Week 3, Saturday: The promised restoration is forever
In the first part of this restoration promise, God focuses on the immediate result of His wooing and comforting His people. Here the promise takes an eternal turn, as the covenant is extended far beyond Hosea’s time and even the nation of Israel, to a full and eternal restoration yet to come.
Read Hosea 2
Meditate on Hosea 2.19-23
1. The word “forever” (v. 19) ratchets the promised restoration to a new plane and fullness. The language of verse 19 sounds a lot like the language of Isaiah 9.6, 7. The “marriage” metaphor is extended and enlarged, toward a horizon more distant than that of Old Testament Israel. What promise does the Lord attach to this period (v. 20; cf. Jer. 31.31-34)? How does this relate to what Jesus prayed about in John 17.3?
2. How could Israel, as we have seen her, be made a bride for the Lord in “righteousness and justice” and “lovingkindness and mercy” and “faithfulness”? Meditate on Deuteronomy 30.1-10 and Ezekiel 36.26, 27 in considering your answer.
3. Israel came under judgment for rejecting God and the worldview and way of life encoded in His Law. Does it seem to you that, in this coming restoration, Israel’s obedience to God’s Law will be restored as well? Explain.
4. How many different ways does God intend to bring creation and culture into this restored covenant relationship with His people (vv. 21, 22)? How does this help us to think about our calling within this “forever” (Heb. 13.20) covenant?
5. Verse 23 is deliberately open-ended. While it clearly refers to Israel and God’s plan to restore His people to Himself again, it also encourages us to think further than ethnic Israel. How can you see that Peter understood this verse in that way (1 Pet. 2.9, 10)? Summarize the scope and character of the “forever” or “new” (Jer. 31.31-34) covenant God is promising here.
The restoration God promises to His people is breathtaking in its scope and character. As hard as His judgment will be, greater and more glorious will be the restoration He brings to those who receive the comfort of His Word and wait patiently on Him. How does Hosea lead us to think about the “so great a salvation” God has bestowed upon us in His new and forever covenant?
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.
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.