Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God’ (1:10 NIV).
The third child was named Lo-Ammi, which means “not my people” (1:8-9). God’s message through the prophet Hosea was that he would cast Israel away. Israel was overconfident about her covenant relationship to the Lord, even as she turned from the Lord to Baal. It is much like the modern American, who somehow falsely assumes America is a “Christian nation”, while the Lord’s name is blasphemed, his worship forsaken, and a godly way of life is abandoned, mocked and resisted like the plague.
The Bible tells us that God cannot be mocked. Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap (Galatians 6:7). People may pretend to be Christians today, but God will not own them as his own on the Judgment Day. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’” (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV).
The fact that God gave this message through the naming of the children, which took a few years, demonstrates that he gave Israel the opportunity to repent. God has issued many warnings to this world over the last hundred years: terrible wars, terrorist attacks, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, ice storms, plagues, and blizzards. Yet people have not turned back to God. How much longer do we have before far more destructive judgments fall from heaven?
However, in a setting of apparent hopelessness, the living God offers a word of hope, a promise of restoration (1:10-2:1). The foundation is that God keeps his covenant promises. Remember his promises to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:4-6; 22:15-18). God’s grace is greater than human sin and weakness.
What did the Lord promise? The place of rejection would become the place of restoration. There would be another reversal of the name Jezreel! God is able to restore, even when it seems impossible. Keep on praying and believing. Never give up! As the New Testament makes clear, this was also a promise of salvation to the nations (Romans 9:22-26; 1 Peter 2:9-10).
God would restore the names of love and relationship to his chosen people. They would again be honored as God’s people. They would experience anew that they were loved by the Lord. God has freely chosen to have a family relationship of love with people that were rebellious against him. He makes this happen through his Son, Jesus Christ. The Messiah died to pay for our sins and rose the third day that we might be declared right with God when we turn from our sins and trust in the Lord. Are you right with God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? If you are, worship God. Expressing your joy in God through worship is God’s great purpose for you.
Stop and think for a moment. What about your relationship with the true God? Are you able to say with good and right Biblical reasons that you belong to God and that God loves you? There is hope, living hope, when we turn to the Lord for mercy and grace. Today is the day he offers salvation and righteousness. Are you right with God? You may be today by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. If your life has been thick with clouds, there is a glorious ray of sunshine. God has brought you to a place where you can hear his good news. We pray that God will be exceedingly merciful to you. Seek the Lord today, while he may be found! Isaiah 55:6-7
Grace and peace, David