Gomer—13 Study Points for Bible Study November 21, 2015

Key Scriptures: Hosea 1-3                                 

Supporting Scriptures: Genesis 22:17

1. Her Character: Though a married woman, she carried on numerous affairs, crediting her lovers for the gifts her husband had given her. (1; pg. 139)

 

2. God’s Instructions: Hosea 1:2a—“… the Lord said to him (Hosea) Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness,…”

 

3. God’s Explanation: Hosea 1:2b—“.….because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord”.

 

4. Obedience required: Hosea 1:3a—“So he married Gomer…”

 

5. God’s Wrath:

A. Hosea 1:3b—“she conceived and bore him a son. Then the Lord said to Hosea, call him Jezreel, because…I will put  an end to the kingdom  of Israel. ”

NOTE: NIV footnote 1:4—Jezreel means “God scatters”

B. Hosea 1:6—“Gomer conceived again….Then the Lord said to Hosea , call her Lo-Ruhamah, for I will no longer show love to the house of Israel that I should at all forgive  them.

NOTE: NIV footnote 1:6—“The naming represents a reversal of the love (compassion) that God had earlier shown to Israel.”

C. Hosea 1:8a-9—“…Gomer had another son. Then the Lord said, call him Lo-Ammi, for you are not my people, and I am not your God.”

NOTE: NIV footnote 1:9— “The name represents a break in the covenant relationship between the Lord and Israel, which later, however, would be restored. The warnings became more severe in moving from the first to the third child.”

 

6. Israel’s Disobedience: Hosea 2:4— “Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, I will go after my lovers, who gave me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink”

NOTE: Here Hosea’s relationship with Gomer is symbolic of God’s relationship with Israel. The Israelites had been unfaithful by worshiping other gods and attributing their blessings and prosperity to those false gods, not the Lord who was the true source.

 

7. God’s Promise: Discipline Not Destruction: Hosea 1:10-11— “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God’. The people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited and they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.”

NOTE: NIV footnote 1:10-11— “The threatened punishment would be for a limited time, and a period of blessing wouldfollow. The Israelites being like “sand on the seashore” refers back to God’s promise to Abraham (Gen. 22:17): “I will surely bless you and make your decendants….as the sand on the seashore.” The break in the covenant relationship signified by the name of the third child, Lo-Ammi, (for you are not my people) changes to ‘sons of the living God’. Also, the meaning of the first child’s name, ‘God scatters’ is reversed with Judah and Israel being reunited.”

 

8. God’s Punishment:

A. Hosea 2:2; 4— “Rebuke your mother, rebuke her, for she is not my wife and I am not her husband…I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery”.

B. Hosea 2: 6-13—“Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I  will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,…therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine; I will stop all her celebrations, her New Moons, her Sabbath days—all her appointed feasts. I will ruin her vines and her fig trees…I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals…and went after her lovers, but me she forgot, declares the Lord”.

NOTE: Israel’s disobedience by worshiping Baal and other gods brought dire consequences including separation from God and loss of blessings. During the period of Exile, all celebrations would be stopped (see NIV footnote 2:11) “in exile those joyous seasons  would be only a memory”.

 

9. Israel’s Repentance: Hosea 2:7b—“Then she will say, I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.”

NOTE: NIV footnote 2:7— “go back-The Hebrew for this expression often means ‘repent’; my husband –The Lord”.

 

10. God’s Forgiveness: Hosea 3:3a— “Then I told her, you are to live with me many days;….and I will live with you.”

NOTE: Hosea forgives Gomer and takes her back into his home, as God forgives Israel.

 

11. Repentance Necessitates Change: Hosea 3: 3b— “you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man.”

NOTE: Gomer’s behavior must change to signify sincere repentance. The same holds true for Israel.

 

12 God’s Restoration: Hosea 2:14-15; 18b; 19-20; 21a; 23 “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. …give her back her vineyards, and make the valley of Achor (trouble) a door of hope. There she will sing as in the day she came up out of Egypt…. Bow and sword and  battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever… in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.…in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord”.  In that day, I will respond, declares the Lord…I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one’. I will say to those called ‘Not my people, ‘ You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.”

 

13. God’s Ultimate Desire-Reconciliation

A. Hosea 3:1—“The Lord said to me, Go show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites,”

NOTE: NIV footnote 3:1— “Hosea’s love for unfaithful Gomer illustrates God’s love for unfaithful Israel.”

B. Hosea 3:2— “So I bought her for fifteen shekels of  silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.”

NOTE: In spite of Gomer’s unfaithfulness, Hosea was willing to pay a price for her return to him. God also was willing to pay a price for His beloved people as shown in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…”.

C. Hosea 3:5— “Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their King. They will come trembling to the Lord and to His blessings in the last days.”

