Theme: Spiritual Adultery
Leading Question: “Why should modern Christians read the “minor” prophets?
All of our lessons this quarter focus on the so-called “minor” prophets, the last 12 books of the Hebrew Bible. The official study guide takes us through 10 of the books, leaving out only Obadiah and Nahum, and we study them in the order in which they appear in our English Bibles. In the Hebrew Bible, they are considered one book, “The Twelve,” and extend from the last few decades of the kingdom of Israel (Amos, Hosea) – Israel fell in 722 to the Assyrians – to some 150 years after the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon (586 BC) the time Nehemiah (Malachi).
Lesson Focus: (Hosea – a total of two lessons)
Introduction to the Minor Prophets:
- Why study the minor prophets?
- Should we leave out the tough stuff? Why and why not?
- The story of Gomer and Hosea:
- The sexual imagery is so stark – spiritual adultery. How can that be of value to a gentle Anglo-Saxon community?
- Does the story suggest that we should be less rigid when a pastor or his spouse go astray?
- What should we do with the OT law that declares no re-marriage for a divorced woman (Deut. 24.4). Are sexual mores more flexible in the Bible that we have imagined them to be?