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Week 7- Lesson Objective

By the end of the lesson, we will:

ANALYZE the need to confess and be forgiven. 
SENSE that although God is displeased when we sin, He forgives and restores us when we truly repent.

ASK God to forgive us for any known sin of acting callously or selfishly.

Assignment #1- Watch the Opening Video
Instructions: Watch the opening video then click the GO button below to answer the opening reflection question.  Be sure to add your name to your answer.

Keep in Mind

“Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a

controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth,

nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land” (Hosea 4:1, KJV).

Assignment #2- Focal Scriptures and Background Text

Instructions: Read the Focal Scriptures and Background text, then click the GO button below to answer the questions. 


The prophet Hosea wrote the book of Hosea around 715 B.C. and recorded events that took place between 753 and 715 B.C. Hosea’s prophetic years spanned the reigns of Uzziah through Hezekiah as kings of Judah. Jeroboam II was the first of seven kings of Israel during this time, all of whom were wicked and promoted oppression of the poor, increased taxation, and idolatry with no regard for God. Because of political turmoil, the kings turned to foreign alliances. They had illicit relationships with Assyria and Egypt in an effort to bolster their military might. Israel became subject to Assyria and was required to pay tribute, and the Assyrians robbed Israel of her resources. After Samaria fell in 722 B.C., Israel went into captivity.

When Hosea prophesied, the people were greedy. The Children of Israel had accepted and were practicing the idolatry and immoral behavior of the Canaanites who surrounded them. They were unfaithful to God. God sustained Israel through agriculture, but there was an economic crisis due to Israel’s sinfulness. Thanks to God’s covenant agreement, Israel had provisions of grain, oil, clothing, and wool. Although God provided, Israel stepped outside the covenant relationship and worshiped other gods, including Baal, giving these other gods credit for providing them with gold and silver. The Israelites ignored the fact that these other gods were false. Instead, they attempted to combine God and Baal to receive all the benefits of a good harvest. God, through Hosea, let His people know that they needed to turn from their wicked ways and turn back to Him.

The People, Places, and Times

Hosea-The name Hosea means “salvation.” Hosea served from 753 to 715 B.C. as a prophet to the northern kingdom of Israel. He came to be called a “minor” prophet due to the relatively short length of his prophetic book. Hosea was obedient to God’s directive to marry a whore, Gomer, who was unfaithful to him and would cause him many headaches and heartaches. Hosea’s marriage to Gomer is a picture of the relationship between a faithful God and an unfaithful Israel. It illustrates the love of a merciful but jealous God for His sinful people.

Gomer-Gomer was Hosea’s unfaithful wife, the daughter of Diblaim. According to the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary, the name Gomer comes from a Hebrew term signifying “lump or double cakes of figs and raisins.” Some theologians believe that the name is figurative, i.e., “Gomer, the daughter of raisin cakes,” meaning that she was wholly given up to her harlotry since raisin cakes were used in certain fertility cult rites (457). She was also the mother of Jezreel, Lo-ruhamah, and Lo-ammi (the second and third children may not have been Hosea’s). As Gomer violated her sacred vows of marriage to Hosea, so did Israel act toward God.

Assignment #3-Search the Scripture and Discuss Meaning
Instructions: After you have watched the lesson video and reviewed the focal verses, click the GO button below to answer the questions.

                                   More Light on the Text

Hosea 4:1–4; 7:1–2; 12:8–9

1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.

This chapter opens with a “call to attention” from the prophet. It has to do with God’s lawsuit against His people Israel, because of their failure to keep the terms of their covenant with Him. The word “controversy” (Heb. rib, reeb, meaning “dispute, quarrel, case at law, or charge”) in this context implies a violation or abuse of the terms of the covenant, which was founded on the principles of an intimate relationship like a marriage covenant. Given this unhappy situation, the Lord summoned His people to understand the reason why He was so concerned for them. They had created for themselves a bad situation by committing evil deeds. God brought a case against His own people. Truth, mercy, and knowledge were qualities that should have been the fruit of covenant faithfulness. Israel should have exhibited these qualities as manifestations of God’s grace, but she took them for granted. The lack of these qualities resulted in untrustworthiness and infidelity. However, God called this lack to the Israelites’ attention because these attitudes and actions were inconsistent with His nature and character.

God loves the sinner but hates sin. The obvious lesson to be learned from this fact is that no matter how far or deep one thinks he or she has gone into sin, it is important to realize that God does not readily give up on His children. His grace and love reach out to even the vilest sinner who has lived in the prison of evil or disobedience all of his or her life (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8–10). The depth, length, width, and height of one’s sin cannot surpass the capacity of God’s saving grace. However, it is important to understand that this theological truth does not give sinners the freedom to callously continue in sin. God’s love and mercy call us to repent in order to receive forgiveness from Him, but He will take us to task when we take His graciousness for granted (Hebrews 10:26–30; 6:3–6).

2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.

Some people wrongly think that just a “little sin” is not too serious an offense against God or a fellow human. Sin is always sin, and God will punish it if there is no repentance. However, there is enough evidence in both the Scriptures and human history to teach us valuable lessons.

The “little” sinful habits and attitudes that people take for granted can become “big” having serious and damaging results for individuals and society (James 1:13–15).

The Hebrew word translated “break out,” parats (paw-rats), means “to break through, burst out (from the womb or an enclosure), or breach.” It suggests an outbreak of sin on an epidemic scale. Violent and bloody crimes were all too prevalent among God’s people. When the people failed to repent of their “first sins” and turn to God for forgiveness and restoration, it led to breaking the covenant. The Bible teaches that by our arrogance and hardness of heart, we fail to submit to the convictions or dealings of God’s Spirit. As a result, we slide down into the “deep waters” of sin. The fact is that we as believers may still fall into sin by yielding to temptation (1 John 1:8–10; 1 Corinthians 10:12–13). However, we should promptly seek God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness through confession and repentance. Failure to repent incurs God’s judgment since we are all accountable for our own words and actions. We need to rely on God’s Holy Spirit as children of God’s divine covenant of grace to help us live in ways that please Him.

