From a Deceiver to a Receiver

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Hosea 12:1-14. Let’s go!

To appreciate God’s message to the Israelites (and to us) in Hosea 12, you need to know something about Jacob, one of Israel’s forefathers and the man after whom the nation of Israel was named. Jacob’s life forms the backdrop to a lot of what Hosea 12 is talking about.

You see, Jacob lived much of his life thinking he had to scratch, claw and fight for everything he had. His approach toward all of life was “transactional”. Like a merchant, he was constantly striking deals with people, including when it came to finding a wife (v12), and even with God: “I’ll give you this, if you give me that.” As part of this, Jacob would often lie to get ahead, pretending to be someone that he was not. In this way Jacob lived up to his name, which means “deceiver”.

A Father’s Love Like No Other

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage, Hosea 11:1-12, contains one of the most tender descriptions of the father heart of God that you will find in the Bible.  Hosea 11 describes how God was like a loving father to His child Israel (also called Ephraim) (v1), how He taught Israel how to walk, carried Israel by the arms, took care of Israel’s needs without Israel even knowing (v3).  With cords of kindness and ties of love, this loving Father led Israel (v4), helped Israel when Israel was in trouble and humbly fed Israel (v4).

Yet Israel was rebellious toward this Father.  As verse 2 says, “the more I called Israel, the further they went from me.”  As verse 7 says, “My people are determined to turn from Me.” Wayward Israel seemed destined to keep following anyone other than their Heavenly Father. 

Who or What Are We Serving?

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Hosea 10:1-15. Let’s go!

Hosea 10:12-14 (NIV)
12 Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.
13 But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors,
14 the roar of battle will rise against your people, so that all your fortresses will be devastated– as Shalman devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle, when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children.

6 Results of Rebelling Against God

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Hosea 9:1-17.  Let’s go!

Here in verse 10 we see a picture of God as being so excited and overjoyed when He first chose the Israelites to be His people.

Hosea 9:10a (NIV) 
10 “When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your fathers, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree…

However, as we hear about over and over in the book of Hosea, the Israelites lived in persistent rebellion against God and repeatedly broke God’s heart.  

Are You Sowing the Wind?

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Hosea 8:1-14.  Let’s go!

Hosea 8:7 (NIV) 
7 “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind…”

What does it mean when verse 7 says, “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind”?  In this case “the wind” represents vain pursuits,  anything that doesn’t have any eternal value.  When I sow the wind, it means I’m chasing after vain things that don’t last.  Are you sowing the wind?

Two Crowds You Should Not Let Influence You Too Much

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Hosea 7:1-16.  Let’s go!

Hosea 7:1 (NIV) 
1 “Whenever I would restore the fortunes of my people, whenever I would heal Israel, the sins of Ephraim are exposed and the crimes of Samaria revealed. They practice deceit, thieves break into houses, bandits rob in the streets; 

On verses 1-2: These verses describe how every time God would restore and heal Israel, Israel (also known as Ephraim) would go back to its same old sins again.  Examples of those sins include crime, thievery, robbery (v1), lying (v3), adultery (v4), and one more sin we will describe below.   

Let’s Press On to Acknowledge the Lord

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Hosea 6:1-11.  Let’s go!

Hosea 6:1-2 (NIV) 
1 “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.
2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.

On verses 1-2:  For the rest of our lives on earth, we can be sure that whenever God allows us to go through difficulties or defeats, it’s not because He is cruel or indifferent.  It’s because His ultimate purpose is to revive us, to restore us, to make us stronger than we were before, and to know Him more intimately, “that we may live in His presence” (v2).

A New Spirit In You

Today’s passage is Hosea 5:1-15. Let’s go! Here are 3 short points to share with you from Hosea 5:1-15.
 
Hosea 5:3 (NIV)  I know all about Ephraim; Israel is not hidden from me. Ephraim, you have now turned to prostitution; Israel is corrupt. 
 
On verse 3:  In case you’re wondering who Ephraim is, Ephraim here is another name for the nation of Israel.  Ephraim was one of the 12 tribes of Israel, but later was often used by the Old Testament prophets to refer to Israel as a whole.

The Way God Sees You Now Because of Jesus

Hosea 4:1-2 (NIV)
1 Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites, because the LORD has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. 2 There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.

Here in Hosea 4 Joel describes the way God saw the people of Israel and their priests — as nothing but sinners (v1-2), given to unfaithfulness and idolatry (v12-13, v17), hurt and hurting one another, lovers of evil (v18), unsatisfied (v10), stubborn (v16), stumbling (v5), rejected by God (v6), and wasting away (v3). Let this chapter be a reminder that until Jesus Christ came and reversed our fortunes, Hosea 4 was our destiny too. If it were not for Jesus, Hosea 4 is a perfect description of how God would see us today.

3 Truths about God’s Love for You

Today’s passage is Hosea 3:1-5.  It contains a powerful lesson for us as we begin our fast together.  Open your Bible, click on the above Scripture link or check out your GAME booklet to read today’s passage.  Let’s go!

First, God’s love for you is unconditional (v1).  We see God’s unconditional love in verse 1 where it says “the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes” (v1).

To illustrate His unconditional love, God tells the prophet Hosea to love his wife, though she had cheated on him, with that same unconditional love: “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress.  Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites” (v1).