A Bible study based on Hosea 1:1 - Hosea 2:23
Do you know someone who has been captured by a cult? Had you thought them to be a Christian at some point in their life? Possibly this bible study will indicate a path to bring the saved person out of the cultic involvement. For preparation, read the book of Hosea, or at least the first two chapters.
You can follow the study by yourself, or a leader can monitor the discussion with assistance from the leader’s notes. You may discover truths which go beyond those suggested here. Pray for the Holy Spirit to: "Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Thy law." (Ps 119:18)
1.0 Read Rom 15:4 Is Hosea simply a historical account of the prophet’s life, or does it have meaning for us?
1.1 Read 1 Cor 10:1-11 Does the book of Hosea have instruction for us, today?
2.0 Read Hosea 1:2 Discuss how the example of Hosea and Gomer could relate to God and the nation, Israel.
2.1 Read Hosea 1:3-9 Gomer had three children:
Jezreel can be translated as "God sows."
Lo-ruhamah can be translated as "unpitied."
Lo-ammi can be translated as "not my people."
What message was God telling Israel through the names of the children?
2.2 Read Hosea 1:10-11 What future promise does God hold for the people of Israel?
2.3 Read Hosea 2:2-5 God encourages chastisement by "brothers and sisters." To what does "brothers and sisters" refer to regarding the nation Israel?
2.4 Read Hosea 2:6-7 How does God say he will restore the nation to Himself? How does this apply to Gomer and her husband, the prophet? Why will the "hedge" be effective?
2.5 Read Hosea 2:7 Why did Israel turn from God to Idolatry?
2.6 Read Hosea 2:8-13 What does God say he will do because of Israel’s unfaithfulness?
2.7 Read Hosea 2:14-23 How will God respond to Israel when she is hedged off from the idolatrous nations which had caused her downfall?
3.0 Consider the person deceived by a cult: Is it possible that the situation is similar to that of the Nation, Israel and the harlot, Gomer?
3.1 Will God place a "hedge of thorns" around the deceived person if we ask? (Read Matt 18:19-20)
3.2 If a figurative "hedge of thorns" were placed around the person involved in a cult, what might be the result? (Re read Hosea 2:7)
3.3 What response is expected of us when the deceived person turns back to the Lord. (Re read Hosea 2:23)
3.4 Who will receive the deceived when the realization comes that the Lord is the author of salvation? (Acts 4:12)
3.5 What is left for us to do?
1.0 While Hosea is a true historical account, Romans makes it clear that the text is provided for instruction to us, as well.
1.1 We can always look for a message in an Old Testament "example."
2.0 Hosea took Gomer as a wife while she was lost in sin. Israel was a nation loved by God, but lost in sin and idolatry. Read Ezekiel 16:1-12 for the example of God acting toward Israel as Hosea acted toward Gomer.2.1 Jezreel: The text makes clear that God was going to take vengeance on Jehu. Lo-ruhamah, "unpitied" indicates God’s attitude toward the nation, Israel, (The nation deserved the evil that would come upon it.) Lo-ammi, "not my people" symbolizes the rejection of Israel by God.
2.2 The prophet reveals that Israel will be restored to favor in God’s eyes, and again receive favor. The subject of this study focuses on the method God uses to restore Israel. Our goal is to understand that process and apply it to rescue the saved from a cult.
2.3 The children are encouraged to "contend" with Gomer because she had returned to her harlotry. "Brothers and sisters" refers to the population of Israel. God is encouraging individual Israelites to speak out against the sin (Idolatry/Harlotry) of the nation.
2.4 God says He will build a figurative "Hedge of Thorns." The "Hedge" is to act as a wall to prevent Israel from receiving aid from idolatrous nations around her. The analogy is to prevent Gomer from having contact with her lovers. The idea is to cause Gomer to return to her husband.
2.5 Israel forgot God and turned to the "gods" of the nations around her. She forgot where her favor came from.
2.6 Severe punishment to cause Israel to consider her plight.
2.7 God describes complete restoration for the Nation.
3.0 In all three instances, the situation is the same.
3.1 He tells us to ask. (Phil 4:6)
3.2 Possibly God will place animosity between the cult members and the deceived. The deceived will be confused and possibly angry because of the lack of contact with the cult. We can not know how God will do it, but He will build a wall between the deceived and the cult members.
3.3 Read Luke 15:20-24. This is the example expected of us.
3.4 Remember that the person you are praying for may be embarrassed when the truth is realized. It is important to pray that God will provide a Christian to "be there" when the need comes.
3.5 Pray and watch. Don’t be impatient. Read 2 Peter 3:9, and 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
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