Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. Who was voted “most likely to succeed” in your graduating class? Did their “product” match their “promise”? What do you think is the reason for that?
2. If you had been away from home for a while (summer camp or overseas trip), what do you dream of doing when you get back?
3. What had Israel done all these years with the blessing of God (verse 1)? What should they have done with the “sacred stones” present in the land (see Deuteronomy 16:21, 22)? As a result, what happened? What will God do now? In addition to their idols, what had Israel been trusting in (verse 3)? What will happen to both of these “security blankets” (verses 5 – 8)?
4. What were the “evildoers” in Gibeah: Jewish or Gentile (see Judges 19 and 20)? What was the lesson for all of Israel? How is Hosea apply this lesson in the present circumstance? What is the “double sin” of Israel (verse 10)? What is the “yoke” she can expect (verse 11)?
5. What laws of sowing and reaping do you see here (verses 12, 13)? Which has Israel chosen? What crop can she expect to reap? Was there no other way? Why do you suppose Israel didn’t take it?
6. Despite the certainty of Israel’s punishment, what hope might Hosea’s treatment of Gomer have given to Hosea’s listeners?
7. What is the “spirit” behind the idols that are popular in our society: power? material prosperity? pleasure? status?
8. How has God blessed you and allowed your harvest to prosper? Are you using these blessings to honor Him and further His work, or to satisfy and enhance your own ends?
9. Where do you look for help when in need: self? others? God? Have you made any “unholy alliances”? How can you begin to break them in the next week?
10. What is the “unplowed ground” in your life that must be “turned over”? Is there some area in which you are not allowing God to be Master? Take a moment now and give this area to Him. What result can you expect if you continue to commit this area to His Lordship (verse 12)?