Hosea 1** Hosea is supposed to have been of the kingdom of Israel. Helived and prophesied during a long period. The scope of hispredictions appears to be, to detect, reprove, and convince theJewish nation in general, and the Israelites in particular, oftheir many sins, particularly their idolatry: the corrupt stateof the kingdom is also noticed. But he invites them torepentance, with promises of mercy, and gospel predictions ofthe future restoration of the Israelites and of the Jews, andtheir final conversion to Christianity. * Under a figure, is represented the shameful idolatry of theten tribes. (1-7) The calling of the Gentiles, and the unitingIsrael and Judah under the Messiah. (8-11)1-7 Israel was prosperous, yet then Hosea boldly tells them oftheir sins, and foretells their destruction. Men are not to beflattered in sinful ways because they prosper in the world; norwill it last long if they go on still in their trespasses. Theprophet must show Israel their sin; show it to be exceedinglyhateful. Their idolatry is the sin they are here charged with.Giving that glory to any creature which is due to God alone, isan injury and affront to God; such as for a wife to take astranger, is to her husband. The Lord, doubtless, had goodreasons for giving such a command to the prophet; it would forman affecting picture of the Lord's unmerited goodness andunwearied patience, and of the perverseness and ingratitude ofIsrael. We should be broken and wearied with half thatperverseness from others, with which we try the patience andgrieve the Spirit of our God. Let us also be ready to bear anycross the Lord appoints. The prophet must show the ruin of thepeople, in the names given to his children. He foretells thefall of the royal family in the name of his first child: callhis name Jezreel, which signifies "dispersion." He foretellsGod's abandoning the nation in the name of the second child;Lo-ruhamah, "not beloved," or "not having obtained mercy." Godshowed great mercy, but Israel abused his favours. Sin turnsaway the mercy of God, even from Israel, his own professingpeople. If pardoning mercy is denied, no other mercy can beexpected. Though some, through unbelief, are broken off, yet Godwill have a church in this world till the end of time. Oursalvation is owing to God's mercy, not to any merit of our own.That salvation is sure, of which he is the Author; and if hewill work, none shall hinder. 8-11 The rejection of Israel for a time, is signified by thename of another child: call him Lo-ammi, "not my people." TheLord disowns all relation to them. We love him, because he firstloved us; but our being cast out of covenant, is owing toourselves and our folly. Mercy is remembered in the midst ofwrath; the rejection, as it shall not be total, so it shall notbe final. The same hand that wounded, is stretched forth toheal. Very precious promises are here given concerning theIsrael of God, and they may be of use to us now. Some think thatthese promises will not have accomplishment in full, till thegeneral conversion of the Jews in the latter days. Also thispromise is applied to the gospel, and the bringing in both theJews and Gentiles to it, by St. Paul, #Ro 9:25,26|, and by St.Peter, #1Pe 2:10|. To believe in Christ, is to have him for ourHead, and willingly to commit ourselves to his guidance andgovernment. And let us pray for the coming of the glorious day,when there shall be one Lord through all the earth.
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