Session 3: Betrayal

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  • Study

    Begin this session by reading Scripture and answering questions to reflect on the selected Bible verses.

    What does God have His prophet, Hosea, do? Why?

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    What is idolatry compared to in this passage? Why?

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    What does God have Hosea do to his wife? Why?

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    How is this chapter a portrait of God’s love? What is God’s intent?

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    What are the consequences for Israel’s idolatry?

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    Is there any hope in this passage?

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  • Learn

    Minor Prophets: the last twelve books of the Old Testament, which are also referred to as “The Book of the
    Twelve” in the Hebrew Scriptures.

    Minor Prophets

    These are the books of Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The Book of the Twelve are not randomly thrown together, but are intentionally organized in two different ways: chronologically and thematically. The books appear to be organized by when they were written and also share themes. Several of these books wrestle with what is right ethical behavior while others offer differing perspectives on Israel’s relationship with other nations.

    The Book of Hosea

    • God has the prophet Hosea not only speak the message of change to the Israelites, but live out the message as well. God tells Hosea to marry Gomer, a woman known to be a prostitute. Chapter 2 openly reveals the problem of idolatry.
    • In this story, Hosea represents God and Gomer represents Israel. Just as Gomer was unfaithful in her marriage, the nation of Israel was unfaithful to God by following after idols.
    • Hosea commits himself to ransoming Gomer and pays for her release, then marries her, knowing the entire time that she has been unfaithful. In the same way, God chose to redeem Israel even though Israel was unfaithful to Him.
    • God’s actions have been those that demonstrate His love, but the problem still remains because Israel has remained unfaithful. Because of this unfaithfulness, God brings judgement down on Israel.
    • Like Israel, being unfaithful to God can have tragic consequences if we continually reject God’s attempt to rescue us.
  • Grow

    How does viewing God’s relationship with His people as a marriage shape how you view your relationship with God?

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    In what ways have you been tempted to place an idol between yourself and God? What things do you place at the center of your life instead of God?

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    How does God’s love for you, in spite of your faults, shape how you deal with others and their mistakes?

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