828 King's Highway, Suffolk VA 23432

757 255-4168 stjohns1755@verizon.net Worship Service: Sundays at 10:30am
Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Christian Formation for July 28 - Hosea 1:2-10; The Family of Hosea and the Restoration of Israel

July 28, 2013 – 10 Pentecost
Hosea 1:2-10
The Family of Hosea
The Restoration of Israel
Background: The book of Hosea is appealing and difficult; appealing because it is the only stand-alone text of a Northern prophet remaining in the Old Testament. Difficult because the message does not always translate well and the prophecy is harsh. Yet, the text provides a special insight into the Northern tribes of the Nation of Israel.
Theme: This passage opens with יהוה‘s condemnation of the Northern tribe for their apostasy and affiliation with the Canaanite religion in their region. This story describes the extent of יהוה’s accusation as well as the mitigation of יהוה anger against Israel and favor towards Judah.
Questions to Ponder:
* Briefly describe the situation in Israel: the political, social, and religious dynamics of the nation.
Valley of Jezreel
* Why might Hosea be held as a special text to both Jew and Christians?
* What is known about Gomer and Diblaim?
* Discuss your impression of Gomer: what is her status when Hosea takes her as wife, how might she be representative of the Northern tribes?
* What strikes you as difficult about verses 4 and 5? Do you think the prophet is speaking allegorically or about both a person and a place or about something else?
* Why do you think the child born in verse 6 and in verse 8 have more complicated names? Whose child might they be?
* Critics argue that verse 7 may consist of original text and an editorial addition by a Southern prophet. Why might they believe that and how might that affect the interpretation of the text as presented?
* Do you think Gomer was unique among the people of Israel? Why or why not? What might יהוה’s description of Gomer be a generalization about society as opposed to a specific reference?
* What do you think the general message of the prophet Hosea is? How do you see Hosea hold up the relationship between יהוה and humanity in this book?
* How do you think Hosea’s marriage to Gomer could be interpreted as a hopeful situation for the Northern tribes of Israel?
* What do you see as the principle story within this selection of 9 verses?
* What might the message of hope be to the Nation of Israel?
* What might be the message of hope for us in this passage?
* How is יהוה challenging Israel to return to relationship with him in this passage?
* What is the message of hope for us today?
* What is the application of this passage for our relationship with God and with our society?

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