August 19, 2013
Hosea 2:19, 20
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
The Old Testament prophet Hosea was commanded by God to do something unusual. As a testimony against Israel who had been unfaithful to the Lord God – worshiping idols and even sacrificing their children to Molech, the god of the Ammonites. The unusual thing the prophet was commanded to do was to marry an unfaithful woman named Gomer. And, faced with her adulterous trysts, he was commanded to take her back, forgive her and treat her again as his faithful wife. This was to be a picture of what God wanted to do with Israel.
Here is what the Lord said in Hosea 2:19 and 20:
I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness
and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithful-
ness, and you shall know the LORD.
This involves seven promises that the Lord God gives to Israel. They also apply to us as Christians:
1. “I will betroth you to Me forever….” God says the relationship will be
permanent. There will never be a divorce in the future for Israel who
will be married to God.
And Jesus will never cast us away either. When He saves us, there is no
way we can lose that relationship with Him. In John 10:28 Jesus said,
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish….” This is called
eternal security, and I will present the reasons why I hold this doctrine
in future blogs.
2. “I will betroth you to Me in righteousness….” The Lord will make the
sinful people of Israel righteous. He told them in Isaiah 1:18, “…though
your sins be like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are
red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection we are offered total cleansing
from our sins. John wrote in I John 1:9, “…the blood of Jesus Christ His
Son cleanses us from all sin.” As Paul said in II Corinthians 5:21 (NIV),
“God made Him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him
we might become the righteousness of God.”
3. “I will betroth you to Me in…justice….” What is justice? Here, it is God
always doing what is right. As Abraham was bargaining with the Lord to
spare the righteous in Sodom, he made the statement in Genesis 18:25,
“Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? ”
Since God is good, (see Mark 10:18) we can trust Him to do good all the
time. And since He controls all, as it says in Romans 8:28, “And we
know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to
those who are the called according to His purpose.”
4. “I will betroth you to Me…in lovingkindness….” Eerdmans The New
Bible Dictionary says, “Its meaning may be summed up as ‘steadfast love
on the basis of a covenant’” The covenant, in this case is the marriage
covenant, the marriage of Israel to God.
Israel, as portrayed in the Old Testament, is the wife of Jehovah God.
The Church, as portrayed in the New Testament, is the Bride of Christ.
He has pledged lovingkindness to Christians – the Church – and has
shown that covenant love by dying to purchase her unto Himself. Paul
writes in Romans 5:8, “…God demonstrates His own love toward us, in
that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
5. “I will betroth you to Me in…mercy….” This Hebrew word used here,
racham, denotes motherly compassion and care, even carrying and
nurturing the fetus in the womb. God tells His people in Isaiah 46:3 and 4,
Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who are upheld by Me from birth, who have been carried from the womb:
even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I
have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.
As it was in the Old, so also is it in the New Covenant. In Ephesians 2:4-6
Paul writes what we as Christians share:
…God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He
loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together
with Christ, (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together,
and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus….”
Alright, enough for today. On Wednesday I will finish this blog concerning Seven Promises.