GodSpeak Readings: Week 68/December 27-January 1

December 27-January 1
Hosea 7-Joel 1

GodSpeak readings for each day are listed below. Click the link to read the section and/or listen online. A discussion question is listed below for you to use in your GodSpeak group session or for discussion with others who are reading along.

Monday, December 27 Hosea 7-8  Read & Listen Online Hosea 7,  Read & Listen Online Hosea 8  (Click “Audio” link to listen)
1. These readings in Hosea are hard words. God’s judgments in chapters 7-8 are relentless. Israel and we ourselves have rebelled against God; we worship our own idols (Hosea 8:4). Name some of our modern idols. What can we do? Read Psalm 51. For what can we pray? What is the solution to our sin and unfaithfulness?

Tuesday, December 28 Hosea 9-10  Read & Listen Online Hosea 9, Read & Listen Online Hosea 10  (Click “Audio” link to listen)
2. Hosea pictures a garden where Israel “was a spreading vine” that brought forth fruit; unfortunately, Israel intended the harvest for himself only (Hosea 10:1). It finally produced “thorns and thistles” (Hosea 10:8). In Scripture God, at times, pictured the type of garden He wanted; it was often compared to His perfect garden, the Garden of Eden. What are some features of God’s perfect garden? See Genesis 2:8-14; Isaiah 51:3; Isaiah 58:11; Ezekiel 28:13, 15; Ezekiel 36:35; Hosea 10:12; John 4:10, 14; John 15:1-17. How is God’s picture of a garden a comfort to you?

Wednesday, December 29 Hosea 11-12  Read & Listen Online Hosea 11, Read & Listen Online Hosea 12  (Click “Audio” link to listen)
3. What are some of your experiences associated with helping small children learn to walk? What are some of the heartaches and joys of this process? In Hosea 11:3-4 the prophet pictures God teaching His children to walk, to grow up. What are some of the things God did to help His children as they were growing? What happened as His children grew up (Hosea 11:7, 12)? How would you describe God’s reaction to this development (Hosea 11:8-9)? Close by thanking God for His continuing love in Jesus for us, His children.

Thursday, December 30 Hosea 13  Read & Listen Online   (Click “Audio” link to listen)
4. Advertisers know that the more gross a picture or a statement is the more attention it gets. In one sense, God’s Words in Hosea describing His punishment for the sins of the people present awful pictures of punishment. Identify some of these pictures in Hosea 13. Why does God use such horrific pictures? Did it pay off, in the case of Ephraim? Read Ephesians 2:1-7, 10. Then pray that God would open our own hearts to words of God’s Law so that we can receive by faith the forgiveness and new life in Christ that God wants to give.

Friday, December 31 Hosea 14  Read & Listen Online   (Click “Audio” link to listen)
5. How many words can you think of that mean “repent”? Name some alternatives. Did you include “return”? “Return” has been a major word in Hosea (Hosea 3:5; 5:4; 6:1; 7:10; 11:5; 12:6) and God uses it again in this last chapter (Hosea 14:1-2). To what does God want the people to return? How can that be done (Hosea 14:2)? Describe and rejoice in the Lord’s action as Hosea (Hosea 14:4,5, 8) and Paul (Colossians 1:13) describe it.

Saturday, January 1 Joel 1  Read & Listen Online   (Click “Audio” link to listen)
6. If a swarm of locusts and drought decimated all of our gardens and farmers’ fields, what would you worry about? This happened to Joel. Did you include his main concerns on your list? See Joel 1:9, 13, 15. Where did Joel turn for help (Joel 1:19)? Pray for your church as it is affected by world events.

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