The LORD’s Anger Against Israel (Hosea 13)

Scripture Text:

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Hosea 13

1. About what things are you jealous? Why? What are you likely to do to someone who threatens or steals that “precious possession”?

2. When have you greeted the sunrise? Have you ever tried capturing the morning mist or the morning dew? What happened?

3. What had made Ephraim (Israel) once so feared (verse 1; see Joshua 2:9 – 11)? What does Hosea see as absurd and ironic about Israel’s idol worship? How will they be like the four things in verse 3?

4. What in God’s character and covenant-keeping has Israel forgotten (verses 4 – 6)? How do they bite the hand that feeds them (verses 1, 6, 9; see chapter 12:8; Exodus 20:1 – 3)?

5. What does God intend to do about that (verses 7 – 9)? Is this consistent with His covenant? Why or why not (see Deuteronomy 4:25 – 31)?

6. How did Israel’s desire for a king deceive them (see 1 Samuel 8:6 – 9, 20; 2 Kings 17:4)? What have they done to the One who could save them?

7. How is Ephraim a “child without wisdom” (verse 13)? What desired effect did the birth pangs not produce? What is the result for a child “unwilling” or unable to be born?

8. If the first two lines of verse 14 were a rhetorical question (i. e., “Shall I. . . ?”), what would Hosea’s audience have understood this to mean? What would it do to their presumption of God’s forgiveness and love (see chapter 6:1, 2; compare chapter 1:6)?

9. What devastation does Hosea foresee (verses 15, 16)? Does God’s covenant and character demand it? How so?

10. Have your own desires ever been self-destructive? Any addictive behaviors, substances or relationships? How did you treat those who tried to help you? What save you from completely destroying yourself with these “hand-made idols”?

11. What warning is there for those individuals and churches who let success go to their heads (verse 6)?

12. What makes you feel secure? Job? Spouse, significant other or friends? Pension? Health? Your home? What would you rely on if these were taken away?

13. How might we falsely presume upon God’s forgiveness and favor?

  • “serve” Him with time and money
  • “claim” His promises
  • cry “crocodile tears”
  • make plans and ask Him to bless them

14. When you have experienced God’s “rod”, how have you felt His love?

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Israel’s Sin (Hosea 12)

Scripture Text:

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Hosea 12

1. What stories about your ancestors convey values (the values of thrift, completing your education, etc.)? Whom do you identify with most in your family tree?

2. How does Hosea picture Ephraim’s (Israel’s) dealings with Assyria and Egypt? What was Israel trying to do in her diplomacy with both powers (verse 1; see 2 Kings 17:3, 4)? What deceit was involved in these political dealings?

3. In making his case against Judah (and Israel), how does Hosea use the well-known stories about Jacob (verses 2 – 5; 12)?

4. What is the punch line of this history for Israel (verse 6)?

5. How is Israel (Ephraim) “self-deceived” and “deaf” to God’s overtures (verses 8 – 10)? What would “living in tents again” bring to mind?

6. What analogy is drawn in verses 12 and 13? Why refer to “a prophet” rather than naming Moses? What hope does this analogy give to Israel in her situation?

7. Does Hosea foresee any escape from God’s wrath (verse 14)? Is God rejecting, or fulfilling, His covenant (see Deuteronomy 4:25 – 31)?

8. Do you or your church try to live off your history or reputation in any way? How so?

9. Are Jacob’s tactics (clever alliances, self-reliance and lip-service to God) a part of your life at all? How so?

10. Jacob (after years of scheming) was finally changed by a direct encounter with God. How are you being changed by knowing Christ?

11. Do you think the rich have more problems being Christians than the poor? How?

12. How has God cared for you by disciplining you?

13. Is God calling attention to something new, but you are ignoring Him? What is it?

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God’s Love For Israel (Hosea 11)

Scripture Text:

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Hosea 11

1. Were you more compliant or strong-willed as a child? How are your children like you?

2. At what age are children the most adorable to you? Most aggravating? Why those ages?

3. What is your earliest memory of Mom or Dad helping you master some activity?

4. What images describe God’s relationship to Israel (verses 1 – 4)? Which image seems particularly female? Have you ever thought of God as female, as well as male?

5. What impact did that parental love have on Israel (verses 2 – 7; compare Deuteronomy 21:18 – 21; Isaiah 1:2 – 20)? Why will they return to bondage (verse 5)?

6. Why won’t God deliver them; even if they call to Him (verse 7)? What is God’s dilemma in verses 8 and 9? (For the history of Admah and Zeboilm, see Deuteronomy 29:23)?

7. What in God’s character and covenant prompt Him to turn from His plan to destroy Israel (verse 9; see Deuteronomy 4:27 – 31)?

8. How will God restore them (verses 10 and 11)? What hope would this promise give to the faithful?

9. When have you found painful discipline necessary? How did you feel, carrying out the sentence? Did you ever change your mind about doing so? Why?

10. How has God shown a parent’s love to you? In what ways have you spurned that love?

11. How is Hosea’s story like Abram’s, who reasoned with God to spare Sodom (see Genesis 18:16 – 33)? Like the father who waited for the prodigal son (see Luke 15:11 – 31)?

12. How are God’s justice and mercy reconciled in each case? How has God reconciled His justice and mercy toward you, in Christ? What is the only pre-condition in order to be restored to Him?

13. What comfort do you take in God’s enduring love? How will you share that with those who have yet to “come home”?

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