The Charge Against Israel (Hosea 4)

Scripture Text:

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Hosea 4

1. When has an injustice hit close home for you? How did you express your opposition to it?

  • voted someone out of office
  • boycotted
  • wrote a letter to an editor
  • pressed charges

2. What was your adolescent rebellion like? Was it like that of your siblings? How so?

3. Did your folks ever urge you to avoid the same mistake an older brother or sister had made? Did you listen?

4. What does the Lord claim is lacking in Israel (verse 1)? How do these virtues relate to self, to others, to God?

5. What does God find instead (verse 2)? How do these virtues and voices compare with the Ten Commandments? What are the consequences of such a climate of evil?

6. Do you thing the land and animals “wasting away” (verse 3) is merely poetic language? Why or why not? Is the same thing true in your culture? How so?

7. Why do you suppose “no man is to accuse another” (verse 4)? Who are “your people” and “your mother” (verses 4 and 5)?

8. What effect does their behavior have on the priests? Of what are the priests guilty (verses 6 – 8)? How might they profit from the people’s sins?

9. What “wages of sin” will the people receive (verses 9 – 11)? Are they personal or social? Limited or contagious? Why?

10. Does the laxity of the priests excuse the people? Conversely, does their behavior indict the priests? Who does God hold accountable for the sexual immorality that is rampant (verse 14)? Why?

11. What directed them in these paths and eroded their understanding (verse 12)? What is a “spirit of prostitution”? How does it hook its victim? What is its seductive impact on succeeding generations (verse 13)?

12. What is God’s concern for Judah? What does He urge them to avoid? How do the Israelites prove “stubborn” (verses 16 – 18)? What future can Ephraim (Israel) expect (verses 17 – 19)?

13. Are you a “heifer” or a “lamb” (verse 16)? Give an example of your stubbornness or your meekness.

14. What causes moral or spiritual decline in individuals and society? What knowledge or understanding is critical in this regard (verses 1, 6, 10, 14)? Where do you see this situation paralleled today? How can you avoid being swept along?

15. The priests were particularly responsible for Israel’s moral decline (verses 6 and 14). In your society, who are the people Hosea would hold responsible?

  • rock stars
  • ad agencies
  • TV evangelists
  • college professors
  • counselors
  • government officials
  • other: _________

16. Who profits from society’s sins and sickness?

17. Who is more successful in passing on wisdom to the next generation: the church, the family or the schools? Why is passing on of wisdom and values such a crucial task?

18. Israel’s idolatry was obvious. Is ours more subtle? What idols do we tend to give ourselves to:

  • careers
  • status symbols
  • relationships
  • new age mysticism
  • wealth
  • military power
  • other: ________

19. Do our idols make us more enlightened than Israel was back then? How do they erode understanding?

20. What potential idol in your life might lure you away from God?

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