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Made Children of God

Choosing a baby name is an important moment for all parents. Sometimes the name has family significance; other times, the sound is pleasing; many times, though, parents choose a name because of its meaning. The importance of a name’s meaning.

is especially true in today’s reading. The children of Hosea and Gomer were each given a name that conveyed a message about God’s people. The first daughter was called Lo-Ruhamah (“not loved”), “for I will no longer show love to Israel” (v. 6). Afterward, Gomer gave birth to Lo-Ammi (“not my people”), “for you are not my people, and I am not your God” (v. 9). These are not your typical baby names! But the reason was clear: Israel had broken covenant with God and their relationship with Him had been seriously jeopardized.

Nevertheless, hope remained. First, Scripture echoes God’s original promise to Abraham, declaring, “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore.” Second, God would renew His covenant with Israel: “In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God’” (v. 10). There would be serious consequences for Israel’s covenant violation, but God would remain true to His original word to Abraham and his children.

Yet there is more to this last promise. The notion of those who were “not God’s people” refers also to the Gentiles (cf. Rom. 9:24–26). God’s love would be offered to the whole world, not just Jews. Through Jesus Christ, relationship with God is available to Jew and Gentile alike: “to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God” (John 1:12). Because of Christ’s work, we are now “children of the living God.”

Apply the Word

By Christ’s adoptive grace, we can call God by the name: “Abba, Father,” and we are made “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:15, 17). Address God in prayer today with the intimate term, “Abba.” Through Christ’s own Sonship, take all of your cares and concerns to God, confident in your relationship with Him as your Father.

BY Bryan Stewart

Bryan A. Stewart is associate professor of religion at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. His particular interests are the history of Christian thought and the way that early Christians interpreted the biblical canon. He is the editor of a volume on the Gospel of John in The Church’s Bible series (Eerdmans), and he has done extensive research on the ways that the early Church preached on this Gospel. He is an ordained minister. 

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