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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 2: Love and Judgment: God's Dilemma (Hosea) *
Introduction: Have you ever seen someone who needed an attitude
adjustment? We consider what is going on, and make the judgment that
person's attitude is inappropriate for the situation. Let's turn our
judgment inward. Consider your attitude towards God. Could it use an
adjustment? I know that God has been working on my attitude for
decades. While I believe that my attitude has gotten significantly
better, I know I need further improvement! Let's plunge into our
continued study of Hosea to see what we can learn about improving our
attitude towards God!
- Who Will You Trust?
- Read Hosea 7:11 and Matthew 10:16. Is being dove-like a
good or bad thing? (Barnes' Notes tells us that an Eastern
proverb says, "There is nothing more simple than a dove."
In Hosea, the reference to being like a dove is not a
- Ephraim is a reference to God's people. Assyria and
Egypt are the great rival powers to the north and the
south. What are God's people doing? (Playing one
rival power against the other.)
- Why would Assyria and Egypt agree to such a
thing?(Assyria and Egypt are using the Northern
Kingdom of Israel to advance their own
interests. They do not care about God's
- What is wrong with taking advantage of the
rivalry of two great powers? Isn't that being
"as shrewd as snakes?"
- Why call God's people "easily deceived and
senseless?" (God's people are making the
mistake of making alliances with powers
that do not care about them, when they
could be making an alliance with God who
cares supremely about them.)
- Read Hosea 7:13-14. What is God's attitude towards His
people? (He longs to redeem them, but their rebellion puts
them on the path to destruction.)
- Notice the sentence "They do not cry out to me from
their hearts but wail upon their beds." What does
this say about the attitude of the people toward God?
(They don't call upon God because they love Him.
They call upon God because they are weak. They need
something. They want something.)
- What is your relationship with God? Do you trust money and
people instead of God? Do you turn to God only when you
are desperate and nothing else has worked?
- What is your relationship to God when things are
going well? Is it different than when things are
- Sowing and Reaping
- Read Hosea 10:12. Notice the two ways in which the word
"righteousness" is used. In the first reference it is
something that we plant, in the second it comes in showers
from God. Does this prove that when it comes to being
righteous, we do what we can and God makes up the rest?
- Read Romans 3:22-24. Where does this say that our
righteousness comes? (From faith in Jesus.)
- Our text in Romans doesn't say anything about
planting, plowing or any other work to obtain
righteousness. Should we explain this conflict
as an Old Testament/New Testament, Old
Covenant/New Covenant thing?
- Look again at Hosea 10:12. Does God only love those
who are righteous? Those who work for Him?
- If you say "No," then we have two serious
problems in Hosea 10:12. We have the idea that
we make ourselves righteous and we make
ourselves loved by God. How would you propose
to solve those problems?
- Read Galatians 6:7-10. Here is a reading from Galatians,
the heart of righteousness by faith. What does Galatians
say about behavior and blessings? (We need to keep two
concepts clear and distinct in our minds. When it comes
to salvation, we are saved by faith in Jesus alone.
However, when it comes to living, how we act makes a
difference. Why do you think God died over the law? It
would have been much easier for God to say, "Oops! Ate the
fruit? I'll adjust the rules, just try harder in the
future." Instead, He took sin and His law very seriously -
so seriously that it became a life or death matter for
- Why do you think God considers the law to be a life
or death matter? (It is because the law reflects the
character of God. It was given for our benefit.)
- Let's look again at Hosea 10:12 in light of our
discussion. Does it seem reasonable that the first part
of the verse teaches that if we obey, we will enjoy the
benefit of living in accord with the law? However, a time
is coming when God will shower righteousness on our
imperfect lives? (I think that is what the Bible means
- Read Hosea 10:13. How can we reap evil? (If we plant
wickedness, we will reap evil.)
- When Hosea writes about the "fruit of deception," of
what does this remind you? ( Genesis 3:4-6. Eve
disbelieved God and believed Satan. Eve thought that
she could "be like God" based on her own works.)
- What is the essence of the evil portrayed in Hosea
10:12? (Depending on your own strength. Depending on
your own resources.)
- Will You Remember?
- Read Hosea 11:1-3. Can a child recall who taught him to
walk? Can parents forget teaching their daughter to take
her first step?
- What is your memory of helping your child to walk?
(These are loving memories for the parents. The
children, however, are unlikely to remember this.)
- What do you think is God's point here? (He loved us
- Read Hosea 11:4-5. Should God's people remember Who
rescued them from Egyptian slavery?
- What do these verses in Hosea 11 teach us? (We might not
remember all of God's love to us, but we certainly have
seen dramatic evidence of His care. Regardless of what we
might remember, God has been continually faithful to us.)
- Look again at Hosea 11:2. How insulting is this to
God? How foolish is this for humans?
- Read Hosea 11:8-9. What is God's attitude toward judgment?
(He does not want to execute judgment. He certainly will
not execute judgment in a fit of anger.)
- Notice the reference to Admah and Zeboiim. Just in
case these are not part of your regular conversation,
read Deuteronomy 29:22-24. What happened to those two
- What does the fate of Admah and Zeboiim teach us
about God and judgment? (He will execute judgment,
but He does not want to do it.)
- What is the answer to the question in Deuteronomy
29:24? (Read Deuteronomy 29:25-26. The people trusted
and worshiped something other than God.)
- God's Goal For Us
- Read Hosea 14:1-3. What is God's goal for your life? (Our
sins are our downfall. So, God tells us that we need an
attitude adjustment. We need to confess our sins, and
trust God. We must turn away from trusting what our hands
- Who is eligible for God's help? (Even the most
powerless. For those who have no father, God will be
- This is the point where having (or being) great
parents makes a difference in our understanding of
God. How does looking at God as a substitute for our
parents change our attitude toward Him? (My father
and mother loved me absolutely. My father was also a
man who would execute judgment on bad behavior! The
fact that Dad could be a judge never caused me to
lose sight of his incredible love - a love that I
could trust absolutely!)
- Friend, God loves you absolutely. How can you offend Him
by trusting in other gods - your money, your job, your
abilities, your intelligence or things of this nature?
Why not confess the sin of mistrust, and determine to
trust only in God?
- Next week: A Holy and Just God (Joel).
* Copr. 2013, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.