We have learned that because of the sin of Solomon, the Kingdom of Israel was divided into the Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom. The Northern Kingdom was known as Israel and the Southern Kingdom was known as Judah. The Northern Kingdom was comprised of ten tribes, one of which was Ephraim.
Manasseh and Ephraim were the sons of Joseph. When Joseph died, Jacob adopted Manasseh and Ephraim as his own, thus making them two of the tribes of Israel. The tribe of Ephraim was known for complaining against both the judges of Gideon and Jephthah. The conflict with Gideon ended peacefully, but the conflict with Jephthah resulted in the death of 42,000 Ephraimites. The tribe of Ephraim, led by Jeroboam, led the revolt resulting in a divided kingdom and Jeroboam becoming the first king of the Northern Kingdom.
Hosea, as well as other prophets, commonly refer to the Northern Kingdom as Ephraim. This is a reflection of the fact that Ephraim was the most powerful of the tribes in the Northern Kingdom. Keep this in mind during today’s Scripture reading.
Review: Last week we were introduced to the prophet Amos. God gave Amos a vision of how He was going to destroy Israel because they worshipped false gods and ignored God’s commands. God showed Amos in the vision that He was going to send locusts and fire—but Amos begged God not to send the locusts and the fire, because the punishment would be too great. God then gave Amos a vision of a plumb line that He used to show that Israel did not measure up to His standard. Even though the book of Amos is filled with judgment against Israel, God did not leave them without hope.
What was God’s promise to Israel? One day Israel would be restored and returned to the land that God promised them many years before
Scripture Reading: Amos 7:1–16 and Amos 9:11–15. ****Reading God’s Word is the most important part of family worship. If you don’t have time to do anything else, be sure to do this section.
Talk: God instructed Hosea to marry Gomer even though she would be unfaithful and love others. In chapters 1–3 of Hosea, God is using Hosea’s life to symbolize Israel’s unfaithfulness to Him and what was going to happen to the people of Israel because of their sin.
Gomer and Hosea had three children. The first was a son named Jezreel. By giving him that name, God was saying that He was going to punish the reigning dynasty that had rebelled against His purpose and His plan. Later, two more children were born.
- What were the names of the other two children and what did their names mean?
Lo-Ruhamah means God will no longer show His love to Israel. Lo-Ammi means that God will no longer call Israel His people.
The prophet, Hosea, tells Israel why God is so upset with them. Hosea says there were three things that Israel was not doing and seven things they were doing.
- What was Israel not doing that they should have been doing? (see Hosea 4:1)
Israel had no faithfulness, no love, and no acknowledgement of God. What was Israel doing that they should not have been doing? (4:2) Israel was cursing, lying, murdering, stealing, committing adultery, breaking all bounds, and causing bloodshed.
- What warning does Hosea give the Israelites? (9:7–9)
Hosea warns Israel that because their sins are so many and their hostility is so great against God’s prophets, “God will remember their wickedness and punish them for their sin.”
- From the names God gave to Hosea’s children, we know that He is telling Israel that He has disowned them. How is the message in chapter 11 different than the message in chapter 1?
Chapter 1 was a vivid description of God’s anger and coming punishment against Israel. Chapter 11 is filled with God’s compassion and love for Israel as a father loves his child. God is filled with sorrow because of the actions of Israel.
- What does Hosea tell Israel to do in order to once again receive God’s blessing?
(14:1–2) “Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God . . . Say to him, ‘Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously’.”
- If Israel follows the advice of Hosea, what will be God’s response?
(14:4) “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.”
- Hosea 14:9 says, “The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them.” God is good and wants to lead us in the right direction because He loves us. God did a wonderful thing because He loves us so much: He sent His son, Jesus. Romans 5:8 tells us that even while we were still sinners, Jesus died for us. God still loved Israel even though they were sinning and had not turned to Him. Just as God told Israel that He would forgive them if they returned to Him, God will forgive us.
Pray: Using Romans 5:8, give God praise for His love. Thank God that we do not have to try and earn His love. Ask God
Do: Family Night – Ahead of time, cut out the Prophets pictures and staple them together to make a booklet. Answer the following questions and write your answers inside the prophet image of Hosea.
- What message did God have for His people?
- What judgment did God say He would send upon His people? 3. How did the people react?
- Was there any good news for the people?
Keep the booklet to answer the questions about each of the prophets as we study each one over the next few weeks. Amos is already completed for you.
(Vista Dublin lesson March 1st, Vista Worthington lesson March 15th)