Friday, September 21, 2012
“And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD” (Hosea 2:19,20 KJV).
The nation Israel is engaged to the LORD, but the wedding is postponed….
In the context of today’s Scripture, the LORD is sending the prophet Hosea, who preached circa 785–725 B.C., to warn Israel of His impending judgment. “For [Israel] hath committed great whoredom, in departing from the LORD” (Hosea 1:2). Pagan idol worship abounds in Israel, and it has for centuries. Spiritually, Israel is “playing the harlot” (Hosea 2:5): she was the LORD’s wife, but now she is an adulterous wife by worshipping other gods.
God’s wrath came on apostate Israel! Eventually, the Assyrians captured and deported Israel’s ten northern tribes (722 B.C.), and the Babylonians captured and deported Israel’s two southern tribes (606–586 B.C.). From the time of these deportations to our present-day, the Jews are scattered worldwide, still waiting for their Messiah to come the first time and rescue them (sadly, they are blinded, unaware that their Messiah, Jesus, came 2,000 years ago).
But today’s Scripture is a gleam of hope for Israel: after God would judge her, He would restore her to Himself (Christ’s Second Coming to establish Israel’s kingdom). After our Dispensation of Grace ends (rapture), God will return to dealing with Israel, and she will be saved (Romans 11:25-29; cf. Hosea 2:23). Peter writes to future Israel: “which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God…” (1 Peter 2:10). Had God not interrupted Israel’s program with our dispensation, Israel would already be married to the LORD!
Israel was unfaithful to God, but never has God been unfaithful to Israel. At Christ’s Second Coming, He will fulfill His promise (today’s Scripture) to Israel. Via the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:8-13), Israel will be rejoined to the LORD, forgiven of all her sins. She will be married to the LORD forever, living with Him in her Promised Land forever (Isaiah chapters 61 and 62). Wow!