NOTE: NIV footnote 3:5— “Israel’s repentance is envisioned, the reverse of her present stubborn rebellion.”

 

  1. Women of The Bible; 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups; Jean E. Syswerda
  2. The NIV Study Bible; Zondervan Edition 1985
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   The Widow of Zarephath – 14 Key Points for Bible Study October 17, 2015

Key Scriptures: I Kings 17:8-24; Luke 4: 25-26

Supporting Scriptures: I Kings 17:1-7; Ex.16:4, 8a; Jer. 1:5; Is. 55:8; Phil. 4:6; I John 5:14b

Her Character: “A foreigner facing starvation, she showed extraordinary hospitality to one of God’s prophets, providing a safe harbor for him”.  (2; pg. 123)

  1. GOD’S OMNISCIENCE

I Kings 17:1—“… As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives,

whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”

  1. WE CAN STAND ON GOD’S PROMISES

I Kings 17:4— “You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there”.

I Kings 17:5-6— “So he did what the Lord had told him…the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook”.

NOTE: When Going Thru Remember What God Has Already Done

See Exodus 16: 4, 8a—–“Then the Lord said to Moses, I will rain down bread from heaven for you….you will know it was the Lord when He gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning,..”

  1. GOD IS ALWAYS AT WORK AND CAN USE ANYONE

I Kings 17: 7-9— “…later the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land…Then the word of the Lord came to him: Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.”

NOTE: EVEN UNBELIEVER’S CAN BE USED BY GOD

# 1: See NIV Footnote I Kings 17:9—Zarephath was a coastal town in the territory ruled by Jezebel’s father, Ethbaal. God sent Elijah to the area where Baal worship was predominant. The widow was therefore from a pagan nation and completely outside of God’s own people.

#2: See Luke 4:25-26 (Jesus said) “I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time….yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon.”

NIV footnote Luke 4:26-27—“Jesus’ point was that when Israel rejected God’s messenger of redemption (Elijah), God sent him to the Gentiles.”

  1. WE MUST WALK BY FAITH

I Kings 17:10— “So he went to Zarephath”.

  1. FAITH REQUIRES OBEDIENCE

I Kings 17:10b-11—“…..a widow was there…he asked… would you bring me a little water in a jar…and bring me, please, a piece of bread.”

NOTE: ELIJAH FOLLOWED GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS BY APPROACHING THE WIDOW.

  1. GOD IS ALWAYS WITH US

I Kings 17: 12a— “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, (NIV Footnote I Kings 5:7—-“in polytheistic Cultures, it was common practice for the people of one nation to recognize the deities of another nation”.

I Kings 17:12b—“I don’t have any bread only a handful of  flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug….to take home and  make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die”.

NOTE: NO MATTER THE SITUATION, SEEMINGLY GOOD OR BAD, LOOK FOR GOD IN IT—HE IS THERE!

“When Elijah came and asked the widow for bread, it appeared as though he were asking her to give up the last food she had for herself and her son. Actually, he provided her with sustenance that would last until the famine was over”. (2; pg. 124)

Often when we are in the midst of crisis, we can only see the immediate. As believers, we must stand on faith, trust and know that God has the answer.

  1. BOLDLY SHARE GOD WITH OTHERS

I Kings 17:13-14—“Elijah said..don’t be afraid..make a small cake of bread for me..then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord God of Israel says: The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land.”

  1. OBEDIENCE BRINGS REWARDS

I Kings 17: 15—“She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.”

THOUGHT QUESTION: WHY DO YOU THINK THE WIDOW DID AS ELIJAH INSTUCTED?

  1. GOD’S PROMISES ARE ALWAYS FULFILLED

I Kings 17: 16— “For the jar of flour was not used up and

the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.

  1. GOD KNOWS

I Kings 17:17— “Sometime later, the son of the woman

….became ill….and finally stopped breathing.

NOTE: SEE JER. 1:5— “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you”.

  1. SHOULD WE QUESTION GOD?

I Kings 17:18b—“She said to Elijah…did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son”.

I Kings 17:20— “he (Elijah) cried out to the Lord…have you brought tragedy also upon this widow…by causing her son to die?”

NOTE: Is 55:8—“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

  1. TAKE EVERYTHING TO GOD IN PRAYER

I Kings 17:21—“Then he…. cried to the Lord, O Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him”.

NOTE: Phil. 4:6—“Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”.

  1. GOD LISTENS

I Kings 17:22—“The Lord heard Elijah’s cry and the boy’s life returned to him and he lived…..He gave him to his mother and said look your son is alive”.

NOTE: I John 5:14b—“….if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us”.

