Hosea 4:1-6:3 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Unfaithful
Comments for Study 3

Hosea 4:1-6:3
Memory Verse: 4:1

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I. The General Charge (4:1-3)

>1. What was the charge in this legal divorce case against Israel? (1)

* Hosea 4:1 "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."

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>How does verse 2 expound on the case? (Exo. 19:4-8)

* Hosea 4:2 "There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed."

* Exodus 19:4-8 "'You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites." So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the LORD had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, "We will do everything the LORD has said." So Moses brought their answer back to the LORD."

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>Did their unfaithfulness only affect them? (3)

* Hosea 4:3 "Because of this the land mourns, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the fish of the sea are dying."

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II. Exchanging Glory for Disgrace (4:4-19)

>2. How did lack of Bible knowledge destroy them? (4-6a)

* Hosea 4:4-6a "But let no man bring a charge, let no man accuse another, for your people are like those who bring charges against a priest. You stumble day and night, and the prophets stumble with you. So I will destroy your mother-- my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge."

* Psalm 107:10-11 "Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains, for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High."

* John 8:31-32 "To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

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>What was the result? (6b)

* Hosea 4:6b "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children."

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>What did they exchange their Glory for? (7-8; Rom. 1:21-32)

* Hosea 4:7-8 "The more the priests increased, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their Glory for something disgraceful. They feed on the sins of my people and relish their wickedness."

* Romans 1:21-32 "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."

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>3. Will God show favoritism in judgment? (9; Rom. 2:5-11)

* Hosea 4:9 "And it will be: Like people, like priests. I will punish both of them for their ways and repay them for their deeds."

* Romans 2:5-11 "But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God "will give to each person according to what he has done." To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism."

* Romans 2:16 "This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares."

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>Is the punishment for sin only in the future? (10-11)

* Hosea 4:10-11 "They will eat but not have enough; they will engage in prostitution but not increase, because they have deserted the LORD to give themselves to prostitution, to old wine and new, which take away the understanding of my people."

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>What becomes clear about fallen man? (Rom. 3:19-20, 23)

* Romans 3:19-20 "Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin."

* Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"

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>4. What was the result of idol worship? (12-13)

* Hosea 4:12-13 "They consult a wooden idol and are answered by a stick of wood. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God. They sacrifice on the mountaintops and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar and terebinth, where the shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution and your daughters-in-law to adultery."

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>What do people without understanding do? (14)

* Hosea 4:14 "I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes-- a people without understanding will come to ruin!"

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>How contagious is sin? (15)

* Hosea 4:15 "Though you commit adultery, O Israel, let not Judah become guilty. "Do not go to Gilgal; do not go up to Beth Aven. And do not swear, 'As surely as the LORD lives!'"

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>5. What was their heart condition? (16)

* Hosea 4:16-18 "The Israelites are stubborn, like a stubborn heifer. How then can the LORD pasture them like lambs in a meadow? Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone! Even when their drinks are gone, they continue their prostitution; their rulers dearly love shameful ways."

* Zechariah 7:12-14 "They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry. "'When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,' says the LORD Almighty. 'I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land was left so desolate behind them that no one could come or go. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.'"

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>What will be the result? (19)

* Hosea 4:19 "A whirlwind will sweep them away, and their sacrifices will bring them shame."

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>What can be learned about spiritual backsliding and laziness?

* Proverbs 6:9-11 "How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest-- and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man."

* Jesus' parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) is a far warning to us.

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III. Judgment Against Israel (5:1-15)

>6. What does "a snare at Mizpah, a net spread out on Tabor" mean?

* Hosea 5:1 "Hear this, you priests! Pay attention, you Israelites! Listen, O royal house! This judgment is against you: You have been a snare at Mizpah, a net spread out on Tabor."

* "a snare at Mizpah" -A snare was a device used to catch animals.

* "a net spread out on Tabor" -A net was used to catch fish.

* The leaders used economic and legal means to cruel advantage of innocent people. (Job 18:8-10; Psalm 140:5; Proverbs 29:5; Lam. 1:13)

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>Did their actions go unnoticed? (2-3)

* Hosea 5:2-3 "The rebels are deep in slaughter. I will discipline all of them. I know all about Ephraim; Israel is not hidden from me. Ephraim, you have now turned to prostitution; Israel is corrupt."

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>How do people misunderstand when the Lord is slow to punish?

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>7. Why might the Lord withdraw himself from them? (4-7)

* Hosea 5:4-7 "Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the LORD. Israel's arrogance testifies against them; the Israelites, even Ephraim, stumble in their sin; Judah also stumbles with them. When they go with their flocks and herds to seek the LORD, they will not find him; he has withdrawn himself from them. They are unfaithful to the LORD; they give birth to illegitimate children. Now their New Moon festivals will devour them and their fields."

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>8. Why should the trumpet? (8-9, 11-12)

* Hosea 5:8-9 "Sound the trumpet in Gibeah, the horn in Ramah. Raise the battle cry in Beth Aven; lead on, O Benjamin. Ephraim will be laid waste on the day of reckoning. Among the tribes of Israel I proclaim what is certain."

* Hosea 5:11-12 "Ephraim is oppressed, trampled in judgment, intent on pursuing idols. I am like a moth to Ephraim, like rot to the people of Judah."

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>What does it mean to move boundary stones?

* Hosea 5:10 "Judah's leaders are like those who move boundary stones. I will pour out my wrath on them like a flood of water."

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>9. What foolish thing did Ephraim do? (13; 2 Kings 15:17-20, 17:3-6)

* Hosea 5:13 "When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his sores, then Ephraim turned to Assyria, and sent to the great king for help. But he is not able to cure you, not able to heal your sores."

* 2 Kings 15:17-20 In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah, Menahem son of Gadi became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria ten years. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD. During his entire reign he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit. Then Pul king of Assyria invaded the land, and Menahem gave him a thousand talents of silver to gain his support and strengthen his own hold on the kingdom. Menahem exacted this money from Israel. Every wealthy man had to contribute fifty shekels of silver to be given to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria withdrew and stayed in the land no longer."

* 2 Kings 17:3-6 "Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up to attack Hoshea, who had been Shalmaneser's vassal and had paid him tribute. But the king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was a traitor, for he had sent envoys to So king of Egypt, and he no longer paid tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore Shalmaneser seized him and put him in prison. The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege to it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes."

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>What was promised?

* Hosea 5:14 "For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, like a great lion to Judah. I will tear them to pieces and go away; I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them."

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>What is the Lord waiting for? (15)

* Hosea 5:15 "Then I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me."

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IV. Return to the Lord (6:1-3)

>10. What will eventually happen to Ephraim?

* Hosea 6:1 "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."

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>When?

* Hosea 6:2 "After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence."

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>Will Jesus come to those who call on him? (3)

* Hosea 6:3 "Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."

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