Week 3, Thursday: God’s promise and presence
God’s people can despise and reject His covenant, ignore His Word, and rebel against Him. But He can never deny Himself. His is an eternal covenant (Heb. 13.20), and He will never back away from it. Judgment may fall at a particular time on a particular generation of His people, but the promise of mercy and restoration will come with that judgment, providing His people with hope.
Read Hosea 2
Meditate on Hosea 2.14, 15
1. The word “wilderness” in verse 14 intends to cue up memories of Israel’s 40-year sojourn toward the land of promise. Why was that sojourn necessary? What happened during that time? What happened after it? How would even the use of this word help to ensure God’s people that, though judgment was coming, hope was not lost?
2. Like the people of Numbers 14, Israel in Hosea’s day – and for many years prior to that – had repudiated the promises of God and were living a way that seemed right to them (Prov. 14.12). Meditate on Romans 15.4. How did God “comfort” His people and give them hope during the wilderness sojourn? How should any faithful people in Israel expect to be comforted by God during the judgment that was coming upon them? How should we expect to know the comfort of the Lord today?
3. The Valley of Achor was a place fraught with significance for Israel, the very mention of which would send shivers down the spines of people, but also fill them with hope. Meditate on Joshua 7.24-26. What does the word “achor” mean? Note the use of this term in Joshua 15.7. Why would “door of hope” (Hos. 2.15) be an apt way of thinking about this place? It’s possible that Isaiah could have been preaching in Judah at the same time Hosea was preaching in Israel. Was Hosea pointing to the preaching of Isaiah by using this term (cf. Is. 65.10)? Can you glean a principle of Biblical interpretation from Hosea’s use of this phrase (cf. 1 Cor. 2.12, 13)?
4. Shivers of fear, tears of hope: Thus God intends to manifest His glory among His wayward people, and to woo and bring them back to Himself. What is the glory of God, and why is it appropriate that His people should respond to His glory with these opposite affections?
5. Verse 15 shows us a repentant people, restored to the favor and blessings of the Lord. How would Israel express the return of hope? Of what would that remind her, and why is it important to connect with this event? Should the history of what God has done with His people in the past – both in Scripture and afterwards – have any meaning for believers today? Explain.
Even in the midst of judgment, the love God has for His people is palpable. He “allures” them, wooing them in the midst of His wrath to rest in His comfort and hope. He renews their perspective and His promises, in order to bring them to repentance and renewal in His covenant. He never stops being God, although we, at times, may act like we are not His people. How does this lead you to sing with rejoicing to the Lord (v. 15)?
For Your servant David’s sake,
Do not turn away the face of Your Anointed.
The LORD has sworn in truth to David;
He will not turn from it:
“I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body.
If your sons will keep My covenant
And My testimony which I shall teach them,
Their sons also shall sit upon your throne forevermore.”
For the LORD has chosen Zion;
He has desired it for His dwelling place:
“This is My resting place forever;
Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
I will abundantly bless her provision;
I will satisfy her poor with bread.
I will also clothe her priests with salvation,
And her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
T. M. Moore
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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.