Week 7, Tuesday: Return to captivity
Israel’s continual backsliding from the Lord would bring His judgment against them. Since they spurned the grace He showed them in delivering them from captivity in Egypt, He would send them back into captivity, but this time in Assyria.
Read Hosea 11
Meditate on Hosea 11.5-7
1. The constant repetition of these threats can sound a little tedious – the same warning over and over again. But the fact that Israel didn’t listen to any of them should speak to us concerning our relationship to God’s Word. Explain.
2. Israel “refused to repent” (v. 5). What is repentance? What would it have looked like for Israel to repent? What is the place of repentance in the life of faith today?
3. Israel’s woes would come upon them “Because of their own counsels” (v. 6). How can we tell when our thoughts and plans are beginning to veer from God’s Word? What can we do to help ensure this doesn’t happen?
4. Israel “called to the Most High” but they did not “exalt Him” (v. 7). What’s the difference? Why would they call on Him if they did not intend to exalt Him?
5. Based on what we’ve seen thus far in Hosea, how would you define “backsliding” (v. 7)? God sent prophets to arrest Israel’s backsliding. What is our responsibility toward one another in the church with respect to this problem (Prov. 24.11, 12)?
Israel’s faith in God was merely superficial. They thought they could “call” on the Most High and yet continue to ignore His Law and His prophets. Herein is a warning for every believer in God today.
Yet they tested and provoked the Most High God,
And did not keep His testimonies,
But turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers;
They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
For they provoked Him to anger with their high places,
And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images.
When God heard this, He was furious,
And greatly abhorred Israel,
So that He forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh,
The tent He had placed among men,
And delivered His strength into captivity,
And His glory into the enemy’s hand.
T. M. Moore
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A primary theme of the book of Hosea is Israel’s failure to keep covenant with the Lord. God’s covenant is a central theme and provides the organizing motif for all of Scripture. Learn more about God’s covenant by ordering a copy of T. M.’s book, I Will Be Your God, from our online store (click here).
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.