Hosea

Prior to Christ, the special revelation of God was given to the Israelites. They were the ones who from the time of Abraham were the recipients of God’s covenants and promises. No other nation could boast of such a relationship with God. As Paul said,

…Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh…Romans 9 : 4 – 5

The hope of the Christ, the Messiah, came through the Jewish prophets. He was not foretold by the Gentile sages. And when that Messiah came, He did something that was unexpected, even though it was recorded by the prophets and found in the Old Testament: Jesus opened up the special revelation of God, and a new covenant, to the Gentiles. No longer were the Jews the exclusive owners of God’s truth. Now, because of what Jesus did on the cross, the Gentiles, once outside of the faith, could now partake in the faith. The prophet Hosea spoke about this – a far off people being brought near to God.

Yet the number of the sons of Israel will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered; and in the place where it is said to them, “You are not My people,” it will be said to them, “You are the sons of the living God.” Hosea 1: 10

Both Peter and Paul applied these words of Hosea to the gospel they were preaching, a gospel given to them by Christ. It must have been amazing for them to see Gentiles believing in the God of the Jews, and to have assurance that the prophets, like Hosea, spoke of such things.

Here is what Paul wrote to the Romans:

What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. As He says also in Hosea, “I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’ and her who was not beloved, ‘beloved,’ and it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not My people,’ there they shall be called sons of the living God.”…What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Romans 9: 22 – 26, 30 – 31

Here is what Peter wrote:

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood…you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 1: 1 – 2, 2: 9 – 10

To believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is to disbelieve the notion that America, or any other Gentile nation, is a nation that God has formed a special covenant relationship with. According to Scripture, God has given good news to all Gentiles, regardless of tribe or tongue, should they believe in the Christ whom the Father sent to Israel as Messiah and King.

Now is the time when God is calling all people to Himself, and many will respond. It is the cumulative responses of Jew and Gentile that will cause the sons of Israel, as Hosea writes, to be too many to count.

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