As he said also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.…
Whether the original reference of the prophet is to the ten tribes or to the Gentile world is immaterial, since St. Paul employs the quotation to illustrate his contention that it is the purpose of Him who is Eternal Wisdom and Unchanging Righteousness to transfer privilege and blessing from those who pretended to an ancestral claim to them, unto those who had usually been regarded as aliens and reprobates — even the "sinners of the Gentiles." If this phase of Divine action has to some extent lost its interest, the principle it illustrates is ever important.
I. THE HIGHLY FAVOURED MAY ABUSE THEIR ADVANTAGES AND LOSE THEM. Consider the case of the Hebrews.
1. Their special prerogatives in religious knowledge and means of spiritual improvement.
2. Their rebellion and apostasy in yielding to idolatry.
3. Their frequent chastisements, especially in the captivity, and their subsequent humiliations.
4. The repetition of their insensibility and disobedience in the rejection of the Christ.
5. The final catastrophe which overtook the nation in the destruction of Jerusalem and the final dispersion.
II. THE LESS FAVOURED MAY BE, IN GOD'S PROVIDENCE, EXALTED TO PRIVILEGE. Consider the case of the Gentiles.
1. The publication of the gospel to them by Paul upon its rejection by the Jews.
2. The acceptance by many of the glad tidings intended for the enlightenment and salvation of men.
3. The position taken by Gentile converts in the diffusion of Christianity.
4. The subsequent conversion of the Roman empire.
5. The course of Christian history which may all be traced to the operation of this wonderful principle.
1. They act foolishly who rely on their privileges.
2. They are wise who, grateful for their privileges, are concerned so to use them that they may become the vehicles of the highest blessing to themselves, and to those over whom their influence may extend.
3. They who are cast down because their circumstances seem unfavourable should not forget that those who were "not God's people" became "His people," "His beloved," "the children of God."
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.