Week 6: Israel’s Hypocrisy, Hosea 8:1-14

This week in our study of Hosea chapter 8, we continue learning the cost of Israel’s iniquities. Their many sins in breaking God’s covenant and rebelling against his law, which included idolatry, alliances with pagan nations, hypocrisy in worship, and self-reliance, trace directly to the root of forgetting the God who made them (8:14). Therefore the God to whom they should have turned for protection has decreed their demise. Instead of crying out to the LORD who covenanted to be their refuge, they have turned to the neighboring nations seeking security, employing worldly solutions to their degenerating foreign affairs. Meanwhile, Assyria is circling like a vulture overhead and will soon swoop down upon them with unrelenting destruction (8:1).

And yet it is evident that the Israelites believed that they were on good terms with God. Appealing to him that, “My God, we—Israel—know you” (8:2). But they have “spurned the good” (8:3), rejecting (with disdain and contempt) the covenant and laws by which he made himself known to them and called them to walk in his ways as his own people. They are pursuing relationship with their Creator not on his terms, but their own. By forsaking their exclusive calling to be set apart from the nations and live according to God’s holy laws, they made a mockery of their faithless worship of him. Continue reading “Week 6: Israel’s Hypocrisy, Hosea 8:1-14”

Week 2: Hosea’s Family, Hosea 1:1-3:5

This week we dove straight into Hosea. Just like diving into a cold pool on a hot summer day, it was both shocking and refreshing.

Hosea was instructed by God to marry a “wife of whoredom” to illustrate to Israel (and Judah) in shocking fashion the depth of their national depravity and the abomination of their spiritual adultery. If his marriage wasn’t enough, the names God had him give to his children would provide repeated opportunities to reiterate the message God had for his wayward people.

“Hosea! Long time no see. Are these your children?”

“Why yes, they are. Allow me to introduce Bloodshed, No Mercy (we call her Unloved, for short), and Not My People (nicknamed, Not Mine).”

“Um, okaaay…”

Though these first three chapters are shocking, we also found the blessed refreshment of the gospel in at least three places, and that’s what I want to focus on for our summary today. Continue reading “Week 2: Hosea’s Family, Hosea 1:1-3:5”

Fellowship with God: Confidence in Christ, Lesson 8

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

As we go through our lessons, we must remember to read each new passage in the context of what has gone before. The portions of 1 John that we study each week are small snippets of a larger whole—an entire epistle—with a logical flow of thought. John has just encouraged his readers that they are indeed beloved children of the Father. He knows this to be true. He now holds up for our inspection the outrageous inconsistency that one so loved should choose to also love the world which is at war with all that our Father—and therefore we—should hold dear. Continue reading “Fellowship with God: Confidence in Christ, Lesson 8”

From The Heart, Chapter 8

By JANA HENRY|CONTRIBUTOR

After discussing Chapter 7 on Community, I wrote about the golden chain that I see being woven as we learn about the biblical themes and principles that shape women’s ministry. This past week, we discussed Discipleship, and I could not help but see the beauty of the golden chain continuing to weave through the biblical call for older women to disciple younger women in the church. Susan shows us a lovely example of this from the gospel of Luke. (Note: My paraphrase of Susan’s account was given in the Tuesday lesson. I polished it up here for you as requested. The words below are 90% Scripture and Susan, and 10% me.) Continue reading “From The Heart, Chapter 8”