3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

The consequence of Israel’s sin was that God judged her. Both individuals’ lives and environmental conditions were negatively affected. The Hebrew word translated “mourn,” ‘abal (aw-BAL), means “to mourn or lament.” The Hebrew word translated “languish,” amal (aw-MAL), means “to be weak, droop, or be exhausted.” These words express both the spiritual and physical consequences of God’s judgment upon Israel because of her failure to repent of her sin. The effect of sin on people who are arrogantly living in ways contrary to God’s perfect will can be devastating in many areas of their lives. When the first humans committed sin in the Garden of Eden, it affected them personally and environmentally (Genesis 3:15–24). The sins of individuals, families, and nations can have multiple direct or indirect effects on the social, spiritual, material, and economic situations of people. From the text, it is evident that God had a case against Israel because they had committed evil and abomination without repentance. God’s judgment on them affected everything, including plants and animals.

According to the biblical worldview, everything we treasure has Almighty God as its source. Sin can deceive God’s people into thinking that everything they possess or aspire to have in their lives can be acquired or achieved irrespective of their lifestyles. If we understand the principles of God’s Word and the dealings of His Spirit, we should always keep in mind that God is the ultimate source—not only of what we have but of who we are. Our vocation and identity are found in God. We should never allow anything or anybody to stand between us and our covenant relationship with God. God has the power and ability to take away everything we have acquired in this life if we do not continue walking with Him in holiness and integrity.

4 Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest.

Israel’s decision to prostitute themselves by following the evil leadership of King Jeroboam and paying tribute at the sanctuary in Bethel in the northern kingdom was greatly abhorred by God. This sanctuary symbolized the “heart and mind” of the nation’s apostasy. Their state of apostasy represented an abuse of the grace God had lavished on them as His unique covenant people. It was the task of Israel’s leaders to lead God’s people in a way that prepared them to worship and serve God according to His perfect will. Whenever they failed in this task, the result was spiritual and social strife in the entire society. The nature and character of God does not permit consistent sin to continue forever. He judges ALL who walk in disobedience and ALL who mislead others.

7:1 When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood; and the thief cometh in, and the troop of robbers spoileth without.

Because God is holy and righteous, He not only rewards obedience but punishes evil. Yet He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy and compassion on whom He will have compassion (Exodus 33:19). God would have healed Israel and restored her to Himself. But the sins of the northern kingdom (represented by Ephraim) were exposed. These crimes were most blatant in Samaria, the capital city. God declared judgment on the people of the northern kingdom for their attitude and behavior. The temptation was to assume that because God was not acting promptly against their wrongdoings, He approved of or did not really care about their sins.

2 And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face.

God’s patience should not be mistaken as weakness on His part. God is omniscient; He knows all things. He is also omnipotent, or allpowerful. He rightly claims in this verse that He “remembers all their wickedness” in the land. God’s judgment can be instant, progressive, or come in the future. In any case, God WILL judge sin. The nature and scope of sin is such that its perpetrators cannot escape God’s justice (see Romans 1:18). However, when we confess our sins and repent, God promises to forgive and restore us. True repentance is not mere mental assent, but a sincere change of heart and spirit (1 John 1:8–9). It is important to remember that “it is with your heart that you believe and are justified” (Romans 10:10, NIV). Let us not be like those who “consider not in their hearts,” but let us always search our hearts to make sure we are true to our covenant relationship with God. Let us, therefore, not be beset by sins and wrongdoings as were Ephraim and Samaria.

12:8 And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin.

Ephraim boasted in her prosperity in the midst of living in sin. The phrase “become rich” in the orthodox Hebraic sense speaks of advancement, growth, or maturity into a better, higher-quality life. However, the inhabitants of the northern kingdom were attempting to justify their evil deeds by their prosperity. They foolishly and arrogantly began to sing of and celebrate their so-called achievements, which had resulted from evil and injustice. Arrogant attitudes and oppression of the poor characterized Israel’s society, yet they expected God to preserve this unjust status quo.

Similar situations exist today. Many who claim to be Christians exhibit behavior similar to that of the northern kingdom of Israel. We are called to test all things and to hold fast to what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:15). The experience of the northern kingdom teaches us that whatever we desire to have must be acquired ethically and with integrity. We should choose the right means to achieve our end.

9 And I that am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast.

The Israelites had an arrogant sense of self-sufficiency because they had forgotten that it was God who had shown them mercy, choosing them as His special people from among the nations. They had also forgotten that He had delivered them with His mighty hand when they were slaves in Egypt, had provided for them supernaturally in the wilderness to meet their needs, and had defended them against other nations that were stronger than themselves. They were boastful about their own abilities as they worshiped false gods. Now God would take away their prosperity and make them live in tents again, just as they had done after the exodus from Egypt in the days of their “solemn feasts.” In other words, they would go into captivity. Yet God would graciously provide for them as He had in the wilderness.

Among the solemn feasts was the Feast of Tabernacles—a joyful reminder of God’s blessing and generosity. The Israelites were to remember that even when God chastised them, He also displayed His grace. Likewise, we should always rely on the Lord as our sufficiency, wherever we find ourselves in this pilgrimage of faith. Let us also remember that He is our God and we are His people. We must commit ourselves to obey and faithfully serve Him in all circumstances.

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