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God Acting in Pardon

Hosea 2:19 (ESV) … “And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.”

In Hosea 2:14–23 we see God acting in pardon. Man’s miseries, even when they are deserved and brought on by divine judgment, awaken God’s mercies. God extends His mercy to us not because we deserve it, but because we need it. Beginning in verse 14, note again the tramp of God’s sovereign “I wills” marching down the corridors of time: “I will allure.… And I will give … for I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth.… And in that day will I make a covenant.… And I will break the bow … and will make them to lie down safely. And I will betroth thee unto me for ever.… I will hear.… And I will sow.… And I will have mercy.… And I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.”

In the midst of this account of the divine pursuit of mercy, Hosea paused in verse 16 to indicate what the response of poor, destitute Israel will be: “At that day, saith the Lord, … thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.” In other words, instead of calling God my Lord, Israel will call Him my Husband. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

What will bring about this change? The great tribulation, that terrible period which is also known as the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). What happens in “the valley of Achor” (the valley of trouble, Hosea 2:15) is what will change Israel. It was not until the New Testament prodigal came to the end of himself that he said, “I will arise and go to my father” (Luke 15:18), and not until the nation of Israel comes to the end of herself will she be ready for genuine conversion.[1]

God is gracious, and no matter what “name” our birth has given to us, He can change it and give us a new beginning. Even the “valley of trouble” can become a “door of hope.” God is holy and He must deal with sin. The essence of idolatry is enjoying the gifts but not honoring the Giver. To live for the world is to break God’s heart and commit “spiritual adultery.” God is love and promises to forgive and restore all who repent and return to Him. He promises to bless all who trust him.[2]

[1] Phillips, J. (2009). Exploring the Minor Prophets: An Expository Commentary (Ho 2:8–23). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp. [2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be amazed (p. 21). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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