Hosea 1:10-Hosea 2:1
Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered…
This which has been described would fall (and did fall) on Israel. Yet would not God's purpose in the calling of the nation thereby be defeated. Woeful as was the apostasy, it did not take God by surprise. It had been foretold (Deuteronomy 4:25-28; Deuteronomy 31:16-19). But the same word which had predicted the rejection, predicted also the recovery (Deuteronomy 30:1-16). Hosea, in this new word from God, repeats and confirms the promise. The blessings predicted are -
I. NUMERICAL INCREASE. "Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea," etc. This was the original promise to Abraham (Genesis 15:5). Israel's unfaithfulness could not make it void (Romans 3:3). Neither did it.
1. God has made up for the rejection of Israel by giving Abraham a spiritual seed vastly outstripping in numbers the natural seed. The spiritual seed was included in the promise:" And in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 12:3). God has given Abraham this seed. Even now, while Israel's rejection lasts, a vast seed has been raised from the Gentiles, "which in time past were not a people" (1 Peter 2:10). God has, as it were, from the stones raised up children to Abraham (Matthew 3:9). This seed will go on increasing till it embraces all peoples of the earth.
2. Mercy waits even for the natural Israel, who will yet, in great numbers, enter the kingdom of God (Romans 11.).
II. RESTORATION TO SPIRITUAL HONOR. "In the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God."
1. The privilege. "Sons of the living God." Formerly they were called God's "people;" now they are called his "sons." The last honor is greater than the first. Sonship, which formerly was predicated of the nation, is now predicated of the individuals composing it.
2. The heirs of the privilege. Gentiles as well as Jews (Romans 9:26; 1 Peter 2:10). For Gentiles are now admitted to Israel's privileges, they are part of the spiritual seed. Israel, in its state of rejection, stands towards God on no higher a footing than the Gentiles. "Not my people." Conversely, the scheme of grace through which it is recovered has a range wider than the natural Israel; it applies to the whole class of "Not-my-people," and includes Gentiles as well as Jews. The middle wall of partition is broken down (Ephesians 2:14); there is no more any difference (Romans 3:22, 29).
3. Greatness of the privilege.
(1) Great, in contrast with former condition. "Once," not the people of God; "now," not his people only, but his sons.
(2) Great in its own nature. "Sons of the living God." What honor, what dignity, what favor, is implied in this! We have this sonship in Christ, the beloved Son. Angels do not possess this honor. It is reserved for sinful but redeemed man. "Behold, what manner of love," etc. (1 John 3:1).
III. REMOVAL OF DISUNION. "Then shall the children of Israel and the children of Judah be gathered together," etc. The words imply:
1. That Judah, like Israel, would be found at length in exile.
2. That mercy was in reserve for both.
3. That a new Head - a King - would be given, under whom both would return from captivity. The return will certainly take place, in a spiritual sense, in Israel's conversion; whether also in a literal sense remains to be seen.
4. That the leadership of the new King would be voluntarily accepted - "appoint themselves one Head" (cf. Psalm 110:2).
5. That in the restored kingdom of God no place would be found for existing divisions. The old enmities would disappear. Enmity has already disappeared between Judah and Israel. The present Jews have in them the blood of all the twelve tribes. We may learn
(1) that in the kingdom of God there ought to be no disunion;
(2) that in the perfected kingdom of God there will be no disunion;
(3) that in the kingdom of God the Center of unity is Christ - "One Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Ephesians 4:5).
IV. GLADNESS AND REJOICING. "Say ye unto your brethren, Amlni; and to your sisters, Ruhamah" (Hosea 2:1).
1. Because of God's great goodness in the extension of his Church. "Great shall be the day of Jezreel," this time in the sense, "God will sow."
2. Because of reversal of former rejection. No longer Lo-ammi, but Ammi - "my people;" no longer Lo-ruhamah, but Ruhamah - "pitied." This joy will be universal. Will fill all hearts, will occupy all lips. Each will greet, rejoice with, and congratulate the other. - J.O.
Parallel VersesKJV: Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.
WEB: Yet the number of the children of Israel will be as the sand of the sea, which can't be measured nor numbered; and it will come to pass that, in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.'