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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Study on Hosea


I am currently writing a bible study on Hosea, my second book, so many can understand the grace that led us to begin Gomer's house. Please be in prayer for this. I am including day one in this post so that you can get a glimpse of the beauty of God's redeeming love.

You are beautiful.

Tucked deep inside the story of Hosea is a love letter to all of us. Throughout His word and the history of His people, God has written a deeply extravagant letter to us. Continually weaved through the pages of of time and captured in the lives of those who have turned to Christ we see the beauty of God's redemptive grace laid bare for us. There in lies a picture of the pursuit that is by its very nature as delicate as it is fierce.

May you not walk away from this study with a head full of exegetical knowledge and no heart. My hope is that this reminds us to love. As surely as we have received the letter of Christ through grace, we have become it to others.

"You show that you are a letter sent from Christ . . . written not with ink but with the Spirit of the Living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts." 2 Corinthians 3:1-3

May you find maturity in these passages as you take the grace that you have received and lavish it on the least deserving in your family and amongst your friends. Grant grace to the ones who have hurt you the most. May the legacy you leave be one that leaves the mark of Christ on the generations that came before and that will come after. Love.

Even Christians need grace. God did not tell us to demand everyone to meet our needs or fill our cup. God told us to be light, not to expect it.
"(You) Walk as children of the light."-Ephesians 5:8
Our food is not delivered in a message or brought by another person. As imitators of Christ, our food is to do the work of the Father.
"My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work." -John 4:34

What is that work?
"Do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness, and tolerance, and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads to repentance?"

Show others the kindness of God.
Rewrite your love story.

What are you hoping to get out of this study of Hosea?

Read Hosea 1:1-4.
Why do you think God would tell someone to marry a harlot/prostitute?
It would seem to contradict the teaching of being equally yoked, but we truly have little idea of who Gomer was before she married Hosea. We have no clue as to her faith. We are only given one condemning word to describe her: prostitute. We have few clues to tell us if she was a whore before she was married. Most scholars tend to believe that she was. If she was a picture of God's people, Israel, as suggested, I would think she was promiscuous before the wedding. God's people have always seemed to be dabbling in some sort of promiscuity. It is impossible to dissect the the sexual from the spiritual.

From reading the text, do you think Gomer, Hosea's wife, was a harlot before they were married or that she later became a prostitute?

Hosea not only had a wife of harlotry, but also had children of harlotry. We will see that only one of Hosea's children belonged to Him. Hosea's firstborn , only legitimate son is mentioned in verse four. What is his name?_________________ His name means "scattered." The idea is of God throwing seed into the air and sowing it Himself wherever it landed. God was saying that He was about to scatter the people because of their sin. Jezreel was s sign of the bloody reign of Jehu (seen in 2 Kings 10). In verse two, we see all of this happening because the land commits flagrant harlotry. What do you think this means? _______________________________________
The land was guilty of the vilest adultery of departing from the Lord.
How is our land departing from the Lord? ________________
The Lord had warned them that this would happen in Deuteronomy 31:16.
What is your part? ________(see Jeremiah 3:1) Is there something in front of your love relationship with God?

Hosea was the last prophet God raised up in northern Israel to try to get the people to repent. In the following pages we will see a woman as unfaithful to her husband as Israel was to her God. He issues a final appeal of the heart.

"As He says also in Hosea, ' I will call those who were not my people, my people; and her who was not beloved, beloved.'" -Romans 9:25
Another translation reads that He would love the one who had no loveliness in her.

Homework: We are going to learn two Bible verses through the course of this study. Everyday for the first 20 days, write out Romans 2:4 on a notecard or sticky note. You must write them out. Look for specific places to leave them or mail them to people anonymously. I think the blessing of learning comes when we give His word away. I have left notes in bathrooms and under clothes at Old Navy. Get creative. Give it away.

I love you.
You are that letter.

3 comments:

at His feet said...

Love this, and praying for you as you continue to write. See you in a week or two! Love you guys.

Jennifer said...

Stephanie, this is good, I mean really good stuff. Very thought provoking, and the scriptures together cut to the heart of the matter and caused me to take a good hard look at my own heart and life. I will be praying that God continues to guide your thoughts and writing for this study and that He would boldly be spoken and proclaimed through this!

Terribly Interesting said...

Anne, thank you for your prayers. I am deeply humbled.

Jen,
thank you for your kind words. You could have no idea what a blessing they are to me. You encourage my spirit.