Weekly Study Guide
Hosea: Unrequited Love
Monday, August 10th
When have you avoided doing something you know God called you to do?
Hosea was a prophet whom God spoke through to the people in the 700’s BC. If you’d like to know more background on Hosea, here is a good article on the internet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosea.
Hosea uses metaphors that are very difficult for us to understand today. He was commanded by God to marry a woman (Gomer) who would be unfaithful to him. This is a metaphor for Israel’s relationship to God. As difficult as it is, this metaphor highlights a basic truth: we are all unfaithful time and time again.
The Passage: Hosea 1:1-3:5
- How do you think you would have felt if you were Hosea and were asked to do what he did?
- Why do you think God was willing to use such an extreme example to get the attention of the Israelites?
- What has God done in your life to get your attention?
Prayerfully consider ways we are unfaithful in our lives and how we can remain faithful.
Tuesday, August 11th
What gods do we worship today?
God loves the people as a lover who doesn’t want to share intimacy with other gods. Consider how spiritual adultery is similar to physical adultery. How might you grow from these words?
The Passage: Hosea 4:1-5:15
- What “gods” do we “cheat” on God with (such as money, power, acceptance, etc.)?
- How can we put these things in their proper place with God over them?
Prayerfully consider how God feels when we are unfaithful.
Wednesday, August 12th
What is the difference between going “all-out” and just going “through the motions?”
Today’s reading sheds light on God’s feelings when we repent and return to God. Often when we turn back to God we do not truly consider the depth of our sin. We do not regret our actions. We do not plan to change our behavior.
The Passage: Hosea 6:1-7:16
- What is the difference between mercy and acknowledgement verses sacrifice and burnt offerings (see Hosea 6:6)?
- Where do we see relationship verses ritual clash in our own relationship with God?
In light of the metaphor of an unfaithful lover, prayerfully consider your understanding of repentance.
Thursday, August 13th
Who or what is our “last resort” go to in times of trouble?
Often, we turn to God when there is no one else to turn to, but do we really expect to change our behavior when we turn to God?
The Passage: Hosea 8:1-10:15
- Do you think Israel’s desperation and hopelessness was based on doubt in God or in their ability to change?
- Where does your hopelessness stem from when you are struggling?
Prayerfully consider how someone in a relationship would feel if they were the “last resort.”
Friday, August 14th
As parents or a person in a leadership role, is the initial discipline or the follow through more difficult?
The metaphor shifts at this point to Israel as God’s child. God loves Israel as a parent loves a difficult child. Like a good parent, God did not let the kid get away with everything… there are consequences to our behaviors.
The Passage: Hosea 11:1-13:16
- What were the consequences of Israel’s actions?
- What consequences have we experienced from our bad decisions and actions?
Consider a child that has learned there are consequences for bad behavior, now picture a child who has not learned this lesson. Prayerfully consider what this might mean spiritually.
Saturday, August 15th
Why do you think God does what God does?
God always wanted Israel to turn back to Him in love.
The Passage: Hosea 14:1-9
- In what ways has listening to and following God allowed us to persevere?
- How has not listening and not following caused us to stumble?
- According to Hosea, whether we walk upright or fall and stumble, what is God’s ultimate desire for us?
Prayerfully consider how this difficult book has affected your understanding of God’s love for you.