Despite His people’s continued sin, God continued to pursue them. God used Hosea’s life to show that He still loved Israel. In the same way that Gomer kept running away from Hosea, the Israelites were running away from God. But, God gave Hosea a deep love, a love that was willing to buy back Gomer after all she had done. This picture is just a glimpse into how much God loves us and why He sent Jesus to die on the cross in our place so that we could eternal life with Him. Follow along with this devotion, which you can walk through with your family in 10-15 minutes one night this week or review it in 3-5 minutes over the course of the week.
KEY VERSE – DAY ONE:
Review the key verses and hand motions for this unit with your children.
“And the angel said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid, for look I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, has been born for you in the city of David.’” – Luke 2:10-11
“Yahweh is good, and his love endures forever. His faithfulness endures through all the generations.” – Psalm 100:5
BIG PICTURE QUESTION – DAY ONE:
Ask your children the Big Picture Question for this unit: What is God like? God is slow to anger, merciful, and loving.
MAIN POINT – DAY ONE:
Share with your children that this week’s main point is God loves people when they do not deserve it.
BIBLE PASSAGE – DAY TWO:
This week’s Bible story comes from Hosea 1-14. This story can be found on page 106 of the Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook. Take some time now to read these passages with your children or you can refer to the Bible story summary below!
BIBLE STORY SUMMARY:
God gave the prophet Hosea instructions for his life. God wanted to send a message to His people through Hosea. God said, “Marry a woman who will not be faithful to you, and be a father to her children.”
God was going to use Hosea’s life to show His people in Israel what God’s love from them was like. Hosea’s wife would love other men instead of Hosea, just like the people of Israel loved and worshiped other gods instead of the one true God. Hosea obeyed God and married a woman named Gomer.
Gomer was not faithful to Hosea. She often ran away. In the same way, God’s people turned away from Him. They worshiped false gods. God told Hosea to go after his wife. So Hosea found Gomer and paid to get her back.
Even though Gomer had not loved her husband like a wife should, Hosea loved her anyway. God gave Hosea a love that would never give up. God wanted the people of Israel to hear about Hosea and his wife and understand that Israel was no different than Gomer. The Israelites did not love God like they should, but God loved Israel anyway. God loves with a love that never gives up.
Hosea warned the Israelites that God was going to judge them for their sin. Hosea pleaded with Israel to turn back to God. “Come, let us return to the Lord,” he said. “Let us strive to know the Lord.”
God was going to punish the people for turning away from Him, but He would keep the promise He made to Abraham. Abraham’s family would be a big family, and one day Jesus would come from Abraham’s family. Yes, God still loved Israel. God hated their sin but, just like Hosea paid a high price to get back his wife who did not love him, God had a plan to get His people back no matter the cost.
REVIEW QUESTIONS – DAY THREE:
After reading the Bible story or going through the summary, ask your children these review questions:
- What did God tell Hosea to do? (marry a woman who did not love him with her whole heart)
- What did Gomer do? (ran away from home)
- Did Hosea let Gomer go? (no, Hosea found Gomer and brought her home)
- How does Gomer remind us of the people of Israel? (the people of Israel loved other things more than God; they ran away from God)
- How does Hosea remind us of God? (God loves people who do not love Him back)
- What was the name of the woman Hosea married? (Gomer)
- How many children did Gomer have? (three)
- How were the people of Israel like Gomer? (Gomer was not faithful to Hosea and in the same way, God’s people turned away from Him)
- True or false: Hosea gave up on Gomer and allowed her to run away. (false, Hosea found Gomer and paid to get her back)
- What did Hosea tell the Israelites to do? (return to the Lord and strive to know the Lord)
WORSHIP – DAY FOUR:
CHRIST CONNECTION – DAY FIVE:
It’s amazing to see how things that happened in the Old Testament are connected to the New Testament and the Gospel – the good news that Jesus came to Earth to die for our sins because of His love for us. These Christ connections show us that God has been preparing us for a relationship with Jesus since the beginning of time.
Gomer did not love Hosea with all her heart. She did things that made Hosea sad, but Hosea still loved Gomer. God’s people do not love God with all their hearts. We do things that make God sad, but God still loves us. He showed us His love by sending Jesus to be our Savior.
God used Hosea’s unfaithful wife to show the people of Israel that they were unfaithful to Him. God gave Hosea a deep love; Hosea was willing to buy back Gomer even after all she had done. God’s love is deep, and it never gives up. He goes after His people and loves them back to Himself.
PRAY – DAY FIVE:
As you pray, thank God always loving us and never giving up on us, even when we sin and run away from Him. Thank God that He sent Jesus to die on the cross in our place so that we could have eternal life. Pray for one specific person in your life who is not a Christian, and ask God to bring them to Him. Ask God to give you the words to say when talking to this person about Christ.