Beast: God as Avenger (January 22)

Hosea 13:4-8


This lesson only considers a few verses from the book of the prophet Hosea, but the book Hosea as a whole is fascinating. At God’s command, Hosea marries the prostitute Gomer. They have a daughter and son whom Hosea names, “Not Pitied” and “Not My People,” as prophetic messages to Israel (lucky kids). Gomer is unfaithful to Hosea and returns to a life of prostitution. Hosea loves her in spite of her unfaithfulness and buys her back from a house of prostitution (Hosea 1-3). Hosea’s life becomes a sermon of Israel’s infidelity and the consequences of sin, and of God’s judgment and unconditional love for Israel. Hosea 13:4-8 is a part of that sermon.

Teaching Suggestions

•    See a video of a mother bear protecting her cubs on this web site.

•    “He isn’t safe. But he’s good.” Here’s the quote about Aslan from C.S. Lewis’, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:

"Is - is he a man?" asked Lucy
"Aslan a man!" said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion, the Lion, the great Lion."
"Ooh," said Susan, "I thought he was a man. Is he - quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."
"That you will, dearie, and make no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver; "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."
"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King I tell you."

•    “He’s not a tame lion…. But he is good.” A clip from the movie, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, can be found on this website.

•    Question: How can the conflict that led to a new church, LABC, be compared to a refining fire of God?
    Lexington Avenue Baptist Church began as a result of serious disagreements among First Baptist Church members and the pastor at that time. Original members of Lexington Avenue later agreed not to speak of the conflict out of courtesy to First Baptist Church members. The details of that controversy are mostly forgotten and irrelevant to our two churches today. Yet, eighty-four plus years ago, the conflict among First Baptist members and the pastor was so great that some members left to form new church and the pastor of First Baptist wrote and published a defense against accusations by the Lexington Avenue Baptist Church members (A copy of the First Baptist pastor’s defense can be found in the history room. See Keith if you would like to see it.). The purpose here is not to re-live past conflicts, but to illustrate how God can make good come out of difficult and hurtful situations. Out of one church with serious internal conflict emerge two churches, which continue to worship God and minster to this community and the world.


•    For additional commentary on the text see these commentaries in our library:
o    Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
o    Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988)

•    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with the quote mentioned above and in the Learner’s Study Guide, is available in my office. I have the book and the movie.