Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. When you are betrayed or hurt by a close friend, what is your natural response?
- forgive and bless
- break off the relationship
- give them the “silent treatment”
- give them a one-way ticket on a guilt trip
- other: __________
2. When did you first learn the benefits of discipline: as a child or as a parent?
3. What three groups are indicted here? To whom have they been a snare? Why does the Lord promise to discipline all of them? How had Israel (Ephraim) played the harlot?
4. How far have His people sunk in their corruption (verses 4 – 7)? What is their root problem?
5. Hosea pictures God as being married to His people.What would it mean for Israel to acknowledge the Lord as her husband? What would it mean for her (and her children) to ‘adulterate’ that relationship (verse 7)? With what results?
6. In “seeking the Lord” (verse 6) do they view Him as a husband? lover? local deity? “John” or “pimp”? bothersome duty? How does this compare with their seeking Him later (verse 15)?
7. What does Hosea envision for Israel (verses 8 and 9)? Why use trumpets and horns? What’s wrong with moving boundary stones (verse 10; Deuteronomy 19:14)?
8. How is the Lord like a “moth and rot” to Israel and Judah (verse 12)? When consumed by the Lord, where do they turn for help? How is this like Gomer (see chapter 2)? Why is it so futile?
9. How does God intend to deal with Israel and Judah (verse 14)? Why such harsh treatment? When in their history did this actually happen (see 2 Kings 17:5ff)? With what result (verse 15)?
10. How do you picture the God of Hosea?
- angry bully
- jilted lover
- jealous husband
- frustrated father
- determined dad
11. What people in your life are close enough for you to influence by your actions? What consequences for them might your disloyalty to God have?
12. Have you ever “taken your flocks and herds to seek the Lord”, only to pursue other “lovers” at the same time? Could you be doing this now and be blind to it?
13. God’s discipline here is patient, progressive and purposeful (verses 2, 6, 7 , 9, 10, 14 and 15). How did Israel experience His discipline at each point?
14. When the Lord disciplines, what are some of the early warning signals? What are the consequences of failing to heed these?
15. Why must we hit bottom (like Israel) before we begin to look up? When have you (in your misery) earnestly sought the Lord? What did God have to take you through to restore you? Did you sense His love in that?