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,

Image © Ron Bell from GoodSalt.com

‘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 [...]

Further Study: Creation, Again
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“And the years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. 06As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of His character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed thrill with more fervent devotion, and with more rapturous [...]

Inside Story: God and the Devil Worshipper
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Image © Bill Osborne from GoodSalt.com

Benjamin Sam was a Global Mission pioneer in a primitive highlands region on the island of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

Image © Bill Osborne from GoodSalt.com

While visiting the ailing village chief, he faced down soldiers with guns pointed at his head and prayed for healing for the chief. God helped him raise up a small congregation in the highland village, and today a school and a small church stand as testimonies of God’s power to change hearts.

Benjamin transferred to [...]

How I Know God Is With Me
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My niece Hannah and I, a few years after this story took place.

My niece Hannah and I, a few years after this story took place.

Several years ago I was flying from Fort Worth Texas to go home to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the Thanksgiving holiday. It was a short flight and I was on a commuter plane. Upon landing, instead of pulling up to the terminal like the big jets, we were let out on the tarmac. I went up the stairs into the terminal and saw my family staring out the [...]

Anticipation
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Do you remember the Charlie Brown Halloween special? Linus, Lucy’s little brother, spends the entire program going on about the Great Pumpkin. He tells everybody he meets about how the Great Pumpkin will appear. He even convinces Charlie Brown’s little sister Sally to wait in the pumpkin patch with him, while all the other kids make fun of him. Throughout the night he repeats his belief of how the Great Pumpkin will appear and [...]

13: Creation, Again – Thought Starters
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“But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13 NIV

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[Thought questions for Creation, Again March 27, 2013]

1. Creation continues forever. Have you ever longed for the new heaven and earth that Peter talks about in 2 Peter 3? How can God, mighty Creator though He is, keep on creating forever? Won’t He eventually reach the point where there [...]