Hosea 1

** Hosea is supposed to have been of the kingdom of Israel. He

lived and prophesied during a long period. The scope of his

predictions appears to be, to detect, reprove, and convince the

Jewish nation in general, and the Israelites in particular, of

their many sins, particularly their idolatry: the corrupt state

of the kingdom is also noticed. But he invites them to

repentance, with promises of mercy, and gospel predictions of

the future restoration of the Israelites and of the Jews, and

their final conversion to Christianity.

* Under a figure, is represented the shameful idolatry of the

ten tribes. (1-7) The calling of the Gentiles, and the uniting

Israel and Judah under the Messiah. (8-11)

1-7 Israel was prosperous, yet then Hosea boldly tells them of

their sins, and foretells their destruction. Men are not to be

flattered in sinful ways because they prosper in the world; nor

will it last long if they go on still in their trespasses. The

prophet must show Israel their sin; show it to be exceedingly

hateful. Their idolatry is the sin they are here charged with.

Giving that glory to any creature which is due to God alone, is

an injury and affront to God; such as for a wife to take a

stranger, is to her husband. The Lord, doubtless, had good

reasons for giving such a command to the prophet; it would form

an affecting picture of the Lord's unmerited goodness and

unwearied patience, and of the perverseness and ingratitude of

Israel. We should be broken and wearied with half that

perverseness from others, with which we try the patience and

grieve the Spirit of our God. Let us also be ready to bear any

cross the Lord appoints. The prophet must show the ruin of the

people, in the names given to his children. He foretells the

fall of the royal family in the name of his first child: call

his name Jezreel, which signifies "dispersion." He foretells

God's abandoning the nation in the name of the second child;

Lo-ruhamah, "not beloved," or "not having obtained mercy." God

showed great mercy, but Israel abused his favours. Sin turns

away the mercy of God, even from Israel, his own professing

people. If pardoning mercy is denied, no other mercy can be

expected. Though some, through unbelief, are broken off, yet God

will have a church in this world till the end of time. Our

salvation 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 he

will work, none shall hinder.
8-11 The rejection of Israel for a time, is signified by the

name of another child: call him Lo-ammi, "not my people." The

Lord disowns all relation to them. We love him, because he first

loved us; but our being cast out of covenant, is owing to

ourselves and our folly. Mercy is remembered in the midst of

wrath; the rejection, as it shall not be total, so it shall not

be final. The same hand that wounded, is stretched forth to

heal. Very precious promises are here given concerning the

Israel of God, and they may be of use to us now. Some think that

these promises will not have accomplishment in full, till the

general conversion of the Jews in the latter days. Also this

promise is applied to the gospel, and the bringing in both the

Jews 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 our

Head, and willingly to commit ourselves to his guidance and

government. 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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