Extreme Heat

Error message

  • Deprecated function: unserialize(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($data) of type string is deprecated in css_injector_init() (line 53 of /home/krwester/gobibletranslations.org/sites/all/modules/css_injector/css_injector.module).
  • Deprecated function: unserialize(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($data) of type string is deprecated in css_injector_init() (line 53 of /home/krwester/gobibletranslations.org/sites/all/modules/css_injector/css_injector.module).
Hosea 1, 2 Corinthians 1, Isaiah 43
Lesson Number: 

Lesson 5

Extreme Heat

(Hosea 1, 2 Corinthians 1, Isaiah 43)

Copr. 2022, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: http://www.GoBible.org. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: In the recent lessons I challenged the idea that God brings suffering to us to improve our character. We may come to a Bible story that proves me wrong, but we have not found one so far. What we have seen is that Satan brings suffering to try to separate us from God. Is Satan’s goal simply to have us believe God is a myth? Does he want us to distrust God? Could his goal be to have us adopt the wrong view of God? A view that God does evil things, rather than loving things? Let’s study more Bible stories about suffering to sharpen our view of God!

  1. Hosea
    1. Read Hosea 1:2. What remarkable thing does God ask of Hosea? (To marry a sexually immoral woman.)
      1. What kind of children will they have? (This wife will continue in sexual immorality and have children fathered by other men.)
      2. Is God refining Hosea’s character? Is Hosea going to improve because of this? (No. The point is to show that Israel is unfaithful to God.)
      3. Who is supposed to learn something from Hosea’s suffering? (The people of Israel.)
        1. Is this a common explanation for suffering? (Yes. We saw that Job suffered because he was proving to the universe his faithfulness to God. In 1 Corinthians 4:9 we saw that same thing for the disciples that suffered.)
    2. Read Hosea 2:1. We understand what God is doing, he is creating a living illustration for His people. What does this verse illustrate? (It is foundational for us to have a positive relationship among believers.)
    3. Read Hosea 2:2. Once we have a solid relationship with each other, what is the next step to reforming the church? (To plead with the leadership to be faithful to God.)
    4. Read Hosea 2:3. What is the follow-on message after pleading for faithfulness? (That if the leadership does not turn to God, He will send bad things.)
      1. Is this the text that I’ve been missing? The text that proves that God sends suffering to refine us?
        1. If you were an Israelite reading Hosea’s message, what would the language “make her like a wilderness” trigger in your mind? (The forty years in the wilderness for refusing to enter into Canaan.)
          1. Was that a refining experience? (That was a punishment. They died in the wilderness.)
    5. Read Hosea 2:4. What happens to us as the result of the unfaithfulness of our leaders? (We suffer.)
      1. Is that fair? (Any mature person understands that a major cause of suffering is the mistakes and sins of others.)
    6. Read Hosea 2:5. What wrong attitude of the leadership is shown here? (They attribute their blessings to idols. They look to the world for its approval because they believe it helps the church.)
      1. Is this an issue in your church? Does it make public statements that seem to invite the world to look positively on it? But, fails to make public statements about God’s values?
    7. Read Hosea 2:6. Does this describe suffering? (A hedge of thorns sounds like it is painful.)
      1. What is God’s purpose here? Is it refinement? (God’s purpose is to prevent the sin. The path to sin is blocked.)
        1. Have you experienced a situation like this - you were inclined toward sin and God threw obstacles in your path?
        2. Can you see the love of God in this?
    8. Read Hosea 2:7. Does this show refinement of character? (No. In frustration she comes to her senses and does the right thing.)
    9. Read Hosea 2:8. What attitude does God want from us? (Gratitude. This woman took the blessings God and attributed them to idols. She then took the blessings that God had given and used them to promote idol worship.)
    10. Read Hosea 2:9-11. God explains how He will punish this unfaithful woman. Read Hosea 2:13. Is this refinement? What about the statement about the woman forgetting God? (God is getting her attention. This might lead to refinement, but right now this is simply punishment.)
    11. Read Hosea 2:14-15. What is God’s “end game?” How does God want this to end? (God wants to “allure her.” He wants to bring her to Him. This shows a God of love.)
      1. What did we start out saying was the purpose for this tragic situation with Hosea’s wife? (It was to be an illustration to God’s people.)
        1. What have you learned from this?
  1. Comfort
    1. Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. How does this describe God? (The “Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”)
      1. Does that sound like someone who would bring suffering?
      2. What is one benefit of suffering? (Verse 4 tells us that God comforts us in our suffering and that gives us skills to comfort others when they suffer.)
    2. Read 2 Corinthians 1:5. What is meant by the phrase “Christ’s sufferings?” Does it mean the sufferings brought to us by Jesus? (No. It means that Jesus suffered and we can expect to suffer.)
      1. What caused Jesus to suffer? (Satan.)
      2. Is Satan omnipresent? Can he attack everyone, everywhere at the same time? (Satan is not like the Holy Spirit. While I’m sure Satan focused his attack on Jesus and then on the disciples, our sufferings are due to the more general problem of sin in the world.)
      3. What is the comfort that we share “through Christ?” (Jesus’ sufferings result in the offer of eternal life for those who accept Him.)
    3. Read 2 Corinthians 1:6-7. Is learning how to comfort others a “refinement” in our character? (If it is not a refinement, it certainly is a life skill.)
      1. As you contemplate what Paul is writing in 2 Corinthians, what do you think is his goal? (He is putting a positive spin on suffering. He wants us to have a grateful attitude, even when we are suffering.)
    4. Read Isaiah 43:1. Whose side is God on when we suffer? (He is on our side. We are His.)
    5. Read Isaiah 43:2. Will suffering overwhelm us?
      1. Think about what we recently studied in this series about walking through the Red Sea. Does God literally fulfill this promise?
      2. What about the martyrs in history who were burned at the stake?
    6. Read Isaiah 43:19. God says that He is making something new. When will that take place?
    7. Read Hebrews 11:36-38. Is this a picture of terrible suffering?
    8. Read Hebrews 11:39-40. This tells us that those who suffered terribly did not “receive what was promised.” When will the promise be fulfilled? (In heaven! We have seen in our series so far that God regularly intervenes to stop the suffering of His people. But Hebrews 11 explains that sometimes this promise is only completely fulfilled in heaven.)
      1. Does this seem unrealistic to you? If so, consider the amount of time you are living this life compared to eternity on the earth made new.
    9. Friend, our view of God must not be changed for the worst by suffering. We can depend on Him to make things right, if not now, then when we are taken to heaven. Will you place your faith in God?
  2. Next week: Struggling With All Energy.