  1. GODS WANTS A PERSONAL, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH US

I Kings 17:24—“Then the woman said to Elijah, NOW I KNOW that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth”.

  1. NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1995
  2. Women of The Bible, 52 Bible Studies For Individuals And Groups,

Jean E. Syswerda, Zondervan 1999

What Does Sharing Everything for God Mean to You?

Acts:3:1-16; Acts 4:1-32

As we navigate through this earthly life, we need constant communication with our God. As believers, the Holy Spirit lives within to guide, support and comfort. We also have the Word of God, wherein we can find answers and instructions for all life’s questions. Let us always go the Word and meditate on what THE BIBLE REVEALS.

  1. THE STORY UNFOLDS: Acts 3:1-10

A crippled man who routinely lay at the temple gate called Beautiful, saw Peter and John one day and as always begged for alms/money.  Peter’s reply to him was:

Acts3:6—- “silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk”. NOTE: The man healed began to run, jump and praise God. Others saw and recognized him as the crippled beggar. “They were all filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened”. (Acts 3:10b)

2. HOW HEALING CAME: Acts 3:13,16

The people watching while astonished were also perplexed. Peter addressed their surprise and their questioning stares and said:

Acts 3: 13—- “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers has glorified His servant Jesus”.

Acts 3:16—– “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.

3. PETER AND JOHN ARRESTED: Acts 4:1-4

As usual, the religious rulers were upset the disciples were gathering so many people and preaching about Jesus. The disciples were arrested and held overnight for court the following day.

Acts 4:3—-“They seized Peter and John and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day”. NOTE: see footnote 4:3—No judgements conducted during  evening hours.

4. HIGH PRIEST QUESTION PETER AND JOHN’S AUTHORITY

Peter and John were brought before the high priest at the Sanhedrin Council the next day and asked:

Acts 4:7—- “by what power or what name did you do this”

5. PETER’S RESPONSE:

Acts 4:10 —“then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead that this man stands before you healed”.

Acts 4:12—- “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved”.

6. OFFICIALS STUMPED/SATAN AGAIN DEFEATED:

Acts 4: 14—- “but since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.

7. OFFICIALS DEMAND/DISICPLES STAND FIRM

The Demand— Acts 4:15-18 “So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin…. to stop this thing….to speak no longer to anyone in this name”.

Peter and John’s stand—Acts 4: 19-20 “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard”.

8. GOD CAN USE ANYONE TO FULFILL HIS PLAN, EVEN UNBELIEVERS

Acts 4:21—- “….they let them go. They could not decide how to  punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened”.

9.THE BELIEVERS’S PRAYER: ACTS 4: 23-32

Peter and John returned to their people and reported all that had happened. Everyone then raised their voices together in prayer.

Acts 4:29—-  “….enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus”.

NOTE: ALL PRAYED TO CONTINUE TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT JESUS AND DO GOD’S WILL. WHAT IS YOUR PRAYER LIFE LIKE? 

10. GOD’S PLAN CANNOT BE ALTERED—THE CRUCIFIXION

Acts 4:28—The people prayed….. “They did what your power and will had decided before hand should happen”. NOTE: see footnote Acts 4:28—“Not that God had compelled them to act as they did, (the Crucifixion) but he willed to use them and their freely chosen acts to accomplish His   saving purpose”.

NOTE: REMEMBER GOD IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL

11. GOD’S PURPOSE FULFILLED

Acts 4:31—- “after they prayed…..they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly”.

NOTE: IS YOUR PURPOSE IN LINE WITH GOD’S?

12. Acts 4:32—- “all the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had”.

NOTE: SCRIPTURE INDICATES THE PEOPLE SHARED PERSONAL POSSESSIONS. WHAT DOES SHARING EVERYTHING FOR GOD MEAN TO YOU?

Thelma Bruce

Hannah—14 Key Points for Bible Study August 15th, 2015

Our lesson comes from I Samuel 1:1-2:11; 2:19-21

Supporting Scriptures—Gen. 16:2; Gen. 18:13-14; 29:30; 29:31; 30:1-3, 22-23; Num. 8: 23-26

