VERSES: Hosea 1:1-14:9
MEMORY VERSE: Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Philemon. Write "Philemon" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class, so the students may take it home and memorize the name of the book.
PRAYER: May we thank God for our reasonable minds, our ability to read, and our access to a Bible.
SPECIAL SONG: Read, Read Every Day (see February - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog).
VISUAL AID: Make an Activity (see below).
- Hosea was a prophet of God who lived at the same time Isaiah lived and God's people were disobeying Him constantly. There were always a few people who were trying to live the way God wanted them to live, but the majority were disobedient. A prophet's job was to tell the people what God was telling him. He did not tell part of what God told him or just the parts that were good. A prophet of God always said exactly what God wanted him to say and was not afraid to say it, no matter the consequences. A prophet of God was very brave.
- Hosea's name means "salvation" and that is what he preached to the people. He warned the people that if they did not repent or turn from their wicked ways, then they would go into captivity. We have already learned that the books of the Bible, especially the prophets, were not written in chronological order, so Hosea was written back during the divided kingdom when there were kings of Israel like Jeroboam and kings of Judah like Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. We also have already learned that the people did not repent and they went into captivity, but at the time Hosea lived, they were living a life of prosperity. Things were good. They had food to eat, there were not too many wars, and, as we have studied before, when times were good, the people forgot God. They had not learned that God was serious about allowing the people to be captured, even though God's prophets were constantly telling the people to repent or they would go into captivity.
- Hosea, also, told the people that they were going to be destroyed because they had a lack of knowledge of God. This meant that they did not know anything about God, they did not want to learn of God and His ways, so God was going to reject them. The people had forgotten God, and, as a consequence of their sin, God was going to forget His children.
- Hosea's life and the words that he spoke illustrated a picture of the relationship that God had with his people. When times were tough, the people remembered how good God was to them and they would pray to Him, asking Him to help them. But, when times were good and they began to believe that they were the ones who were independent and could do things their own way, then they forgot God. God would then send something--a war, pestilence, famine--to remind the people that He was in control. It was a vicious cycle. That's how it was in Hosea's time. One important thing to remember: whenever the people repented, God always took them back.
- Hosea is considered a 'minor' prophet, not because he or his message is less important than any of the other prophets, but because he only wrote 14 chapters instead of 66 chapters like Isaiah or 52 chapters like Jeremiah.
- Hosea's life itself was an illustration of the people's refusal to obey God and went after other gods and false idols. He married a woman of ill-repute and throughout his life, she would be unfaithful, yet when she asked, he would take her back. This was just like God's people and their relationship to God!
- We need to study and learn more about God and His Word. Read Isaiah 5:13 and Matthew 22:29. There is a great danger in not studying and applying those things that we learn to our lives. God is so good to us. All He wants us to do is to obey Him.
- We need to remember that if we stray from God, there is a point where He gives up on us. Read Romans 1:18-32. We need to stay very close to God. (James 4:8)
Materials needed: 9" x 12" black construction paper, 8.5" x 11" white bond paper, scissors, crayons, markers, 12" of red ribbon, glue.
- Hand out black paper.
- Fold paper in half like a book. The fold is on the left side in this picture.
- Draw white lines on the folded black paper like this:
- Cut on white lines of black paper.
- Set aside.
- Hand out white paper.
- Fold white paper in half like a book. The fold is on the left side in the picture above.
- Draw same type lines on white paper.
- Cut black lines on white paper.
- Open both papers.
- Place white paper on top of black paper.
- Draw lines on white paper like this:
- Draw page lines on paper like this:
- On left side of white paper, write in red crayon: "HOSEA".
- Under HOSEA, write "Chapter 4." Underline it.
- Under chapter 4, write "6. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..."
- On right side of white paper, write in blue crayon: "MATTHEW."
- Under MATTHEW, write "Chapter 22." Underline it.
- Under Chapter 22, write "29. ...Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures..."
- Color page edges like this:
- Place a little bit of glue at the middle top of the Bible.
- Press red ribbon in glue.
- Optional: Fold Bible in half. Write "BIBLE" in the middle of the book in white crayon.