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The same subject of reproof and expostulation forms the burden of this Chapter. The Lord, by his servant the Prophet, is still speaking to Israel.
Reader! do pray remark the change of circumstances in the Church, by reason of the Lord Jesus coming for the salvation of his people, to what is said of Israel by the Prophet in this verse. Now Jesus is the vine, and his people branches in him, there is no emptiness, no barrenness, nor poverty. And wherefore, but because from Jesus, Israel's fruit is found. John 15:1 , etc. Hosea 14:8 .
Alas! how often do the Lord's people still find a divided heart! Precious Jesus! though I am fully convinced that there can be no happiness but in thee, yet how frequently is my poor heart going after idols! Jesus! do thou exercise thy lawful sovereignty over my affections, and by thy Holy Spirit so bring every thought into obedience, that I may know no Lord but thee!
It is remarkable what connection there is in the apprehension of sinners in their fears, how remote soever they are from their sinful transactions. A plain proof of the workings of conscience! Revelation 6:16 .
The reference here to the battle of Gibeah, seems to be that which is spoken of, Judges 20:0 . But spiritually considered, to the Israel of God at large, the allusion is yet more striking. Here the charge is, from the first moment of Israel's call, to the last of Israel as a Church. Under this view, how truly precious is Jesus?
The expressions and the figure of an heifer, in these verses, are not so clear so as to enter into the full apprehension of them. But generally speaking, they describe the Lord's grace, and Israel's unfaithfulness.
In the opening of this paragraph we find blessed allusions to the person of Christ: for He, and He alone, is the righteousness to which God's people can sow; and as they are God's husbandry, so Jesus is the only mercy in which they can reap. The figure of fallow ground is very striking, to point out the poverty and leanness of our nature. And the Lord raining righteousness upon his people, is as blessed a figure, whose promise to come to his people is as the rain, the latter rain, and the former in their season. Psalms 72:6 . And the awfulness of the barren heath of sinners, which knoweth not when good cometh, is with the same truth set forth under the similitude of plowing wickedness and reaping iniquity.
READER! it is very blessed, in reading these scriptures of the Old Testament, to behold how the figures made use of are explained under the New. Our emptiness as a vine, and the plowing of the heart in wickedness, are strong representations to what is really the case of every man by nature, when the fallow ground is not turned by God, and the whole man remains unregenerated and unrenewed by grace. But when the soul is made sensible of this, and under divine teaching is led to behold the infinite preciousness of Jesus; then the poor awakened sinner feels the whole three of the Prophet's words, and finds it to be high time indeed to sow in righteousness, and to reap the rich mercy of God's free and sovereign grace in Jesus Christ! Reader! it will be no small improvement of this Chapter, if by God the Holy Ghost's gracious influence, so much in Israel's emptiness and transgression we discover, as to be made sensible of our own; and from such a conviction of our nothingness, the all-sufficiency and suitableness of the Lord Jesus is discovered; for then we shall gladly flee from all creature dependencies, to take refuge in Creator strength; and feeling what we are in ourselves by nature, most earnestly rejoice in what we are made by grace. Such views will tend to endear Christ to the heart; and form him there the only hope of glory.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Hosea 10". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Easter