Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. Who’s your favorite poet? Your favorite poem? Why?
2. Have you ever become engaged? When? How? If not, how might you imagine that event?
3. How would your feelings for your betrothed compare to any who may have betrayed you? How do you express your love or hate? By poetry?
4. How does Hosea feel about Gomer (verses 2 – 13)? What will he do about that? Why does he deny their marriage?
5. Why does he want to expose and thwart her adultery (verses 3 -8)? What effect would further punishment (verses 9 – 13) have on her?
6. What “adultery” is she guilty of (verses 8 and 13)? Who then are her “lovers” (verse 5)? Her “husband” (verse 7)? Her “children” (verses 4 and 23)?
7. Though the marriage was broken by adultery, is divorce or reconciliation sought? Why do you think so?
8. How do you account for the contrast between punishment and allurement (verses 13 and 14)? What “desert” experience is Hosea referring to? What effect will this have and why? When and where had God “betrothed” Israel to Himself initially?
9. What changes will occur “in that day” (verses 16 – 19)? What play on words do you see here and in the NIV text footnote (verse 16)? How might this explain the confusion of Israel’s worship of Yahweh with the pagan Baal rituals?
10. How will Israel respond to the Lord’s marriage proposal (verses 19 and 20)? How will the skies, earth and its resources then respond (verses 21 – 23)?
11. What is significant about Jezreel (verse 22) and the other name reversals? What does this reveal about the Lord’s purpose in disciplining His own?
12. Since we become slaves to whatever we yield ourselves to (see Romans 6:16), what are the “baals” (or masters) in your life? In what ways might you be serving them instead of God? What promise do these masters make to lure you into their service?
13. How is the Lord’s authority in your life different from these other masters? (Is God less demanding, or more so? Less forgiving, or more so?)
14. When, if ever, have you outgrown your need for God? Have you ever felt rejected by Him? What for?
15. What “desert experience” or other trying circumstances brought you back to Him? If you are not looking for God (as Gomer was not), how do you know if God is still pursuing you (as He did Gomer)?
16. Using the marriage metaphor, how would you describe your present relationship with God?
- getting acquainted
- good friends
- engaged couple
- newlyweds (still honeymooning)
- on the rocks (unfaithful)
- growing old together
17. What “adulterous wife” or “prodigal son” are you burdened for these days? How could you be God’s instrument of discipline and restoration in their lives? What impact would this have on you? On them?