Sunday, July 21, 2019

Hosea 1 & 2

Today's reading in our daily plan is Hosea 1 & 2. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • The book of Hosea was written by a man named Hosea, in the 700's B.C.
  • Hosea was a godly man and a prophet (someone who spoke for God, almost like a pastor). God tells Hosea (1:2) to marry a prostitute as an illustration of God's relationship with the nation of Israel (back then, but it could also be a metaphor for God's relationship with us today).
  • In 1:3 we read that Gomer "bore him" a son. In 1:6 and 1:8 we read that she has two more children but there's no indication that Hosea is the father. Some scholars believe that these two children were born from Gomer's unfaithfulness.
  • The name of the third child (in verses 8-9) communicates God's judgment on unfaithful Israel (at the time). They were abandoning God and God was granting them their choice. Despite this, in verses 10-11, God commits himself to a hope-filled future.
  • Chapter 2 reads almost like a poem. The theme is the sin of God's people, the judgment they deserve from God for their sin, and (in verses 14-23) God compassionately and tenderly wooing his people back and restoring them to relationship with him.
  • The "Baals" (verse 13) were false gods people worshipped back then and who the adulterous, idolatrous Israelites were worshipping as well.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Hosea couldn't have been happy with God's request for him to marry a prostitute, but he does it. We won't always understand why God wants us to do what he wants us to do, but we need to trust him and obey.
  • The Bible says that when we sin, we are committing adultery against God (see, for instance, James 4:4-5). We think of sin as breaking the rules. It is that, but it is more. God is not about having religion with us, He wants a relationship. Sin is relational. When we sin, we don't just break the rules, we break God's heart.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Is there something God has asked you to do (either something in black and white in the Bible, or something you feel like he's whispered to you personally) that just doesn't make sense to you? Trust God and obey him. We obey God because we love him, and obeying God leads to life.
  • The Israelites turned their back on God in their sin, experienced judgment for their sin, and were wooed back into relationship with God. Where do you feel like you're at in that process right now? If you're walking away from God or experiencing the consequences for your sin, God is pursuing you, calling you back to him. Why wait to return to his love? Would you take some time, right now, to talk to God, letting him know you want to come back to him.