sin against God. Then they would seek God’s face. What is true of God’s relationship with Israel is true of His relationship with individuals. God would much rather heal than hurt. But sometimes He must hurt us for our own good to keep us from sin, to keep us from hurting others, to turn us around, or even bring us to the place of receiving Christ as Savior. When you are hurting, you can experience God’s healing from sin when you turn to Him.
- Israel’s faithfulness was like a morning cloud, early dew, or mist. That is, it was very short-lived. The prophets had clearly pronounced judgment, but the people continued only to go through the motions of religion. God delights in loyalty rather than sacrifice. When loyalty to the Lord is lacking, all kinds of sins follow. Are you loyal to the Lord, or do you just go through the motions of worship? Are you loyal to the Lord when it comes to videos or TV programs that you watch? Are you loyal to the Lord when temptation comes? Are you loyal to the Lord when you are alone and no one is watching and no one knows what you are doing? Are you loyal to the Lord behind an outward show of godliness?
- Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. Let us press on to know the Lord. Is this your desire? How well do you know the Lord? Do you know Him as Savior? If not, you can begin that relationship right now by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. Believers – how well do you know the Lord? Are you getting to know Him better every day? You can, but it’s not automatic. You must read and study His word, and spend time in prayer and conversation with Him. Where are you in your relationship with the Lord?
- “Come, and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us…” Hosea 6:1
- “Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.” Hosea 6:3
- “Your faithfulness is like a morning cloud, and like the early dew it goes away.” Hosea 6:4
- “I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6
- “O Judah, a harvest is appointed for you, when I return the captives of My people.” Hosea 6:11