[Thought questions for Spiritual Adultery (Hosea) April 3, 1013]
1. A real life parable. According to Hosea 1:1-3, whose idea was it for Hosea to marry Gomer? How did God explain to Hosea why he should marry an adulterous woman? Why did God choose such an unusual way to demonstrate His love for His people? Does it seem to you that God was (a) frustrated; (b) angry; (c) uncaring when He set up this arrangement? Compare God’s feelings toward Gomer with Hosea’s.
2. Spiritual prostitutes. Do you think that adultery and prostitution are sinful acts? What about spiritual adultery and spiritual prostitution? Are they worse than or about the same as their physical counterparts? Why was Hosea so disappointed when Gomer betrayed him and had sex with other men? Didn’t he know ahead of time that she was a prostitute? How horrible is it to the heart of God to see His people wandering off into self-centered living totally separate from Him?
3. Steadfast love. If you were Hosea, would you head for the divorce court or try to find Gomer? Can you think of Hosea as a representative of God? What does God do when we fail to represent Him as we should? The lessons skips the parable of the children and their unusual names, but what is the final outcome of the relationship? Can you see why Jewish people would find hope for their nation in the promise of Hosea 3:4-5? Did Christ, like Hosea, purchase His bride? In what way?
4. God files a lawsuit against His people. In Hosea 4, again we see God behaving as if He is angry. Is He? Should He be? Did His people deserve in any sense the blessings of belonging to His spiritual family? Does God have every legal right to destroy His disobedient and disrespectful people today? Or are we humble and obedient in every respect and a joy to Him as His family?
5. Repentance for all. Without forgiveness and repentance, how long could you or I stand in the presence of God? Who provides the forgiveness? Who repents? Is forgiveness of any value without repentance? Why? Do you look forward to walking in God’s presence forever? What will be our greatest source of joy through eternity? How can you and I prepare our hearts today so that we are ready to have an even deeper relationship with God than we have now?
6. God’s priority. What is God’s most urgent priority for us at this time? How does His anguished feelings toward wandering Israel compare with how He feels about us today? Are we, too, a wandering people, not understanding what we should be doing to reveal Christ to our neighbors and friends? How do we learn what God expects from us the most? How do we discover the truth about our natures so we can go to our Creator and ask for forgiveness and a new heart?