Have you ever heard a salvation story so shocking it dropped your jaw? For the past several years, Christianity Today has compiled the Top Ten Testimonies of the year. Titles include: “How a French Atheist Became a Theologian” and, “I Thought God Could Never Love a Convicted Murderer. I Was Wrong.” The power of God’s love to bring total transformation cannot be denied.
Today’s passage encapsulates God’s redemptive work on Israel’s behalf in much the same way. Having declared that Israel had relinquished their position as God’s chosen nation, Hosea suddenly—with little transition—reaffirmed in verse 10 God’s covenant promise to Abraham (Gen. 22:17). Despite their failure to obey, Israel would still grow and prosper and become like the “sand on the seashore”—too numerous to count (v. 10). Israel would once again be called “children of the living God.” And they would once again be reunited with Judah under one leader as a prosperous people.
It is a stunning reversal that finishes with the following phrase: “Great will be the day of Jezreel” (v. 11). The meaning attached to the place and person would be turned on its head—once again—in a way that only the “living God” could accomplish, a living God who stands in stark contrast to the lifeless idols that had gained Israel’s affection.
Hosea 2:1 foreshadows the reversal of the remaining children’s names, but also pulls the reader into the rest of the book. Just like a shocking headline grabs our attention and makes us want to read the article, these verses in Hosea leave us wondering: How? How could such total rejection turn around to total acceptance, forgiveness, and love? The rest of the book will show us.
>> In what ways has God transformed your life? Your testimony can be any one of your “this is how God worked” stories. It has the power to teach and inspire others. Share that story with someone today.
Your justice and grace are beyond our understanding; You punish wrongdoing yet always provide for mercy. May we fear You and love You, knowing our place before Your holy majesty.