  1. Hannah, her name means “Graciousness or Favor”. (2; pg. 83)
  2. Her character: “Provoked by another woman’s malice, she refused to respond in kind. Instead, she poured out her hurt and sorrow to God, allowing Him to vindicate her”. (2; pg. 83)
  3. There was a certain man… whose name was Elkanah…. He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none. (1; 1: 1-2)
  4. Yearly Elkanah went to worship and sacrifice to the Lord as required. He gave portions of the meat to Peninnah and all her children. “ But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb”.  (1; 1:3-5) NIV Footnote 1:5—“The Lord gives and withholds children”.                                        NOTE: Compare Elkanah’s love for Hannah to Jacob and Rachael. (Gen.29:30)
  5. Hannah was deeply grieved by her barren condition.                                                       NOTE: In Israelite culture it was the woman’s duty to bare children, especially sons. (2; pg. 84; parag. 2-3)  Also, children were seen as a blessing from God and infertility as a curse. (Gen. 18:13-14; 29:31; 30:1-2; 22-23)
  6. Elkanah loved Hannah deeply and was greatly disturbed by her grief.  Elkanah said to her, “Hannah why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted?   Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” (1; 1:8)
  7. On one occasion when in the temple in Shiloh, Hannah was observed by Eli, the priest, as she began to cry out to the Lord expressing her utmost pain and sorrow because of her infertility. She then made a vow to the Lord, “if you will only…..give your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life and no razor will ever be used on his head”. (1; 1:11) NIV Footnote 1:11—Hannah’s vow goes above and   beyond. The normal period of service for Levites was age 25-50 years. (see Num. 8:23-26)                                                                                                                                            WHY WAS HANNAH CONSIDERED A WOMAN OF FAITH? (2; pg. 84 parag. 5)  HOW DID SHE DIFFER FROM SARAH AND RACHAEL? (Gen 16:2; 30:3)
  8. Eli observed Hannah’s mouth moving, but heard no words. Thinking she was drunk, he confronted her. Hannah assured him she had had neither wine nor beer, but had been praying to the Lord out of “great anguish and grief”. (1; 1:16)
  9. Hannah’s outlook and demeanor changed immediately. She said, “may your servant find favor in your eyes. Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast”. (1; 1:18b)                                                                                    WHAT CHANGED ABOUT HANNAH AND WHY?                                                        Eli responded, “go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of Him”. (1; 1:17)
  10. Elkanah and Hannah were together and she conceived and bore a son.  “She named him Samuel  saying, “because I asked the Lord for him”. (1; 1:19-20)
  11. After weaning the child ( NIV Footnote 1:22—about 3 years) Hannah took him to the temple as she had vowed to the Lord, “the boy ministered before the Lord under Eli the priest”. (1; 2:11)                                                                                                      NOTE: Compare to Jochebed’s actions with the baby Moses. ( Ex. 2:2-4)
  12. Each year, Hannah and Elkanah visited their child at the Temple. Eli would bless them saying “May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord”. (1; 2:20)
  13. Hannah was greatly blessed by the Lord as she subsequently “conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters”. (1; 2:21)
  14. What does Hannah’s experience tell Christians today? “We’re not considered God’s faithful people because of all that happens to us. We’re faithful because of how we respond to all that happens. In spite of good times or bad, God’s faithful people trust Him with both their present and their future”. (2; pg. 84; Our Life and Times)

1. The NIV Study Bible; Zondervan edition 1985

  1. Women of the Bible 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, Jean E. Syswerda

Something To Think About —Trials and Temptations

By Thelma Bruce

Integrity– honesty, uprightness, morality. Biblically living according to God’s standards.

  1. What is a “temptation”?
    A. Things that cause people to sin. Matt. 18:7-9 – Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come. If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, that to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
  2. Where do temptations come from?
    A. The devil – Matt. 4:1 – Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
    B.Evil desires. – James 1:14 – but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
    C.Lack of self-control. – I Cor. 7:5 – Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
    D.God doesn’t tempt us to sin. – James 1:13-14- When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.
  3. How should we deal with temptations?
    A. Pray. – Matt. 26:41 – “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
    B. Lean and depend on God – (DBR)** I Cor. 10:13 – No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
    C. Live in the Spirit. – Gal. 5:16 – So I say, live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
    D. Be self-controlled and resist the devil. – I Peter 5:8-9-Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are going through the same kind of sufferings.
    E. Avoid tempting situations.- Gen. 39:10- And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or to be with her.
    F. Run. – Gen. 39:12 – She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
    G. Flee evil desires. – II Tim. 2:22 – Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
  4. What is a “trial”?
    A. Testing of your faith.- James 1:2-3- Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds , because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
  5. Where do trials come from?
    A. God. – James 1:12 – Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
  6. How should we respond to trials?
    A. Consider it joy.- James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kids, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you be mature and complete not lacking anything.
    B. Remember God is in control.- Romans 8:28- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
    C. Depend on God who rescues – II Peter 2:9 – If this is so then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment while continuing their punishment.
    D. Know that God is always with us.- Gen 39:21- the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.

**DBR – Daily Reading Bible

From Homewords:
We, at Homewords, are delighted to share Ms. Bruce’s Handout from the Sunday School lesson on 1/1/2012 entitled, “A Life of Integrity” Genesis 39:7-21a. It is our hope that you will read and share this life-changing handout.

Last Published May 26, 2013