Hosea, Part 1: What was love?

Podcast for Jun 10: 


  • What assumptions or prejudices have you heard read into Gomer’s story, and does Robinson make any such assumptions, and what does Hosea 1-3 actually say? What would a marriage counselor say?
  • Did marriage in the Old Testament entail love, as we ordinarily think of love? (Both ideally and in practice.) 
    • Would adultery then differ from adultery now? In what ways?
    • To what extent was marriage subject to patriarchy? Was it women being bought as property so men can gain honour by having children? Did Hosea love Gomer, or was he just obeying God?
    • Was Hosea romantically heartbroken or just publicly dishonoured? What is Hosea’s idea of love, and how does it parallel God’s love for Israel, and toward us? Where in Christian faith does the theme of choosing dishonour on account of love appear?
    • Does Hosea 1 suggest that the children born are illegitimate? Are there double-meanings in their the names? What does this say for God becoming incarnate as an apparently illegitimate child?
  • How do you suppose Hosea felt about being an object lesson? Or Gomer, if she ever saw the first draft?
  • What in the New Testament most seems to parallel the story or lessons from Hosea? 
  • There are metaphors between spiritual and sexual unfaithfulness running through scripture. (esp. Eze 16, 23 esp.v.30, Isa 1:21, Jer 2:20; 3:1-3,8; Hos 1:1-3, 4:12, 5:4; 1 Cor 6:15-17; Col 3:5; Jas 4:4-5; Rev 18-19). What do these mean to you?

Remember that we pick messages not for agreement in every detail, but for their discussion value. See How home groups work at Imagine for more, and The next ten weeks… for a current outline.

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