Called to Be Faithful

KEY VERSE: “I desired mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” —Hosea 6:6

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Hosea 5:15; 6:1-10

IN OUR two previous lessons we considered the prophecy of Hosea in its specific relationship to Israel, but as is true with much of the prophecy contained in the Old Testament, while spoken to or about Israel, its greater application is to all people. Many times embedded within the text itself are expressions revealing this important fact.

Our text for this lesson is a classic example of this, referring to Israel’s sacrifices and offerings under the Law as a poor and necessary alternative for those whose hearts are not in tune with God. But then in the following verse a comparison of this limited application to Israel is made with the entire estranged world of mankind under Adam’s fall. “But they [Israel] like men [Hebrew: Adam] have transgressed the covenant.”

Adam, before his fall, was in covenant relationship with God—a covenant which in principle was no different than Israel’s. This covenant was also broken, and even better sacrifices were required in order to right this situation between God and the whole human race. Jesus died to save sinners, and all were sinners. The ransom sacrifice of his first advent has become the foundation upon which a New Covenant can be ratified between God and men, and the power and glory of his second advent will restore it in its perfection as it was possessed by mankind through Adam in the beginning.

In our last lesson, reference was made to this prospective New Covenant as it will be made for Israel (Hos. 2:11), but the ensuing description strikingly parallels that which was expressed to Adam in the beginning. “In that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground.” These, in a figurative way, are all associated with man’s dominion over the earth in the beginning—a dominion that was taken away by God. The promise through Hosea is that the New Covenant is dedicated to the restoration of those things that were lost not only to Israelites but to all mankind.

The remainder of this remarkable verse of scripture also reveals the worldwide scope of the prophecy: “I will break the bow and the sword, and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.” These expressions are reiterated by the Prophet Isaiah when he wrote of the time when God would judge all nations (people). “He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”—Isa. 2:4

The order through which this will be accomplished is so beautifully outlined in verses twenty-one and twenty-two, of chapter two. “It shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth, and the earth shall hear the corn and the wine and the oil, and they shall hear Jezreel.”

God will be in direct communication with the spiritual phase of the kingdom—his appointed king, Jesus, and the church—constituting the heavens. They in turn will directly relate to the earthly phase of the kingdom, the Ancient Worthies—this relationship being described as ‘hearing the earth’. The earthly representatives will see to the administration of all that is required to successfully accomplish restitution. The corn, the wine, and the oil represent the tangible results of reestablishing material plenty—a knowledge of the truth, and the writing of God’s Spirit or mind in the hearts of all men. And they shall continually monitor the progress of this work, to see that it is adequately fulfilling God’s ultimate purpose: ‘They shall hear Jezreel.”

The name Jezreel, as you will remember, was given to the first son of Hosea, and means ‘the seed of God’. Such was Adam at his creation, a wonderful, perfect son of God. But, sadly, this was an honor lost to him and his children. In associating this name again with mankind in this kingdom prophecy, how wonderfully the Lord assures a future restoration of this favored lot as “sons of the living God.” The entire kingdom will be dedicated to this noble work of bringing back the glory of Eden, for as the Lord wrote by the hand of Hosea, “Great shall be the day of Jezreel.”—Hos. 1:11

Dawn Bible Students Association
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