10Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1The word of the Lord that came to Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
2When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord." 3So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
4And the Lord said to him, "Call his name Jezreel, for in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5And on that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel."
6She conceived again and bore a daughter. And the Lord said to him, "Call her name No Mercy,Hebrew Lo-ruhama, which means she has not received mercy for I will no more have mercy on the house of Israel, to forgive them at all. 7But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the Lord their God. I will not save them by bow or by sword or by war or by horses or by horsemen."
8When she had weaned No Mercy, she conceived and bore a son. 9And the Lord said, "Call his name Not My People,Hebrew Lo-ammi, which means not my people for you are not my people, and I am not your God."Hebrew I am not yours
10Ch 2:1 in Hebrew Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it was said to them, "You are not my people," it shall be said to them, "ChildrenOr Sons of the living God." 11And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint for themselves one head. And they shall go up from the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel.
2Ch 2:3 in Hebrew Say to your brothers, "You are my people,"Hebrew ammi, which means my people and to your sisters, "You have received mercy."Hebrew ruhama, which means she has received mercy
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright (c)2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. http://www.esv.org
One of the most famous stories in the Bible is the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). In its most famous scene, the father sees his prodigal son returning and runs to him, embraces him, and calls his household to rejoice in the son’s repentant return. The parable powerfully portrays the surprising grace of God the Father to those who repent of sin and cast themselves on Him for mercy.
In contrast, one of the most unfamiliar stories in the Bible is the story of the marriage of Hosea to Gomer (Hosea 1:1-3:4). Like the parable of the Prodigal Son, this story focuses on the theme of the grace of God to sinners. But while the story of grace in Jesus’ parable is surprising, the story of grace in Hosea is downright scandalous. Not only is Hosea’s story one of real historical events, but it recounts how grace pursues those still living in sin. Hosea does not welcome a repentant adulterer as his wife; rather, he pursues an active adulterer as his wife, seeking to woo her out of sin, guide her through repentance, and prosper her in new life.
While we may readily agree to be identified with the repentant son in the Prodigal Son, few of us would ever agree to be identified with an unrepentant adulterer. But this is where the eternal story of our redemption begins; not with our humble repentance, but with our stubborn unfaithfulness. God’s grace to us in Jesus Christ does not merely meet us at the point of repentance; it pursues us in our far country wanderings and brings us to the point of repentance. While we were still sinners, the Holy Spirit changed our hearts (Ezekiel 36:25-28); and while we were still sinners, Jesus Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8).
It is uncomfortable to see our sinfulness in all of its rebellious ugliness. But the more we understand the depths and horrors of our past sinfulness, the more we will wonder at the surprising and scandalous grace of God given to us in Jesus Christ. We have been given an indescribably gracious gift. For it, may we be people of increasing gratitude.