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The prophecy opens with an account of the Prophet himself, and the period in which he ministered to the Church. The Prophet becomes a Type, as well as a Preacher, in the Church of God.
This is the preface to what follows. It is the Lord's word, and therefore worthy of the greatest attention. And the time of the Prophets ministry is also mentioned. Hosea laboured long in the word and doctrine. For if it be calculated, only the time of his ministry, supposing only from the last year of Uzziah, to the first year of Hezekiah, this included a period of near seventy years: so that if Hosea began his prophetical character even at the age of twenty, he must have lived to between ninety and an hundred years.
Some have thought, that what is here said of Hosea, was in vision, and not in reality. But others have deemed it to be literally as is here stated. In either sense, the doctrine is the same. God intended to show thereby the divorcement of his people. The name of Gomer is very expressive, meaning waste. God's Israel are threatened to be wasted and scattered. And Jezreel is to the same amount, meaning scattered. Reader! while we read these scriptures, and behold in the day in which we live their fulfillment; is it not sweet to recollect the promise, He that scattered Israel will gather him. Jeremiah 31:10 ; Genesis 49:10 ; John 11:52 .
Perhaps the birth of a son first, and a daughter after, was intended to signify that both sons and daughters had alike corrupted themselves. Ruhamah is a beautiful name signifying beloved: but the Lo before it, putting a negative upon it, shows the solemn alteration wrought by sin in the human mind. But, Reader! do not overlook the gracious promise that follows, and the way by which the Lord engageth to accomplish it. The salvation promised is wholly by the Lord their God. Sweet thought! It is all in Jesus, for there is salvation in no other. Hosea 13:9 ; Acts 4:12 .
We have here a further illustration of the doctrine. Israel had forfeited all pretensions to their covenant interest in Jehovah; and if it be preserved, it is not because of their deservings, but on account of the divine mercy. And how sweet and full are the promises that follow. And that they are all founded in Christ, the smallest attention to the Gospel will confirm. The Holy Ghost, as if that no mistakes might arise on that ground, appointed two of his servants to tell the Church as much. See Romans 9:25-26 ; 1 Peter 2:10 . I admire the strength of the expression Lo ammi; for here as before, when the Lo is taken away, (and it is only added now to express the ruined state of Israel, while breaking God's covenant) the ammi still remains, which signifies my people. And how blessed this is done, the last verse of the Chapter fully proves. Both Israel and Judah shall then be formed in one, and all gathered to our glorious Shiloh, the head and husband of his body the Church, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. Ephesians 1:23 .
READER! We may truly say, with one of the Sacred Writers, in reference to the Church in her latter-day glory; glorious things are spoken of thee thou city of God! For to behold, as this Chapter relates, the low and impoverished state of the Church; and God putting away, as it were, his people, and yet recovering them by the riches and sovereignty of his grace, all of himself, and from himself, and his own purpose, counsel, and will; surely we are constrained to exclaim, what hath God wrought?
Reader! is it so, that we are by nature, and by practice, like the children of whoredoms, and richly deserve to be forever called, Lo Ruhamah, and Lo ammi; but yet by the infinite grace of adoption, brought into acceptance by Christ, our spiritual Head? Is it in Jesus, and by Jesus, the one glorious Head of his body the Church, the whole of Judah and Israel are gathered; and when not a people are made the sons of the living God; oh! for grace to admire and adore these high privileges, and ascribe all the glory, and the praise, to whom alone it is all due. Precious Jesus! let my soul henceforth be forever eyeing thee, as the cause, the whole means, the whole end. Earnestly as my soul desires to love thee, let not my love to thee be made anymore the standard of my safety in thee, but let me consider thy love as the whole sum and substance of all my safety and my joy. Oh! for grace to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. In heaven itself, the full and clear apprehension of thy love, constitutes the chief happiness of the place. Give me then, dearest Lord, by thy Spirit, to be able to comprehend with all saints, the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of thy love, that I may be filled with all the fulness of God!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Hosea 1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25