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Leave me, O Love, which reaches but to dust;
and thou, my mind, aspire to higher things;
grow rich in that which never taketh rust;
whatever fades, but fading pleasure brings.

Draw in thy beams, and humble all thy might
to that sweet yoke where lasting freedoms be,
which breaks the clouds, and opens forth the light,
that doth both shine and give us sight to see.

Oh, take fast hold; let that light be they guide
in this small course which birth draws out to death,
and think how evil become him to slide,
who seeketh heaven, and comes of heavenly breath.

Then farewell, world; thy uttermost I see:
Eternal Love, maintain thy life in me.

–Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

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I don’t know about you, but in this time of great confusion and conflicting views of the important truths of our day, I find the need to seek the truth that transcends–the truth of God. Wisdom is distilled into pithy, bite-size morsels in the Book of Proverbs. As usual, it keeps its promise to provide guidance for life.

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Proverbs 4:20

In Proverbs 4:20, we receive the imperative, “Give attention to my words.” The Hebrew writing style is evident here, namely the second part of the couplet is a reiteration of the first, “incline your ear to my sayings.” The repeat of the information is an emphasis–as if the author is saying, “hey, this is important, so I’m going to repeat myself.”

If we are looking for wisdom, we need to listen to God. We need to listen to His Word. This will be the only way to survive the pandemic without losing hope or faith or our witness.

But even more than an admonition to listen, God is asking for intentionality and diligence in our approach to our relationship with Him. He is asking us to apply ourselves to the systematic study of His word.

Consider the exhortation of Paul to Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

In order for us to “rightly divide the word of truth,” we must know all of it. We must know the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) as well as the New Testament. We must know the Torah (first 5 books of the Old Testament) as well as the Prophets. We must know the history of both the Jews and the church.

If we are to rightly divide the word of truth, we must understand its nuance, its context, its geography, its characters. We must exert some energy–get outside of our comfort zone.

It is not a once-a-week passive attention to a sermon. It is not working through a book written about the Bible–it is reading and studying the Bible for yourself. We must let God speak to us. We must meet day by day with the Creator and Author.

Read Hosea Chapter 10
1. What does God say that Israel’s wealth has led to in Hosea 10:1?

2. Copy Hosea 10:2 here. Meditate on this. Record your thoughts and impressions.

3. What do you learn in the following passages? How do they relate to Hosea chapter 10?
Deuteronomy 8:11-14, 19?

Deuteronomy 32:16-18

4. What does God say of His people in Hosea 10:2?

5. For what does God say they are being judged in Hosea 10:4?

6. What does God say about Samaria in Hosea 10:5-8?

7. What happened at Gibeah? (Hint: Judges 19)

8. What does God say of Israel in Hosea 10:9-11?

9. Copy Hosea 10:12 here. Mediate on this. Record your thoughts and impressions.

10. Summarize Hosea 10:13-15.

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Peace After a Storm

When darkness long has veiled my mind,
and smiling day once more appears,
then, my Redeemer, then I find
the follow of my doubts and fears.

Straight I upbraid my wandering heart,
and blush that I should ever be
Thus prone to act so base a part
or harbor one hard thought of Thee.

Oh! Let me then at length be taught
what I am still so slow to learn;
that God is love and changes not,
nor knows the shadow of a turn.

Sweet truth, and easy to repeat!
But when my faith is sharply tried,
I find myself a learner yet,
unskillful, weak, and apt to slide.

–William Cowper (1731-1800)

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Read Hosea Chapter 9
1. What does God accuse Israel of doing in Hosea 9:1-2?

2. What does God say would happen to them according to Hosea 9:3-6?

3. What does God say of the prophets in Hosea 9:7-9?

4. What does God say about Israel in Hosea 9:10?

5. What is the future for Ephraim according to Hosea 9:11-17?

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One of the best short books of the Bible is the book of Ruth.  It can be easily read in one sitting.  The story begins with Naomi and her husband leaving Bethlehem, their hometown, during a time of famine to go to Moab, a land occupied by the enemies of God.

While in Moab, Naomi’s husband and both of her sons die, leaving her with her two daughters-in-law.  One of her daughters-in-law chooses to stay in Moab, but Ruth, her other daughter-in-law, returns with Naomi to Bethlehem.

With nothing to show for her travel abroad, Naomi returns to her hometown with the clothes on her back.

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Shepherd’s fields of the Bethlehem region

In the day in which Naomi lived, the fate of a widow was a difficult one.

After her husband and sons die, Naomi is left without a means of support in Moab. Without hope,  Naomi returns to the land of her forefathers.

In doing so, she avails herself of the promises and protections of God’s people. God takes care of His children’s every need, physical, emotional and spiritual.

If you are struggling with your situation and are seeking the land of God’s promise, open His word. Study it systematically and with a heart to know Him better, and He can lead you home, to the land of promise.

Consider using one of our verse-by-verse Bible studies in the Words of His Mouth Series to help you on your way–maybe even the study through the Book of Ruth.

If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Read Hosea Chapter 8
1. What does God tell Hosea to do in Hosea 8:1? Why?

2. What were the reasons and occasions for blowing the trumpet in Numbers 10:8-10?

3. What does Ezekiel 33:1-11 teach about those who fail to heed the warning of the trumpet?

4. What does God say Israel will cry out to Him in Hosea 8:2?

5. What does God say of their kings in Hosea 8:4? Their princes?

6. What is the pagan calf of Samaria? (Hint: See 1 Kings 12:25-31)

7. What does God say about the calf in Hosea 8:5-6?

8. Copy of Hosea 8:7 here. Meditate on this. Record your thoughts and impressions.

9. What do the following verses teach about sowing and reaping?
Proverbs 22:8
Jeremiah 17:10
Galatians 6:7-9
Revelation 20:12

10. For what is God judging Israel according to Hosea 8:8-14?

Read Deuteronomy 28:58-68
1. What does God require of His people according to Deuteronomy 28:58?

2. What is the punishment for failing to do what God requires according to this passage?

3. How does this passage in Deuteronomy relate to what Hosea is prophesying?

Read 2 Kings 17:1-6; 22-23
1. What has happened according to 2 Kings 17:1-6?

2. What happened to Israel according to 2 Kings 17:22-23?

3. How does this relate to what Hosea has been prophesying?