By Michael C. Mack
1. To what or whom have you committed (or devoted) yourself over the last week?
2. Have you ever turned away from God or a person in your life and then later turned back to them? What happened?
Ask two people to read aloud Hosea 11:1-7; 14:1-9; Psalm 32:1-7 one after the other, preferably from different Bible versions. Then ask a third person to summarize the main points from the passages in two minutes or less.
3. What central themes do you see in these three passages? (What ties them together?)
4. How is God portrayed in these passages and what do you learn about him? (Don’t miss the similes used in Hosea 14:5-8.)
5. How are people described in these passages and what do you learn about yourself from this?
6. In what specific ways had God’s people turned away from God?
- What were the consequences for their waywardness (sin)?
- While they were still sinners, God responded to them with grace. What words and phrases in this passage describe this grace?
7. The people were called to turn back to God. What did that return entail? (What parts do our confession and repentance play?)
8. Let’s try to personalize this: How has God’s forgiveness affected your life?
- Whom will you tell about God’s grace and forgiveness this week?
9. Based on our study and discussion, complete the sentence: “I will . . .”
10. Reread Psalm 32:6-7 (keeping the context of vv. 1-5 in your mind). For what will you trust God in prayer over the next week?
For Next Week: Read and reflect on Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:6-8; 7:8-19; Matthew 9:9-13; 1 John 1:1-2. You can also read next week’s supplemental texts as well as the Study and Application sections as part of your personal study.