Week 2, Friday: His people no longer
The essence of God’s covenant relationship with His people can be summarized in the phrase, “I will be your God, and you will be My people.” God had taken Israel to Himself by an act of sheer, unfathomable love, as we see in Deuteronomy 7.6-8. But the threat of divine displeasure was always present in God’s covenant (Deut. 7.9-11), and now His patience with Israel had reached its limit.
Read Hosea 1
Meditate on Hosea 1.8, 9
1. A third child is born to Hosea and Gomer, and the name God appoints for him must surely have weighed on Hosea like a great weight. What does the name of this child suggest about God’s covenant with the people of Israel?
2. God was renouncing Israel and denying that she had any claim whatsoever on His promises. Hosea’s job was to make it plain why this was so. Israel should have proved her calling as God’s covenant people. What did she do instead?
3. God’s calling into His covenant is all of grace, as we’ve seen (cf. Eph. 2.8, 9). Israel was not expected to earn her good standing with the Lord. She was, however, expected to prove it. How did God expect her to do that (cf. Deut. 10.12-15)?
4. Israel had manifestly failed to prove her claim as God’s people, and it would be Hosea’s job to make it clear where she had fallen short, and what God was going to do as a result. Does God still expect His covenant people today to prove their calling and election (cf. Eph. 2.10; 2 Pet. 1.5-11)? How?
5. Can we ever fully prove ourselves to be the people of God? That is, at the end of the day, do we point to our works as proof of our having been adopted into God’s covenant family? Does this mean that we don’t need to “work out our salvation” (Phil. 2.13)? Explain.
Hosea’s family situation was now complete, and it’s clear God intended this as preparation for Hosea’s work as a prophet. Does God still use the circumstances of our lives to prepare us for His service? Can you think of an example from your own life?
Praise the LORD!
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD?
Who can declare all His praise?
Blessed are those who keep justice,
And he who does righteousness at all times!
Remember me, O LORD, with the favor You have toward Your people.
Oh, visit me with Your salvation,
That I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones,
That I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation,
That I may glory with Your inheritance.
T. M. Moore
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For all available studies in Hosea, click here.
A primary theme of the book of Hosea is Israel’s failure to keep covenant with the Lord. God’s covenant is a central theme and provides the organizing motif for all of Scripture. Learn more about God’s covenant by ordering a copy of T. M.’s book, I Will Be Your God, from our online store (click here).
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.