Further Study: Spiritual Adultery
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“As time went by, Hosea became aware of the fact that his personal fate was a mirror of the divine pathos, that his sorrow echoed the sorrow of God. In this fellow suffering as an act of sympathy with the divine pathos the prophet probably saw the meaning of the marriage which he had contracted at the divine behest. . . .

“Only by living through in his own life what the divine Consort of Israel experienced, was the prophet able [...]

Inside Story: A Bible for Sharoon
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Eight-year-old Sharoon [shah-ROON] leaned forward in his seat as his Sabbath School teacher told a Bible story.

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She asked a question, and Sharoon’s hand shot into the air. The teacher called on him, and Sharoon answered her question.

Sharoon loves Sabbath School, especially the Bible stories his teacher tells. The church Sharoon attends meets in a house that’s been remodeled to make a church. It’s not big, but it’s clean and bright.

Sharoon and his family live [...]

Try a Little Love and Tenderness
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This week’s Sabbath School lesson is about Hosea and the relentless love of God. For me, one of the key verses is Hosea 2:14,

But then I will win her back once again.
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her there.

I am so thankful for parents who understand this. I wish all parents understood this is the way to win their children’s loyalty to God and to themselves.

Several years ago I was preaching for Father’s Day, and I had a few people, [...]

Thursday: A Call to Repentance
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“‘And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God,

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and Jesus Christ whom You have sent’” (John 17:3, NKJV).

The name Hosea in Hebrew means “the Lord saves,” and is related to the names Joshua, Isaiah and even Jesus. The prophet calls the people to reject sin and find refuge in their Lord God because He is their Creator and Redeemer. The purpose of the divine judgment was to remind the sinners that their life and strength [...]

01: Spiritual Adultery (Hosea) – Thought Starters
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[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 [...]

Wednesday: The Case Against Israel
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Hosea 4:1-3 presents God as one who brings a charge or a legal dispute (Hebrew rîb) against Israel.

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The chosen nation stood guilty before her God because the people had failed to live up to the terms of the covenant. Truth, mercy, and the knowledge of God were to be qualities of Israel’s unique relationship with Him. According to Hosea 2:18-20, these are gifts that God bestows on His people at the renewal of the covenant.

Due to sin, [...]

01: Spiritual Adultery – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought: Even amid spiritual adultery and divine judgment, God’s love for His people never wavers.

[Teaching plan for Spiritual Adultery April 1, 2013]

1. Have a volunteer read Hosea 1:2,3.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Why does God ask the prophet not only to speak His word, but also act it out in symbolic or exemplary fashion?
C. Personal Application: How willing would you be to go get your [...]

Tuesday: A Promise of Restoration
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Read Hosea 2.

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What is God’s basic message to His people here? How is the gospel revealed in this chapter?

Hosea’s message presents the profound truth of God’s steadfast love for an undeserving people. Hosea 2 contains a lengthy speech by the Lord about Israel’s apostasy, which is then contrasted with God’s unfailing love for His people. After the punishment, the husband will lead the wife on a trip to the wilderness, where they will be remarried.

Thus, the chapter [...]

Monday: Spiritual Adultery
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When Hosea’s wife, Gomer, committed adultery against him, he suffered the agony of betrayal, humiliation, and shame.

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To the neighbors and friends who saw his pain, Hosea delivered a divine message through words and actions: Israel, God’s wife, was just like Gomer. The chosen people were committing spiritual adultery.

The prophet Jeremiah compared God’s unfaithful people to “a prostitute” who lived with many lovers despite everything that God provided for them (Jer. 3:1, NIV). In a [...]

Easter? Pascha? What Is It?
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The Resurrected Christ

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“The day of resurrection –”

John Wesley sang,

“Earth, tell it out abroad!
The passover of gladness,
The passover of God!”

But that brings us no closer. What does that mean?

The answer lies far, far away. Go back in time. Back a hundred generations, to the margin of the Roman Empire, in a little province called Palestine, where a small band of people have just gone straight to hell.

Over the past few years, they had learned something wonderful. They [...]

Sunday: A Strange Command
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“When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him,

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‘Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord.’ So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.” (Hos. 1:2-3, NIV).

For centuries, students of the Bible have debated the nature of this command, asking questions such as: Was Gomer a [...]

Sabbath: Spiritual Adultery (Hosea)
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Read for This Week’s Study: Hos. 1:1-3, Ezek. 4:1-6, Hos. 2:12-18, 4:1-3, James 5:1-7,Rev. 14:6-12.

Memory Text: “‘I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called “Not my loved one.” I will say to those called “Not my people,”“You are my people”; and they will say, “You are my God”’” (Hosea 2:23, NIV).

Key Thought: Even amid spiritual adultery and divine judgment, God’s love for His people never wavers.

The prophet Hosea ministered at the close of a very prosperous period [...]