Again God’s People
It’s simply not true that the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath while the God of the New Testament is a God of forgiving grace. Judgment and salvation are organically woven together in the entire story of the Jewish Scriptures.
In the 8thcentury BC, Hosea is one of Israel’s earliest prophets. From the beginning the revelation that the LORD inspired him to proclaim and to write down presented a message that flowed right from intense, horrible, divine judgment to unexpected, amazing, forgiving, divine restoration. This is dynamically presented as we begin to study the first of five salvation speeches Hosea presents:
“Yet the number of the sons of Israel will be like the sand on the seashore which can’t be measured or counted. And in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are Lo ammi, Not My People,’ it will be told to them, ‘You are sons of the living God.’” Hosea 1:10
Talk about an about-face! In the very place where the ten tribes in the North were defeated in battle and lost their kingdom in devastating military defeat to the Assyrians, Hosea predicts there will be a reversal. God will again reclaim His people. Instead of the slaughter of military defeat and the depopulation of northern Israel, their population will explode and again they will reclaim their title as the children of the Living God.
God promised a childless Abraham and Sarah that they would have children like the stars in the sky and Abraham believed (Genesis 15:4-6). Hosea remembered this promise to Abraham and applied it to the hopelessness of his nation’s situation. But at this point in his prophecy, we don’t know what needs to be done in the heart of Israel to initiate this great reversal and to move God to remember His promise to Abraham.
LORD, powerfully use Hosea’s declaration of the judgment that comes because of immorality and idolatry to cause me and those I’m interacting with to face the reality that when we sow sin, it yields death. But use Hosea’s salvation proclamation to reveal life and a new day through faith in Jesus.
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