I must admit, reading the entire book of Hosea left me feeling a bit confused. I actually saw God’s anger towards His people and even though I also saw His compassion and love, I still felt the over shadow of Him coming close to turning away from His people, turning away from me. I had to read the book again, to help with my understanding of what it symbolized.
Reading about Gomer and her tendencies to be unfaithful and knowing that it was a metaphor for how God’s people were behaving towards Him, and how we, you and me sometimes behave really opened my eyes and took me by surprise. Even though I have not behaved in the exact ways of Gomer, I learned this week that when I don’t spend time with God, when I don’t thank Him for His blessings, when I don’t treat other children of God with love, when I don’t forgive, when I worship or put other things or people before God, I am behaving just as Gomer and Israel were in the book of Hosea. And if you had asked me a few weeks ago if I would ever turn my back on God, I would have assured you that I would never and I may have become a bit offended at the thought. But reading this first week I realized that there are times that I do this, with my actions, with my words when they don’t align with the word of God. When I have blind disregard for who God is in my life because I become preoccupied with the busyness of work, the busyness of things, with the busyness of family. But yet, He still loves me…. He still loves you…. Whew, makes you think doesn’t it?
But what really stuck out to me so much more than I have ever known was that even though God’s people disappointed Him time and time again, even though they turned their back on Him time and time again despite His warnings, He continued to chase them, He continued to love them, He continued to give them grace and mercy. He continued to restore them and forgive them. He does that for us today, for you and for me. Why? Because we are His chosen and He loves us just because. He won’t give up on us, He will continue to chase after us and love us every time we stray. His love is unfailing! What an awesome God we serve.
As we continue on this journey, remember that you are God’s chosen daughter and You are loved by Him, the one true God. This is your identity in Him. Doesn’t hearing that make you smile? It should because God is love and His love is all we need.
My Sisters, God’s unfailing love chose us, God’s unfailing love covers us!
ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS WEEK
- Attend a small group this week Select a day and time that fits your schedule, all groups are open http://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCSmallGroups/
- Share some of your favorite book quotes with your social media friends and hashtag #BibleCafe so we can find them too!
- Choose a time and place where you will complete each lesson, set a reminder for your self
- Read Week/Session TWO in your book. You’ll read one lesson per day, each lesson is about 30 minutes.
- Optional due to cost: AFTER you finish the reading assignment, watch video session One available from Amazon or publisher website.
Optional Activity: Try Jennifer Rothschild’’s complimentary recipe for Butter Mints
Ingredients: 1 lb box confectioners’ sugar (4 c.) 1 stick butter, softened 1/2 tsp peppermint oil 1 tbsp milk
Directions: Mix ingredients with a mixer until blended. The mixture will be coarse crumbs. Knead the crumbs together to make sure it is moistened. You can add a little more milk if it’s too dry, or a little more sugar if it’s too moist. Form a small ball and press it into the mold. HINT: I pour some powdered sugar in a shallow bowl and dredge each little ball of mint dough through it to avoid sticking to the mold. Pop the mint out of the mold onto some wax paper and allow to dry for at least an hour. Store in single layers with wax paper between each layer. These freeze well. But why freeze them when you can eat the whole batch?!
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. Psalm 34:8
Courtesy of www.jenniferrothschild.com/hosea
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK
You will have the opportunity to share your answers to these questions during your small group time. You may also post them here. Consider also recording your answers in your spiritual journal.
- Why do you think that Israel went for false gods when they were loved by the true God? What false gods do you think we go for today and why?
- On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being “not at all” and 10 being “extremely”, how prone or likely are you to wander and turn away from God?
- Our author tells us that the Bible says God is compassionate, meaning that He feels our hurts, and He knows our suffering. Knowing that, how does it make you feel to know this about God and how does it strengthen your faith and trust in Him?
- Being spiritually bankrupt can occur even when we are successful in other areas of our lives. Describe a time when you felt this way and how did you reconnect your relationship with God?
- We learned this week that “we are chosen by God” and that “we are loved by God” Hearing this truth: 1) Are you skeptical of being chosen and loved by God; 2) Do you feel unworthy of being his daughter and being loved by Him because of your past; or 3) Are you fully accepting of being His chosen and loved because He is love? Why?
You are chosen and you are loved!