Background: The prophet Hosea is called by God to marry an unfaithful wife in order to show the northern kingdom of Israel that she too has been unfaithful to God and has pursued other so called gods. Despite her unfaithfulness, Hosea pursues his wife and brings her back just like God is reaching out to Israel.
In the middle of Hosea describing the arrogance and indifference of Israel against God, is a brief description of how tenderly God has cared for Israel in the past.
Ask the children…
How did God treat Israel when she was a young nation and how did Israel respond?
“I myself taught Israel[b] how to walk, leading him along by the hand. But he doesn’t know or even care that it was I who took care of him.” (Hosea 11:3)
How else did God tenderly care for Israel?
“I led Israel along with my ropes of kindness and love. I lifted the yoke from his neck, and I myself stooped to feed him.” (Hosea 11:4)
Like a young child who is ungrateful and doesn’t care about his/her parent’s sacrifice to raise him, Israel is just as ungrateful for all that God has done for them. How sad and tragic for they will feel the discipline of God that didn’t need to happen if they just appreciated God and followed Him.
Ask your children if they understand the sacrifice that parents make for their children? Have them describe what they think those sacrifices are. Then add to that list all the other things that parents do. Now think through all the sacrifices and TLC that God has done on your behalf. All He asks is for you to appreciate what He has done and respond to it.
If you like what you read about ways to teach children the Bible, check out the children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents and kids because it provides the Big Story of God’s miraculous plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible. CHECK OUT A FREE SAMPLE OF CHAPTER ONE BELOW.