Hosea 3* The prophet enters into a new contract, representing thegracious manner in which God will again restore Israel under anew covenant.1-3 The dislike of men to true religion is because they loveobjects and forms, which allow them to indulge, instead ofmortifying their lusts. How wonderful that a holy God shouldhave good-will to those whose carnal mind is enmity against Him!Here is represented God's gracious dealings with the fallen raceof mankind, that had gone from him. This is the covenant ofgrace he is willing to enter into with them, they must be to hima people, and he will be to them a God. They must accept thepunishment of their sin, and must not return to folly. And it isa certain sign that our afflictions are means of good to us,when we are kept from being overcome by the temptations of anafflicted state. 4-5 Here is the application of the parable to Israel. They mustlong sit like a widow, stripped of all joys and honours; butshall at length be received again. Those that would seek theLord so as to find him, must apply to Christ, and become hiswilling people. Not only are we to fear the Lord and hisgreatness, but the Lord and his goodness; not only his majesty,but his mercy. Even Jewish writers apply this passage to thepromised Messiah; doubtless it foretold their future conversionto Christ, for which they are kept a separate people. Though thefirst fear of God arise from a view of his holy majesty andrighteous vengeance, yet the experience of mercy and gracethrough Jesus Christ, will lead the heart to reverence so kindand glorious a Friend and Father, and to fear offending him.
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