Hosea 3

* The prophet enters into a new contract, representing the

gracious manner in which God will again restore Israel under a

new covenant.

1-3 The dislike of men to true religion is because they love

objects and forms, which allow them to indulge, instead of

mortifying their lusts. How wonderful that a holy God should

have good-will to those whose carnal mind is enmity against Him!

Here is represented God's gracious dealings with the fallen race

of mankind, that had gone from him. This is the covenant of

grace he is willing to enter into with them, they must be to him

a people, and he will be to them a God. They must accept the

punishment of their sin, and must not return to folly. And it is

a certain sign that our afflictions are means of good to us,

when we are kept from being overcome by the temptations of an

afflicted state.
4-5 Here is the application of the parable to Israel. They must

long sit like a widow, stripped of all joys and honours; but

shall at length be received again. Those that would seek the

Lord so as to find him, must apply to Christ, and become his

willing people. Not only are we to fear the Lord and his

greatness, but the Lord and his goodness; not only his majesty,

but his mercy. Even Jewish writers apply this passage to the

promised Messiah; doubtless it foretold their future conversion

to Christ, for which they are kept a separate people. Though the

first fear of God arise from a view of his holy majesty and

righteous vengeance, yet the experience of mercy and grace

through Jesus Christ, will lead the heart to reverence so kind

and glorious a Friend and Father, and to fear offending him.
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