I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in Her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s resource is Jennifer Rothschild’s new Bible study, Hosea: Unfailing Love Changes Everything. Here’s an excerpt from Hosea:
The word of the LORD that came to Hosea son of Beeri during the reigns of Uzziah, Jothan, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and of Jeroboam son of Jehoash, king of Israel. — Hosea 1:1
You’re about to experience a salacious story about an unlikely couple, an unusual marriage, a man in love, and an illicit affair. But this affair was not the end of the marriage; it was the beginning of a love story.
This story overflows with failure, selfishness, despair, forgiveness, second chances, and restoration. And, you thought this was a Bible Study.
It is! The Book of Hosea is one of the most beautiful and confusing books you will ever read. The story of Hosea and his wife will shock you and warm your heart. The story of Israel and God in the book of Hosea will frustrate you and then fill you with hope.
You will discover that the book of Hosea is the story of God and Israel, Hosea and Gomer, and … the story of you. This is your love story.
But, for all its beauty, trying to explain Hosea just about did me in! How do you explain such contrasts of hope and judgment, loyalty and betrayal? I tried to understand it. I tried to organize it. I tried to explain it. Finally, I just had to sit in wonder at the feet of Hosea and his God.
So, I’ll tell you right up front—I had no idea how to teach this book!
But, after praying, writing, starting over, rewriting, crying to my editor, and trying some more to find a way to communicate it, I finally found the answer resting on my husband’s nose.
Let me explain.
My husband, Phil, got trifocals when he turned 50. If you know my story, you will smile when I tell you that having to wear trifocals at fifty is not one of my issues! (If you don’t know why that’s funny, read my bio!) Even though I don’t have first-hand experience with those eyeglasses, here’s what I know about them.
Trifocals help you focus in three distinct areas: distance, intermediate, and near vision. And that’s how you need to view Hosea, too.
When you put on your trifocals, you will see these three views:
When you view Hosea from a distance, you can see the historical landscape of Israel at the time of King Jeroboam’s reign when the Israelites were prosperous but unfaithful. You get to see the prophet Hosea in action, preaching sermons of judgment and hope to God’s rebellious people.
When you view Hosea at arm’s length, you can get a better view of Hosea the husband, his wife, and their family situation. Remember this basic orientation: Hosea’s book is a sermon and his life is the illustration. His love for his unfaithful wife reflects God’s redemptive love for Israel.
This is the lens through which you read Hosea to see what’s right under your nose. It helps you see yourself in the story of Israel. It allows you to see yourself in the story of Hosea and Gomer. With this view, you can see who you are and how dearly loved you are. It lets you see that Hosea is your love story.
Oh, you will be so glad you chose to get to know Hosea! And I’m so glad to have you along with me. If you sometimes feel lost or disoriented though, you’re in good company. I’m there too. But Dr. Phil tells me that’s part of getting used to trifocals. If you turn your head too fast you may feel dizzy. In those moments hang onto the main theme of Hosea. God loves us so much that even when we’ve betrayed His love, He comes looking for us. He buys us back, takes us home, cleans us up, and keeps loving us. Who wouldn’t endure a little dizziness for a love like that?
I am giving away 5 copies of the member books for Hosea: Unfailing Love Changes Everything.
To enter for a chance to win 1 of 10 copies, fill out the form below or click here and enter before 12:01 a.m. CST, Thursday May 21st.