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The Scriptorium


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The Heart of God: The Decline and Fall of Israel (4)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

Read and meditate on Hosea 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 14.
Let’s look a bit more closely at another prophet. Hosea shows us another side of the prophet’s calling. His life illustrates the grace of God in the face of the rebellion of His people, and His preaching shows us the patience and justice of the Lord toward covenant-breaking Israel.

For reflection
1.  How did God intend Hosea’s life to dramatize His relationship with Israel? What does his life suggest for us about being witnesses for the Lord?

2.  God complained that there was no “knowledge of God” in the land of Israel (Hos. 4.1). But the people protested that they knew the Lord (Hos. 8.2). What was God getting at through Hosea? What does it mean to know the Lord? Is it possible to know of the Lord, and yet not know Him? Explain.

3.  Notice God’s charge against Israel (Hos. 8.1). How did this show up in the lives of the people of Israel? Can we expect to serve and follow God if we don’t really know Him? Explain.

4.  What did the Lord say would be necessary for Israel to return to Him? What had He done to encourage them in this?

5.  Summarize God’s promise to Israel as He renewed it in Hosea 14. Since this could not have been referring to Israel, as we have been reading about her, to what does this promise refer? How would any faithful Jews in Hosea’s day have received this message?

Hosea provides a concise summary and overview both of Israel’s failings and God’s persistent grace and care. But he also holds out a promise of renewal that seems to extend beyond the immediate future and the people of Israel as well. What lessons can you derive from Hosea’s message for the people of God today?

Closing Prayer
When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion,
We were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us,
And we are glad.
Bring back our captivity, O LORD,
As the streams in the South.
Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him.

Psalm 126

T. M. Moore

Two books can help you gain a fuller understanding of the terrain we will be covering in this series. Kingdom Documentsprovides a concise overview of the primary teaching of the Old and New Testaments, and shows, through early Church creeds, how our forebears understood the primary teachings of God’s Word. (click here to order). I Will Be Your Goddevelops more fully the idea of God’s covenant and leads us to consider the practical implications of our covenant relationship with God (click here).

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course,
Introduction to Biblical Theology, offers a parallel study of our theme in this series, using brief video presentations and the workbook God’s Covenant: An Introduction. All courses at The Ailbe Seminary are available without charge.

We are happy to be able to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in this series by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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