Hello WCC family,
Please read Hosea 11:1-11. If you missed last week’s conversation, Our God Who Won’t Give Up on Us you can listen to it here. During our gathering on Sunday we will walk thru Hosea 11 together. It is a beautiful expression of God’s heart for his beloved Israel as The God Who Bends Down to Us.
Don’t forget Israel’s rap sheet (remember, Hosea is a contemporary of Amos):
- Israel is Hosea’s home
- He was prophesying in the thirty years or so leading up to Assyria’s destruction of Israel in 722 BC
- Israel was experiencing great economic and peace under King Jeroboam’s reign
- Nationalism and unhealthy patriotism was flourishing
- A great economic gap was increasing between the rich and the poor
- They had turned blessings into idols and valued the blessings over the God who blessed them
- The courts of law were corrupt and laws and policies were upheld to protect national status and the wealthy
- There was a breakdown of morality throughout the nation
- Religious practices of worship were mixed in with the beliefs and practices pagan religions from surrounding nations, particular the Canaanite god of fertility, Baal (though “Baals” becomes it seems a catch all term for idols of various kinds)
- Hosea’s prophetic ministry is very different from Amos. God asked him to live the tragedy of Israel’s unfaithfulness by marrying a harlot
- God is portrayed as both a scorned lover and heart-broken father
As you read Hosea 11:1-11 tend particularly to verses 1-4.
- What do you see in the text?
- What picture is the prophet painting as he describes God’s relationship with Israel?
- Given all we’ve discussed so far, what do you think God wants to do with the word pictures in this prophetic text?