Search This Blog

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Return to Me: Outline and discussion questions

Below is the outline for the final message in the series, Shock and Awe.

Return to Me
Hosea 11
Shock and Awe, Part 4

1.    Allow God’s kindness to provoke you to repentance

Hosea 11:1–4 (ESV)
11 When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
   The more they were called,
the more they went away;
       they kept sacrificing to the Baals
and burning offerings to idols.
   Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.
   I led them with cords of kindness,
with the bands of love,
       and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.

2.    Distinguish between true and false repentance

Hosea 11:5–7 (ESV)
   They shall not return to the land of Egypt,
but Assyria shall be their king,
because they have refused to return to me.
   The sword shall rage against their cities,
consume the bars of their gates,
and devour them because of their own counsels.
   My people are bent on turning away from me,
and though they call out to the Most High,
he shall not raise them up at all.

3.    See God’s character in greater fullness

Hosea 11:8–11 (ESV)
   How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?
       How can I make you like Admah?
How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
       My heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.
   I will not execute my burning anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
       for I am God and not a man,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come in wrath.
10    They shall go after the Lord;
he will roar like a lion;
       when he roars,
his children shall come trembling from the west;
11    they shall come trembling like birds from Egypt,
and like doves from the land of Assyria,
and I will return them to their homes, declares the Lord.

Questions for further exploration of the text:
  • Would you agree that our tendency is to rebel against God? Why or why not? 
  • How would you define repentance? What would you say is the difference between true repentance and false repentance? 
  • How can the great tenderness expressed in this passage exist along side the warnings of much of the rest of the book of Hosea? 
  • What role does God’s kindness have in our repentance? See Romans 2:4
  • Why do you think its important to grow in the knowledge of all of God’s character? What might be the dangers in emphasizing God's love and compassion without considering his righteousness and justice?


  1. I read all of your notes! Thanks for posting the notes from the first message in the series, as we were out of town that day. Oh, how much of what you speak about politics and what is going on in the world affirms what I also believe! When I get too caught up in "the news", it's easy to lose hope and forget that God is bigger than any problem an individual or a nation will face. Well done!

  2. Thank you. The only thing that consistently helps me to not get overwhelmed by bad news is to stay deeply engaged with texts like these in Hosea. They don't provoke me to put my head in the sand, rather they give me the confidence in God and the confidence in God's work in me to make a positive difference in the world.