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Limitless Grace: Hosea 8-11

Hosea 8-11 Discussion Questions

Icebreaker – The theme of today’s message is “Love changes our perspective.” Society’s idea about fatherhood has changed over time, so what makes a good father in today’s world?

This should generate both positive and negative ideas about what it means to be a father as we consider God’s fatherhood through Hosea’s words. Some people will have difficult and painful memories associated with their fathers or as fathers themselves. It is important to distinguish between those failings and the perfect fatherhood that God demonstrates.

1. Who does God describe as his “son” in Hosea 11? What is wonderful about God’s fatherhood?

The nation of Israel is God’s “son.” These opening verses describe God as a patient, caring, loving father. God has shown love to his child, bringing them out of slavery in Egypt, teaching them to walk in his ways, healing their wounds. He has led them with loving kindness, feeding them and lifting their yoke (which echoes their removal from slavery in Egypt). It is a beautiful picture of God’s love, care, and kindness to His people.

2. What is sad about how Israel responded to God’s fatherhood?

Interwoven in these verses about the fatherly love of God are painful words about Israel’s response to God’s kindness. Hosea 11:2 tells of God calling to his people, but the more he calls, the further they go (something many parents will have experienced).Despite God’s love and goodness to them as Father, they turn from him and worship idols.

3. What does Hosea 11:5-7 tell us about God?

That he is holy and just, alongside the love and care of God shown in the first few verses, God is holy and cannot tolerate sin. Because of the rebellion of God’s people, judgment will fall in the form of the invading army of Assyria.

Read Deuteronomy 29:22–28

4. What difference should these words have made to how Israel acted?

God’s judgment in Hosea 11 should not have surprised God’s people. They had already been told about the consequences of turning away from God and that his judgment would rightly fall on those who rebel against him and reject his rule.

Read Matthew 2:13–15

5. How does Matthew compare Jesus to Israel in Hosea’s day?

Matthew quotes from Hosea as he tells how Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus fled from Herod to Egypt. In doing so, Matthew parallels Israel in Hosea’s day and Jesus’. Israel was supposed to act as God’s child but chose not to. Jesus, however, was the perfect, obedient Son, responding rightly where Israel failed.

6. What is he saying about Jesus?

In Hosea 11:1, Israel is identified as God’s “son.” Jesus, too, is God’s Son, loved by the Father as he lives under his authority. As we read Matthew’s beginning, the question is: will Jesus succeed where Israel failed? Will he be an obedient Son?

Read 1 Peter 2:21–23 and Galatians 3: 26–29.

7. What sort of Son was Jesus? Why is this great news for Christians?

1 Peter 2: He was sinless: he always lived under God the Father’s authority. Even under extreme pressure, he trusted his Father and lived as God wanted. Jesus is the obedient son of God. Galatians 3 v 26–29: When we trust in Jesus Christ, we are clothed with him. When God looks at us, he no longer sees our imperfections but Jesus’ perfect obedience. That is good news! It means we are “children of God” and will inherit and enjoy all God gives to his Son, Jesus. All that is hisis ours. Christians are “heirs according to the promise.”

8. How does this give us hope when we commit the sins of Hosea 11:2–4?

Though we are sinners as Israel was, believers have been “clothed with Christ,”—so our sin is not counted against us. God treats us like Jesus and, therefore, perfectly obedient.

9. How does this motivate us to avoid living in these ways?

Several ways:
• Why would we want to live in a way which should bring us God’s judgment instead of his fatherly love?
• As we live as Jesus did and Israel didn’t, we can enjoy life as God’s children and delight him as our Father.

10. How are things amazingly turned around for Israel in Hosea 11:8-11?

Even though his people are determined to turn away from him, God offers forgiveness and mercy. God cannot give up his precious child and promises his anger will be turned away. Instead, he will show compassion and return his people to peace and safety.
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