Introduction:: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God is displeased with the unfaithfulness of His people, but He keeps on loving us. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on our faithfulness to God and willingness to love one another.
Read Hosea 1:1-3a
I. Marriage That Illustrates. In our Sunday School material the Lord sent a word to Hosea during the reigns of several kings. The Lord told Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman, as a symbol of how God feels about the unfaithfulness of His people. Hosea obeyed.
- The sending of God’s word. Notice in vs. 1 that God sent His word to Hosea. First, we should be thankful that God sends His word to us. The most authoritative word is found in God’s word, the Bible.
But God often sends explanation of His word through Pastors and Christian advisors, not to mention circumstances and the like.
Second, we should be so thankful for God sending us His word that we obey it. There are too many who may claim to be thankful for the word, but they don’t obey as if they are thankful. Let’s obey God’s word, as if we are thankful for His sending it to us.
- God moving in the midst of our circumstances. Notice in vss. 1-3 that God moves in the midst of our political and spiritual situations. God knows who is in office and what is in our hearts.
He is not so removed from us that He doesn’t understand. Nor is He waiting until all things are lined up on Earth before He moves.
In other words, in the midst of congressional grid lock, strange personalities running for the Presidency, and all kinds of spiritual illness, God is still moving. Therefore, let’s work on discerning and obeying God’s will, even in the midst of political and spiritual dynamics.
- Being a source of pleasure, instead of pain. Notice in vss. 2-3 of our Sunday School material that God compares how He feels about His people to how a prophet feels about his wife being a promiscuous woman (i.e., essentially a prostitute).
We may miss the point, when we try to understand a prophet being unequally yoked, in the name of the Lord. The greater point is the pain that God feels, when we live in sin.
After all that God has done for us, is doing for us, and promises to do for us, we should not want to cause pain. We should want to cause pleasure. Let’s work on living by God’s word, so we can be a source of pleasure, instead of pain for God.
Read Hosea 1:3b-9
II. Names That Symbolize. Gomer has a number of children in our Sunday School material. God gives the names of the children to Hosea. The names range from mention of how God will punish Jehu to the people no longer belonging to God.
- Avoiding punishment. Notice in vss. 4-6, 9 that God punishes sin. We should not think that God only punishes sin in the Old Testament. Hebrews 12:6 teaches that God punishes those He loves. We should be thankful that as New Testament believers, God will never disown us.
We have eternal security through Christ. However, punishment can be so severe that eternal security doesn’t provide absolute comfort. Let’s strive to live right, so we can avoid God’s punishment.
At the core of God’s will for us are the issues of making sure that we have accepted Jesus as our savior by faith and that we are living lives focused on loving God with all that we have and loving others, as we love ourselves.
- Trusting God to see our faithfulness. Notice in vs. 7 of our Sunday School material that God is able to punish Israel, the Northern Kingdom, while loving Judah, the Southern Kingdom.
This should give us some extra incentive to live in obedience to God. God can bless us, while punishing those who not too far from us. Let’s strive to live obedient lives, so we can be blessed, instead of simply doing what everyone else is doing.
Read Hosea 1:10-11
III. Vision That Predicts. In our Sunday School material God promises brighter days. The people of God will be restored in number. And they will unite behind one leader. The day of Jezreel is mentioned.
- Living by the promises. Notice in vss. 10-11 that God has a plan of restoration. There are a number of Bible scholars who believe this Sunday School material text points to the future reign of Jesus Christ.
There are those who would like to spend a significant amount of time discussing the promises of God. However, we should make sure that we also live by the promises of God. Let’s obey God’s word like we believe that all of His promises are true.
“All of His promises” include the promise of Jesus’ future reign, blessings for those who obey, and punishment for those who don’t obey. If we really believed all of the promises of God, we would give great effort to obeying God’s word, in every area of our lives.
One example of living by God’s word is loving one another, in spite of our many and distracting flaws.
Let’s work on our faithfulness to God and willingness to love one another. God
has much for those who obey His will.