Though Rejected, God Still Loves

KEY VERSE: “I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people, and they shall say, Thou art my God.” —Hosea 2:23

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Hosea 2:16-23; 3:1-3

IN OUR previous lesson we considered how God cut off his covenant favor with Israel, similarly to the way the Prophet Hosea had finally divorced his wife for her infidelity, and sent her into slavery, as described in Hosea 2:1-7.

God then proceeds to plainly express his indictments against Israel, stating that the material benefits of “basket and store,” and the spiritual blessings of his oracles and standards of righteousness had been misused, distorting them in practices of idolatry, forgetting God and worshiping Baal. “She did not know that I gave her corn and wine and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.”—vs. 9

In his next statement he infers that their cutting off would strip them of these benefits, expose their national immorality, and would bring to an end the means under the Law whereby they could be forgiven; namely, their atonement offerings for sin. “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.” (vs. 11) Their security under the ecclesiastical and civil provisions of the Law arrangement would also be destroyed, as stated in these words: “I will destroy her vines and her fig trees.” And then in one sweeping statement he seems to sum up the time proportion of the punishment he has here determined: “I will visit upon her the days of Baalim.”—vs. 13

A similar thought God expressed through the Prophet Isaiah when, in point of time, looking back at the fulfillment of these warnings of punishment he writes: “She [Jerusalem] hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” Israel’s dark night of the Gospel Age has well paralleled in length of time the Jewish Age of covenant favor and infidelity referred to as “the days of Baalim.”

As we look further into the drama of Hosea’s life, it becomes clear that even after he divorced Gomer, he must still have loved her, and when the time was right he recovered her from her punishment in slavery, forgave all her sins, and in loving generosity remarried her. While the text does not tell us this in so many words, it leaves no doubt that this is what God will do with Israel under a New Covenant. “Behold I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness and speak comfortably unto her.”—vs. 14

No doubt this is describing the situation of Israel today. Many of her people have been “allured”—brought back into a land long lost, with a semblance of national identity, but yet in a wilderness of not realizing God’s intention toward them. Their ownership of the land, and its growing prosperity is well expressed in the next statement: “And I will give her vineyards from thence.”—vs. 15

Other prophecies reveal that before full favor can be restored, a testing time of trouble—Jacob’s Trouble—still awaits. This is also confirmed by this remarkable prophecy, in the statement that God will also give her “the valley of Achor [trouble] for a door of hope.” (vs. 15) Yes, to Israel, as well as to all the world, Armageddon will prove to be a door of hope, and will be remembered in joyful song, even as Israel sang of their former deliverance from Egypt.—vs. 15

“It shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi.” (vs. 16) Why Ishi? Ishi means husband. Ah, yes, Israel will be married again, but not until it is “at that day,” the time following Armageddon, the day of Christ’s kingdom. In the eighteenth verse this remarriage is referred to as a covenant that God will make with them in that day. And in our next lesson we will refer back to this verse and write about the peculiar way this covenant is described, and why.

Skipping to verse nineteen, we are told that this second “betrothal” will never fail—it will last “forever”—because he says it is founded upon a sure foundation of faithfulness, not only of God, but this time also of Israel.

“Yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness, and thou shalt know the Lord.” (vss. 19,20) What wonderful words recommend the New Covenant—: righteousness, judgment and, lovingkindness. These will become the guiding principles for those then called God’s people, and who will rejoice to say, “Thou art my God!”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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