This fall Women’s Ministry studied the Old Testament book of Hosea. The story that begins with a man (Hosea) who takes a prostitute for a wife and an entire nation that is unfaithful to God. Even though God had given power, provision, and a perfect plan for both,the wife returns to prostitution; and Israel falls for the forgery, fallacy, and failure of the world’s offerings. This breaks God’s heart. The book of Hosea is unique in that we become privy to the internal dialogue of God as he is in anguish over their choice to go their own way.
As we read and study God’s words, it naturally leads to examining our own responses to God’s provision and plans. Are we like the prostitute who doubts our worth and returns to past sins? Are we like Israel who worships idols that falsely promise a better life? If we are honest with ourselves, we find that we are. And the more deeply we begin to understand the graveness of our sin, the more fully we can experience God’s mercy and love.
Through vivid imagery and poetry, the book of Hosea goes on to illustrate God’s beautiful grace. Hosea buys his wife, Gomer, back out of prostitution and makes a marriage covenant with her. In return for Israel’s unfaithfulness and rejection,God offers his forgiveness and a promise to make a way to be in a right relationship with him. The whole story is a beautiful prophecy pointing directly to the coming of Jesus.
Again, we look at ourselves in the context of this story, and we realize that if we are Gomer, and we are Israel, then we too can experience God’s beautiful forgiveness. We too have a promise. In Revelation, we are promised that Jesus is coming to redeem us as his bride one final time. There is no sin that can ever separate us from our faithful redeemer.
This small book, tucked back in the minor prophet pages of the Bible, is a HUGE story. This study brought it to life for me. My understanding of God’s love has grown deeper and I find myself loving God and others more deeply because of it.
If you were not able to join us this fall, but would like to do the study on your own, you can email Mandy at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase the workbook and watch the teaching videos.
Women’s Bible Study Co-leader
Tricia manages the flow of information at CFC, creates written content, and assists ministries in communication efforts. Tricia has attended and served at CFC since 1997 in the areas of Children’s Ministry, Capital Stewardship, Hospitality, and Women’s Ministry. A graduate of Penn State, she has 7 years in sales experience and 10 years in marketing at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co. She is excited to use what she has learned in the corporate setting to serve God and His church. Tricia, her husband Mark, and three boys, Avery, Andrew, and Aaron live in Lancaster.