Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: Israel, God’s bride, has abandoned Him, bowed down before other gods, even adorned herself with the clothing of other lovers. What does God conclude when He sees His wife hanging on another man? Does He decide to destroy her? Does He determine to wipe her from the face of the earth? No, He says, “I guess I’ll have to court her all over again.”
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. Who’s speaking in verse 2? And whom do the characters in this courtroom drama represent?
2. Even as God’s bride returns from a night of nocturnal infidelity, God has a plan to restore her rather than destroy. How does this encourage you when you sin?
3. What is the significance of the “wilderness” in verse 14? Why would God take His Israel there?
4. In what sense is discipline a demonstration of love (if done with the right motive)? How has God disciplined you recently? How did you respond?
5. Find five demonstrations or expressions of God’s love in chapter 2.
6. “Any lasting transformation that takes place in the human experience will only be a consequence of the one-way love of grace.” What do you think this statement means? How have you see this reality play out in your life?
1. “I hate, I despise your feasts. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. You take up your gods … your images that you made for yourselves, and I will send you into exile.” – Amos 5
2. 01. God graciously prevents His children from bringing total destruction on themselves.
3. “I will arise and go to my father.” – Luke 15:18
4. “The father’s kiss is not a response to the son’s repentance, but rather its facilitating cause. We need God’s grace to come to us first.” – Timothy Keller
5. 02. God captures (and re-captures) our hearts with displays and reminders of his unwavering affection for us.
6. “One thing we know for sure from the prophets. The law did not effect what it demanded. It could not deliver what it mandated. The law is a set-up for failure. The one-way love of grace is the essence of any lasting transformation that takes place in human experience.”
7. “This [new name] points to the full and unqualified way in which Israel will give herself to Yahweh as to a man who loves and not merely to a husband to whom she is bound by legal commitment.” – James Mays
8. 03. God promises to keep us for Himself forever.