A glimpse of hope is found sandwiched in the middle of chapter 10. There is a call to repentance, a call to pursue righteousness. But this call is found in the midst of God sentencing Israel. Today we are going to break down a portion of the sentencing. When you are reading chapter 10, it will be helpful to remember that Israel is also referred to as Ephraim & Samaria in this passage.
Please begin by reading all of chapter 10.
In chapter 8 we broke down the sin of Israel and the result of that sin. In Hosea 8:4-6, what are the offenses charged to Israel?
Now look in chapter 10:5-8. Here again we see the calf-idol mentioned. Read thru these verses and then write down how God feels about this idol. What is going to happen to the idol? How do the people feel about the idol?
At the very end of chapter 8, we see that God is upset because Israel forgot him and built palaces and fortified their cities. They began to rely on their own strength to prevail. Now in chapter 10 we see this issue come to light, again. In Hosea 10:13-15, what is the result of Israel building fortresses and depending on their own strength?
Two of Israel's offenses were making and worshipping an idol and depending on their own strength. At different stages in my life I've struggled with these offenses differently. At one point a dream or ideal or a person may consume my time and my thoughts. I might begin to pour all my efforts into accomplishing a dream or pleasing one person. At other times in my life, I might depend on my own strength rather than the power of God to get me thru the day, the week, a difficult time or even a speaking engagement. Which one of these offenses are you struggling with more at this point in your life? How is playing out in your life? What does this struggle look like on a day-to-day basis? What practical steps can you take to change this pattern?
In class we discussed verse 12, the call to repentance. Please read verse 12 as a review. We talked about the pursuit of righteousness, and we talked about how we have to “breakup the unplowed ground.” The breaking up of the ground is our repentance…we must deal with our sin before we can pursue righteousness…we've spent a lot of time in deep reflection this week, so to wrap up these three chapters today, please use this time as a self-commissioning time. Spend sometime dealing with whatever God has laid on your heart, and then spend time celebrating the power of the risen Jesus to conquer sin in our lives! Make the commitments today that God has placed on your heart and let today be a day of celebration, marking the pursuit of righteousness and the reward of reaping the UNFAILING LOVE of our Creator.