Study Questions: Beyond Crocodile Tears

Hosea 6: 1-11

This week’s questions:

1. Last week we determined that the Israelites were being punished because they did not ‘know’ (or rather failed to ‘acknowledge’) God. Chapter six begins with repentance (vv. 1-3). Now the people are acknowledging God in hopes that He might avert His indignation. When we speak of repenting, what is involved? Is it mere sorrow for sins we’ve committed? What, if any, actions are we to take?

2. Old Testament religious praxis involved bringing various sacrificial offerings to the spiritual leaders. These offerings were presented to God for varying reasons. To name a few, there were peace offerings, sin offerings and guilt offerings. The first seven chapters of Leviticus expound on the various offerings and what they were used for. Hosea 6: 6 says that God would rather His people demonstrate mercy and acknowledge Him as opposed to receive their burnt offerings. We may presume that the Israelites were ‘religiously’ bringing their offerings to the Lord. Why wasn’t God pleased with them? In what ways do we go through the motions, so to speak?

3. Verses seven through nine speak of places (Adam, Gilead and Shechem) where the Israelites broke covenant with God or were otherwise unjust in their dealings with people. Though spiritual adultery is the prevailing motif of Hosea’s prophecy, we see in these verses that there was injustice in the land as well. In what ways is there injustice in our city? What should Christians be praying for? Are there any practical ways we can help those who have felt the sting of injustice?

Note: Unlike the New Living Translation (NLT), some translations speak of the place called ‘Adam’ (v. 7). It is mentioned in Joshua 3: 16. The Bible doesn’t record how the Israelites specifically broke covenant with God at this location.

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