As he said also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.…
I. WHAT THEY WERE.
1. "Not My people." Who's then? Men do not occupy neutral territory, nor are they an independent republic. God's people own and serve Him as their Sovereign and Master — dread alternative then, those who throw off this allegiance become the slaves and subjects of the prince of this world, doing homage to him in their sentiments, and serving Him in their lives. And such were some of you.
2. "Not beloved."(1) Because unlovely and unloving. "Alienated and enemies in their minds by wicked works." How could God love in the sense here mentioned those who defied His authority, broke His commandments, and made bad that which He pronounced "very good."(2) Therefore —
(a) The wrath of God abideth on them — rests as long as the provoking cause remains.
(b) The coming wrath menaces them.
II. WHAT THEY ARE.
1. "My people."(1) They belong to God. He has bought them; He has taken them to be His peculiar possession; they gladly acquiesce in the Divine proprietorship. How safe and happy this makes them! "If God be for us, who can be against us?"(2) They are God's people.
(a) A homogeneous people. They are not His as so many scattered units, but His as a body, a Church. United to Him they are bound to one another for mutual protection, edification, comfort and general usefulness.
(b) A royal people. A kingdom. The Church is not a mere school of thought, but a kingdom of priests unto God. God's people are royal in their birth, bearing, privileges, duties, and hopes.
(c) A people with a destiny. While some peoples have fulfilled their destiny, and others have theirs trembling in the balance, and others yet again all uncertain of theirs that of the people of God is sure. They and only they are to inherit the earth. That destiny is being fulfilled every day, and will be perfectly fulfilled when "Jesus shall reign where'er the sun," etc.
(1) God's anger is passed away from them. What then? What happens when the clouds rollaway at noon-day? So when the clouds of our rebellion and sinfulness pass away from before His countenance we bask in His smile. So —
(2) They are the objects of His complacency. He sees in them that which fills Him with delight — His beloved Son's purchase and image. Hence —
(3) They are the subjects of His special care (Romans 8:39). And —
(4) They await the highest manifestations of His favour.
3. "Children of God."
(1) They are born from above, and become partakers of the Divine nature.
(2) They are adopted into the Divine family.
(3) They are heirs of Divine possessions.
III. HOW THEY BECOME WHAT THEY ARE
1. By sovereign grace. There was no merit in them, but every demerit. Had not God chosen them they had never chosen God.
2. By compliance with the conditions laid down by sovereign grace. Repentance and faith.
(J. W Burn.)
Parallel VersesKJV: As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.